Touch of Darkness

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Overview

KNOW YOUR ENEMIES

It’s good advice—and Kate always thought she did. But everything has changed: there’s a new force at the head of the Thrall collective. A force brilliant enough and ruthless enough to hide its sinister plan behind humanitarian work—building and funding halfway houses to ease the victims of drugs and the Thrall back into society.

And then Kate discovers that another part of the plan is rescinding the rules of fair play by which...

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Touch of Darkness

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Overview

KNOW YOUR ENEMIES

It’s good advice—and Kate always thought she did. But everything has changed: there’s a new force at the head of the Thrall collective. A force brilliant enough and ruthless enough to hide its sinister plan behind humanitarian work—building and funding halfway houses to ease the victims of drugs and the Thrall back into society.

And then Kate discovers that another part of the plan is rescinding the rules of fair play by which the Thrall have always dealt with humans. Kate is no longer Not Prey. Now she is just like everyone else: Prey.

Uncovering the plot is a start, but stopping it is another thing entirely. Kate must not only call on all of her own resources, but all of those that belong to her werewolf boyfriend Tom. But the Thrall collective has a brand new way of getting to Kate: a very personal series of attacks designed to tear her from Tom. Kate has to decide: save her relationship with Tom, or save the future from the Thrall?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Touch of Darkness kept me enthralled from the moment I opened the book. I couldn't put it down! Action-packed and sexy, Touch of Darkness is a tense and thrilling joyride through a dark landscape. CT Adams and Cathy Clamp have done it again—the conclusion to the Thrall trilogy will have readers holding their breath from the first page to the very last."

—Yasmine Galenorn

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765359629
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 7/29/2008
  • Series: Thrall Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Cathy Clamp and C. T. Adams live outside Brady, Texas — Cathy with her husband and dogs, and C. T. with her son and cats. They are the authors of the bestselling Sazi shapeshifter series. Touch of Darkness is their third novel in the USA Today bestselling series about Kate Reilly and her continuing battle with the Thrall.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Tiny needlepoints of pain dragged me up through layers of sleep. Increasingly insistent, the repeated puncturing resisted my best attempts to drop back into the warm and inviting dreams of my soon-to-occur wedding. I vaguely remembered rolling over beneath the heaps of down comforters. The resulting yowl of a startled and indignant cat pried open my eyes.

The room was pitch black—that enveloping depth of darkness you only get after a power outage. We forget how surrounded by light we are normally, even at night . . . from the soft glow of the clock to the little dots and rectangles of hibernating electronics.

But I’d been prepared for this after watching the weather report at bedtime. I reached to the nightstand, nudging aside the soft bulk of my cat, who refused to stop digging claws into my arm. A click later, and the yellowish glow from a battery lantern pushed away the black. As my brain started to function a little better, I heard the wind howling outside. It’s not completely unheard of to get early- season blizzards in Colorado, and this one was going to be a doozy. Even in the dim light I could see icy patterns on the window ledges high above the bed, and driving snow that moved sideways across the glass. I groaned in response and curled deeper under the covers.

Again Blank jumped on my chest with a weight that pushed the air from my lungs hard and fast, like airplane turbulence. He was named Blank because of his unfinished appearance. A bare canvas that only required a splash of color to be real. But his whiteness had dulled to a dirty gray in the light, even while his pale, nearly clear eyes reflected it. They became headlights that made me squint. As I lifted his body off me, I thought he was purring, but then I realized it wasn’t a purr that rumbled his chest.

It was a growl.

He combined the warning with claws digging deep into my wrists and I was suddenly fully awake. Adrenaline pounded my pulse as I listened for danger. I hadn’t had any trouble for awhile now—no women with knives, men with guns, or even Thrall vampires trying to slice open my veins. So it was probably time for them to appear again. Damn it. Just when life was going pretty good.

A little snow wouldn’t bother the Thrall. They’re not vampires of legend that slow down like reptiles in the cold—making them little threat before they’ve fed. No, they’re ordinary humans, turned superhuman by sentient psychic parasites, but fully capable of shopping for winter clothes at the mall in broad daylight.

Even in flannel pajamas, the chill that hit me when I threw off the covers was enough to make me shiver. Apparently, the

power had been out for longer than I’d thought. My feet found the slippers on the wooden floor by touch. Good thing, since I couldn’t see that well yet. I picked up the handle of the lantern and walked to the dresser to turn on the second lantern. This one was bigger, an eight D-cell monster that, with a flick of the switch, filled the bedroom with comforting

incandescent light.

Sometimes, just having a light turn on is enough to scare away an intruder, but I didn’t hear any footsteps or panicked

voices downstairs. No scents of unfamiliar cologne or sweat found my nose. A quick glance at the wind- up clock on the

bookshelf showed it was 2:00 a.m. That’s when I heard the sound . . . a rumbling, cracking sort of noise and

sensation that I couldn’t place. The cat hissed and leapt down from the bed to stand next to me. The guttural thrum reminded me of the approach of a distant trash truck. The sound faded away after a moment, leaving only the wind and snow beating against the windows. There are a lot of windows in my loft, formerly a factory in the lower downtown

of Denver, called LoDo by the locals. I renovated the place so that the old, thick industrial glass would rise above the

floor on the west side for two full stories. Rain and snow hitting the wall of glass tend to set up a rhythmic vibration that

becomes white noise after years of hearing it.

Blank stayed with me, crouched low next to my feet as I descended the staircase to the main level, carrying my little circle of light. He was looking all around, taking in everything, as though he couldn’t place the sound either, but didn’t like it. When I reached the bottom of the stairs, while I was still surrounded by walls that gave some mea sure of defense, I opened up my senses. Being psychic has advantages at times, and this was one of them. I can touch minds that are nearby, can communicate telepathically with family and loved ones in danger. But mostly, as much as I hate it, I can sense where the Thrall are. They’ve tried repeatedly to turn me into one of their own. They’ve come so damned close to succeeding several times now that if one was in my apartment, I’d know.

But they weren’t here, or even there. Though the whole Denver hive should be up and about at this time of night, I was met with a smooth, flat wall of . . . nothing. Either my ability to touch the hive was being blocked by the queens, or they were holed up, sleeping out the storm like sane people. Since a lot of the Thrall hosts tend to be abnormally athletic people, hence slightly insane in my opinion, they’re probably out in this mess. My fiancé, Tom Bishop, would say I was the pot calling the kettle black, since I’m a former professional athlete. It’s part of why the Thrall has been trying to capture or kill me for years. But even I’m not nuts enough to be outside in a Colorado blizzard. I played volleyball . . . beach volleyball. Warm sun, soft sand.

So, I was betting it was option number one, which was a bad thing. They only block me when they don’t want me to know what they’re up to. It’s an effort for them, because I’m pretty strong, so they don’t do it for long.

But you know what they say—you’re only paranoid if you’re wrong. If you’re right, they call you proactive, and in my many encounters with the Thrall, I’ve been exceedingly proactive.

The wind stopped for a few moments, the calm before the next blast of snow. In that brief silence, I heard the sound I’d been missing. A steady trickle of water that was like a dripping faucet, but more hollow. It seemed to come from ahead of me, but there was nothing along the wall of windows that had pipes, except the dripper lines in each of my

potted plants for when I go on trips. I suppose the sudden cold could have split the plastic hoses. It made me sigh, because it would be a mess to clean up if it was in more than one place. The tension in my muscles was replaced with a weary resignation.

I have a lot of plants.

My brother Joe called me Jungle Kate for the sheer volume of greenery . . . well, he did back when he was speaking to me, anyway. The last time he spoke to me was at his wedding months ago. It was just a tense thank- you in response to my congratulations, and only after being prodded in the ribs by his new bride. Then he’d turned his back and

walked away. He even returned the gift Tom and I had given them, unopened. That had brought on the first of many tears. But we’re both stubborn, and I refuse to apologize for being psychic . . . for being a target of the Thrall. I hate that the vampires keep attacking my family because they’re trying to kill or capture me. But I don’t know what to do except keep trying to destroy them, and keep protecting those I love to the best of my ability.

The power chose that moment to flicker on. Both Joe and the Thrall were instantly purged from my brain by the horror that made me gasp and Blank hiss and dive for cover, almost simultaneously.

Excerpted from TOUCH OF DARKNESS by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clump.

Copyright © 2008 by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clump.

Published in August 2008 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to

reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Tonya Dee

    Nice pace, great heroine and charactures.
    This book and the whole series really progresses well and keeps your interest.
    I really like the new take on vampires being parasites thing. Nice new wist to think about that i haven't heard before.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Touch of Darkness by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

    I'm not sure if "Touch of Darkness" is the last book in the Adams/Clamp 'Thrall' series or not. The ending could certainly be taken as a finale, but in the paranormal world I just can't take anything at face value. In their series, the Thrall is a different take on vampires. Their vampires have a kind of collective mind which is called the Thrall, and they have been after our heroine for quite some time trying to make her another 'Queen' because of her abilities in ESP. <BR/><BR/>This is an excerpt from their website on the series: "They're a race of sentient parasites with a psychic, hive society that considers everything on earth "Prey." Only a very few humans have achieved the status of "Not Prey"---those who pose a threat to the hive. Kate Reilly is one of those people."<BR/><BR/>Gives ya goosebumps, eh?<BR/><BR/>In this third book of the series, Kate comes up against the worst threat yet, an old flame who's been infected and twisted by the Thrall and now declares war on Kate and her loved ones. If that's not enough, Kate's also being stalked by her werewolf fiance's ex who has apparently gone totally wacko. As Kate's life begins to fall apart, she'll need all her allies and abilities to keep from becoming just 'Prey'.<BR/><BR/>A fine finale (if that's what it really is)! This last book is 418 pages of action and intrigue and most of the cast of secondary characters from the previous books return to help Kate in her fight. A very different and very well written series by the same authors who write the 'Sazi' series. If this is really it for Kate, I'll be a bit sad...but I'll still have the Sazis to keep me warm!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2008

    Touch of Darkness

    In Colorado Kate Reilly feels fortunate to still be alive having survived seemingly endless waves of attacks by the local vampiric Thrall (see TOUCH OF EVIL and TOUCH OF MADNESS). She and beloved werewolf Tom Bishop plan to marry although his pack is not pleased with his choice of a bride from outside the pack. Though he still needs approval especially by his Alpha, Tom assumes no one will prevent his nuptials in a couple of days now that Kate¿s apartment building collapsed due to a blizzard and she needs a home he plans to provide her.------------- Tom failed to consider Janine his former lover, who swears Tom is her soulmate. At the same time the loved birds struggle with getting the blessing of his pack, her brother Brian, a former Eden drug addict, is undercover at New Dawn Thrall halfway house in Texas where he learns more of their conspiracy to take control from the humans. The media fails to see beyond the Thrall manipulation of them in which they are the good guys and Kate is a baby killer.-------------------- The final entry to the delightful Thrall trilogy is a superb urban romantic fantasy as Kate and Tom have extended family/pack issues that make her as the vampire slayer and him as a werewolf seem real. Interestingly, instead of being a hero, the manipulated media paint Kate as a baby killer while the Thrall are described as innocent victims (Karl Rove would be proud of that swiftboating). Fans of the miniseries will appreciate the climax while newcomers will want to ¿touch¿ the previous two books first.-------- Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2008

    Touch of Darkness

    In Colorado Kate Reilly feels fortunate to still be alive having survived seemingly endless waves of attacks by the local vampiric Thrall (see TOUCH OF EVIL and TOUCH OF MADNESS). She and beloved werewolf Tom Bishop plan to marry although his pack is not pleased with his choice of a bride from outside the pack. Though he still needs approval especially by his Alpha, Tom assumes no one will prevent his nuptials in a couple of days now that Kate¿s apartment building collapsed due to a blizzard and she needs a home he plans to provide her.---------------- Tom failed to consider Janine his former lover, who swears Tom is her soulmate. At the same time the loved birds struggle with getting the blessing of his pack, her brother Brian, a former Eden drug addict, is undercover at New Dawn Thrall halfway house in Texas where he learns more of their conspiracy to take control from the humans. The media fails to see beyond the Thrall manipulation of them in which they are the good guys and Kate is a baby killer.--------------- The final entry to the delightful Thrall trilogy is a superb urban romantic fantasy as Kate and Tom have extended family/pack issues that make her as the vampire slayer and him as a werewolf seem real. Interestingly, instead of being a hero, the manipulated media paint Kate as a baby killer while the Thrall are described as innocent victims (Karl Rove would be proud of that swiftboating). Fans of the miniseries will appreciate the climax while newcomers will want to ¿touch¿ the previous two books first.---------- Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted October 26, 2008

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