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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Shadow Touch

****½ Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu. Contemporary paranormal romance.

This is the second book in the series that started with Tiger Eye (#10). It took me a while to connect the two, because they're very different stories, and in fact I didn't remember the Dirk & Steele Agency from the first book, which is how they're connected. Give me a break--it was almost a year ago.

Shadow Touch begins with two investigators from Dirk & Steele at a murder scene. Artur Loginov is a touch sensitive, and he's using his gift to try to find the killer, who's strangely invisible to Artur's senses. It's painful for Artur, but he sees the pain as penance for his previous life as a Russian mobster, and pushes himself, even when those around him are urging him to stop.

Elena Baxter, on the other hand, believes she's alone in the world. She has a healing gift, which she puts to use working in a hospital, though she's cautious to keep her gift a secret.

Then both of them are kidnapped and find themselves in a research facility. I thought of Dark Angel, but there are plenty of creepy research facilities in movies and TV to choose from.

From then on, Artur and Elena have to figure out who has them and why, withstand the torture and experiments, try to escape and rescue a couple of shapeshifters, try to stop the evil mastermind, and deal with their personal demons.

And oh, yeah. They fall in love. Look at the spine of the book--you knew that was coming. This romance was done quite nicely, and there's no question of whether they're actually in love with who the other person is.

There are quite a few intriguing developments and characters I'll be hoping to see in the future. I've put the next book on my to-buy list.

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