The Red Heart of Jade (Dirk & Steele Series #3)

The Red Heart of Jade (Dirk & Steele Series #3)

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by Marjorie M. Liu

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Beneath passion and purifying fire is . . . The Red Heart of Jade

Dean Campbell can see and sense things that others cannot—an extraordinary ability that drew the ex-cop to the Dirk & Steele Detective Agency, a global association of more-than-human men and women. Dean and his peers—shapeshifters, psychics, and

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Beneath passion and purifying fire is . . . The Red Heart of Jade

Dean Campbell can see and sense things that others cannot—an extraordinary ability that drew the ex-cop to the Dirk & Steele Detective Agency, a global association of more-than-human men and women. Dean and his peers—shapeshifters, psychics, and other paranormals—are dedicated to protecting life. But there are those who live for destruction.

Now Dean's investigation into a series of unthinkable killings is calling him to Taipei, where a pattern is emerging that is more deadly than anything he could have foreseen. At the center is a power that could change the world . . . and the woman who can truly complete him: Mirabelle Lee, the girl Dean loved in his youth, the childhood sweetheart he once believed dead. Now that his heart has been reawakened, he will not lose her again—even as the forces of an immortal evil gather to destroy them and everything they love.

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Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Marjorie Liu delivers another stellar paranormal with this third action-packed installment in her Dirk & Steele series. Using the Dirk & Steele detective agency, staffed by shapeshifters and others with different magic abilities, enables Liu to showcase a different gifted misfit hero each time. This time it's clairvoyant Dean Campbell, set on the trail of a nonhuman criminal in Taipei who is flagrantly setting people on fire. Also in Taiwan is anthropologist Mirabelle "Miri" Lee, who makes a rare discovery at an archaeological site: a 4,000-year-old piece of red jade, embedded in the body of a mummy. When Dean and Miri meet up, it's a shock: Twenty years ago, they were best friends -- beginning to be teenage lovers -- when an accident killed Miri. Or so Dean thought. Now someone is being paid to kidnap Miri and steal the jade. On the way to finding the murderer, Dean discovers an old love, an older magic, and the beginnings of a new future.

Liu goes all out from page one, packing Red Heart of Jade with lots of action, a powerful and tender love story, an intricate plot, and a fabulous setting. Ginger Curwen

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Dirk & Steele Series, #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Red Heart of Jade

By Marjorie M. Liu

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2006

Marjorie M. Liu

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-505-52631-X

Chapter One

In the moments before Dean Campbell opened his eyes to the
fire burning him alive, he found himself lost within a dream
of stone and light, where bones crunched underfoot and a chain
pressed hard around his ankle, binding him tight within the
center of a raggedy sand circle. A deep dream, an old dream,
the kind he rarely had anymore, and it was only the scent of
roasting meat that pulled him from the mystery of shadows
inside him mind. Pulled him free and floating, consciousness
returning with a hard peeling light that became, after a
moment's confusion, an inferno, a sheet of pure heat washing
over his naked body.

Fire. He was on fire.

Dean screamed. He screamed until his eyes bulged, but he made
no sound. His throat was hostage. And like his voice, his body
refused him. He could not move. Paralyzed, or maybe he was
already dead and this was hell: forced to watch himself burn
to ash, his life given up like a paper doll to a matchstick,
some human sacrifice to the white-hot beast licking his eyes,
melting his mouth, pushing deep inside his ears to roar like
thunder; a sound to ride his terror upon as he silently
screamed, screamed and screamed until something broke inside
his head and shattered.

He felt hands on his body. Real hands, the kind he had not
felt in years. Small and female, delicate. Moving against his
chest, sinking into his splitting flesh. Scratching. Cutting.
Carving an incision above his heart. He felt no pain, no - nerve
endings melting, sloughing away like old skin
- but he
sensed those fingers - oh God, oh God - slide into his body
past bone to wrap tight around his hammering heart, and he
thought, This is it, I'm gonna die, I'm already dead, what a
loser, what a goddamn way to end it
. But as the hand squeezed
inside his chest, fingers unforgiving, another voice intruded
on Dean's mind, a voice loud and clear and unfamiliar, and he
heard a man say, No, not yet, not again.

And just like that, the fire boomed, puffed, the pressure
eased. The world collapsed into darkness.

Screams. Dean heard terrible screams. He thought someone else
must be hurt, dying - get up, get up, get your gun and fight
- but after a moment of dazed horrified wonder he realized
that it was him - his voice, finally working - and what a
beautiful awful sound. He could not shut his mouth. He could
not stop his body from writhing as the paralysis eased. Yet
still, blindness; a darkness absolute ... until Dean raised a
shaking hand and touched his face

He opened his eyes. The world came into soft-lit focus: a
white ceiling, creamy walls, a darkened window covered in
ivory sheers. Hotel finery at its best. Clean and perfect and
not on fire.

Not on fire.

He sucked in his breath and closed his eyes. Gripped the
rumpled sheets between his fists to steady himself before
slowly, carefully, touching his body. He was naked, covered in
sweat, but his skin was smooth and he felt no pain. He was
whole. Intact. Still had a penis and all the other bits that
went with it. No bad smells, like meat or smoke. Just the
light sweet scent of orchids.

So. Just a dream, then. A goddamn dream.

Dean sat up. Cold metal spilled from the hollow of his throat;
a woman's locket, hanging from a thin chain around his neck.
He gripped the necklace hard, savoring the rounded edge that
cut into his palm. Gulped down long cold breaths that did
nothing to slow his heart. He felt woozy, nauseated. Tried to
imagine the fire as a dream and could not. The heat was still
too real.

His knuckles brushed against his chest, the skin above his
heart. He felt a scar, but that was familiar, old news.
Except, just below it he touched something else, a ridge that
should not be, and Dean opened his eyes.

There was a mark. A red curving line, like a welt or bloody
tattoo, the afterthought of a sharp knife. Dean pressed his
fingers against it, tracing the edges. He felt pain. The first
pain since opening his eyes to the fire, the dream.

Or maybe not a dream at all. Dean remembered those small
hands, the sensation of fingers pushing, pushing so damn hard
into his chest, wrapping around his heart. Squeezing. He
remembered that voice in his head. He remembered fire.

All of it, so real. Real enough to kill. Real enough to almost
make sense, considering what he had been chasing for the past
three days. Which, given his luck, meant one thing only.

He was in some very deep shit.


Excerpted from The Red Heart of Jade
by Marjorie M. Liu
Copyright © 2006 by Marjorie M. Liu.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of paranormal romances and urban fantasy. In the world of comic books, she is also the writer of NYX: No Way Home, Black Widow, X-23, and Dark Wolverine. She lives in the American Midwest and Beijing, China.

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