Soft Focus, by Jayne Ann Krentz

>> Thursday, July 31, 2003

My final reread of the weekend was Soft Focus, by Jayne Ann Krentz

Elizabeth Cabot is all business. She knows how to maximize her investments and cut her losses--in both her career and her personal life. So when she discovers that Jack Fairfax has deceived her, she's determined to end their relationship. Putting a stop to their budding romance is easy. But breaking up their business deal will be more difficult. Despite all her efforts, she has no luck disentangling herself from Jack's client company, Excalibur. But the situation becomes even more strained when a new obstacle emerges: a lethal act of sabotage that could put both of them out of business for good.

Elizabeth is no fool. If she can help Jack save Excalibur, she'll recoup her substantial investment plus millions in profit. Putting her emotions aside, she insists on helping him search for the scientist who's disappeared with a valuable new crystal that could revolutionize the high-tech industry. She'll go in, solve the problem--and get out.

The trail leads Elizabeth and Jack to a fringe film festival, but their goal is as elusive as the shadowy black-and-white images from classic noir films. Life starts to imitate art, and double-dealing seems to be the name of the game. For these business adversaries turned reluctant partners, keeping an eye on each other--and the lid on a sizzling attraction--seems the only insurance against further treachery. But with millions at stake, trust can turn to betrayal in the blink of an eye.
Yes, this was not up to JAK's old standards (i.e. not as good as such favourites as Family Man, or Trust Me, for instance), but it was quite good compared to other offerings in the market. A B+.

I liked that there was a lot of emphasis on Jack and Elizabeth's relationship, and that the suspense subplot, though interesting, didn't take over the story. And the relationship itself was very well done. I especially liked the fact that it was Jack who obsessed about it, and kept wanting to have "the talk" with Elizabeth. The man seemed more worried about this than about recovering Soft Focus. I would have liked maybe a bit more detail in the love scenes, but the relationship part was satisfying enough, as was the "family" part.

I very much enjoyed the setting. I don't know much about film noir, but what I saw here was intriguing and the contrast between the high-tech aspects and the old movies was well done.

What wasn't so good was the suspense subplot, which was a bit too convoluted, with too many players involved.

Still, every JAK works well as a comfort read.

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