Saturday, August 2, 2008

“The Wild Road” by Marjorie Liu

Lannes Hannelore is one of a dying race born to protect mankind against demonic forces. And while those who look upon him see a beautiful man, this illusion is nothing but a prison. His existence is one of pure isolation, hiding in plain sight, with brief solace found in simple pleasures: stretching his wings on a stormy night, long late drives on empty highways, the deep soul of sad songs. But when Lannes finds a young woman covered in blood—desperate and alone, with no memory or past—he will be drawn into a mystery that makes him question all he knows. And though it goes against his nature and everything he fears, Lannes will risk his heart, his secrets, and his very soul, in order to save someone who could be the love of his life...or the end of it.
The Wild Road is Marjorie Liu’s eighth installment in her solidly entertaining Dirk & Steele series of paranormal thriller/romances. Each of the books in this series is a paranormal gem and this one is no exception. A trademark of the series is that the central characters are thrust into jeopardy from which they must extricate themselves. Their shared danger allows them to build a relationship and draws them together. It also draws the attention of agents of the Dirk & Steele detective agency, which is a front for a covert supernatural organization that brings together those with “special abilities”, to protect both humanity and preternatural creatures.

Most of these preternatural creatures are unaware of others like themselves or are loners or isolated. Even those that are aware such a community exists must hide their nature for their own protection. Lannes Hannelore is a gargoyle, brother to Charles who was featured in Dark Dreamers (Dirk & Steele #4). The young woman he rescues, has amnesia, but not the usual sort. Her memories have literally been ripped away-destroyed and she is under attack psychically and otherwise.

With the assistance of Dirk & Steele agents, they search out the source and along the way uncover a decades old mystery with connections to the genesis of Dirk & Steele. The romance aspects of the story are seamlessly and naturally integrated into the action and are among the many fine attributes of a Marjorie Liu novel. I found myself turning over the last page all too quickly. Each Dirk & Steele novel stands on its’ own without need for prior knowledge of any back story, although I do recommend you pick up earlier volumes. You won’t be sorry. Recommended.

Read the first chapter.

Once you have read the book you may want to return and visit this link which has a cut scene from the novel.

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