Picks and Pans Review: Plain Jane
Would that she were plain. Instead Michaels's Jane is jam-packed with enough subplots to make a reader's head spin. Part romance, part mystery, the novel centers on psychotherapist Jane Lewis, who is still traumatized by having witnessed the rape of a college friend 12 years earlier. But as Jane grapples with those haunting memories, she must also juggle a budding romance with fellow shrink Michael Sorenson, a menacing therapy patient and the actual haunting of her southern Louisiana home by a 100-year-old ghost named Billy and his equally spectral dog. Not to mention her adorably eccentric aunt and uncle, famous authors now bent on launching a new career training police dogs with their niece's help. All this in just 285 pages. Whew.
Jane is an endearingly flawed protagonist. And it's a tribute to the author's skill that she can keep so many plot pots stirred at once. Yet it's hard to shake the feeling that less might have been more. (Kensington, $24)
Bottom Line: A jambalaya of romance, suspense and spookiness