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Originally published Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 5:34 AM

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Jayne Castle's 'The Lost Night': Disharmony in an island sanctuary

Jayne Castle's new book, "The Lost Night," the third installment in the author's Looking Glass Trilogy, is set in the future on the island Harmony, where strange doings in an off-limits portion of the island threaten the tranquil existence of a bookseller.

Special to The Seattle Times

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'The Lost Night: A Rainshadow Novel'

by Jayne Castle

Jove, 352 pp., $7.99

Jayne Castle is one of three pseudonyms used by the prolific Seattle author Jayne Ann Krentz, and it's the name reserved for her futuristic/paranormal books set on the planet Harmony. She also writes contemporary romance under her Krentz name, and historical romance as Amanda Quick. But the reader soon forgets issues of category and noms de plume in the fun of reading the stories, with their endlessly inventive plot lines and strong, boldly drawn characters.

"The Lost Night" is set on the Rainshadow Island in the world of Harmony, where an off-limits portion of the island (the Preserve) houses all sorts of strange and frightening forces. Rachel Blake, who has come to the island to run her great-aunts' bookstore and cafe, is dismayed to realize that she has suffered an apparent amnesiac episode after stepping inadvertently into the Preserve — and is unable to account for a missing 12 hours (the "lost night" of the title).

Complicating matters is a powerful and sinister financier who is obsessed with Rachel, and an investigator who arrives to check out dangerous malefactors who are operating within the Preserve.

Krentz has created a fully imagined futurist world in Harmony, where artifacts of previous civilizations exist side by side with strange creatures called "dust bunnies" (they may sound cute, but they're capable of ripping out a villain's throat).

The real achievement here, though, is something considerably more old-fashioned: the establishment of vital interactions between the characters, whether in love, hatred, or friendship.

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