Reviewed for Wit and Sin
Foster brothers Jack Lancaster, Max Cutler, and Cabot Sutter were all raised in a cult until one hellish night when cult leader Quinton Zane burned down the compound, leaving them orphans. Supposedly Zane died years ago, but Jack, Max, Cabot, and their rescuer/foster father, Anson Salinas, know better. After years of chasing shadows, the man behind their trauma is within their grasp…if they can survive his machinations. Because Zane is tired of hiding, and with a fortune on the line he needs to eliminate the threat the four men who know too much about him present. And he’s going to start with Jack…
Untouchable is an entertaining read that brings the hunt for Quinton Zane to a satisfying conclusion. Jack and Winter are more cerebral characters which gives them and their romance a slightly different dynamic. They’re an interesting pair: a focused hunter haunted by the past who works cold cases and a skilled hypnotist with ghosts of her own. I loved watching how Jack’s mind worked through cases and he definitely fascinated me. Winter is the only person who can bring him back when he goes too far into his own head and her skills are interesting in their own right. They fit one another well, they have solid (if understated) chemistry, and there’s definitely passion. Yet while I liked them together, I won’t deny that there was a certain ineffable spark that was missing, thus making the love story feel a bit by-the-numbers. I’ll be honest and say that this didn’t bother me overmuch, but I do think it’s worth mentioning because other readers may not be as content.
As one might expect from the final book in the trilogy, the resolution of the Quinton Zane plotline shifts the balance more toward suspense. Zane has been the bogeyman of the series; the charismatic, pyromaniac cult leader who is a brilliant con man capable of eluding capture for decades. The problem with having such a powerful villain is that they work better as a shadowy, unseen figure than they do as a main antagonist. There’s so much buildup in When All the Girls Have Gone and Promise Not to Tell that there’s no way one human man could deliver when he ultimately appears (at least if you want him to be plausibly defeated by the heroes and heroines). For me, Zane was the weak point in Untouchable and I wished some of the much-touted charisma and cleverness had shown to make him a stronger villain. That being said, the action scenes were still exciting and the hunt itself was entertaining. Jayne Ann Krentz knows how to keep the pages turning and the story engaging, so I can forgive some of the weaker points in the story because I enjoyed it, flaws and all.
Untouchable is the third book in the Cutler, Sutter & Salinas series but it can be read as a standalone. I enjoyed revisiting beloved characters and I got a kick out seeing Jack and Winter in towns from other Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick books (who doesn’t love a good Easter egg?). So while Untouchable has its flaws, it was still a solid read and a satisfying end to the Cutler, Sutter & Salinas trilogy.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.