“Anyone who loves my work should love [Liu’s].”
Eye of Heaven is yet another dark and sensuous romantic winner from the extraordinary Marjorie M. Lui, arguably one of the boldest, most inventively original authors currently working in the paranormal romance field. Centered once again around the remarkable Dirk and Steele Detective Agency—with its shapeshifters, psychics, telekinetics, and others with astounding supernatural gifts—Eye of Heaven brings a tormented investigator to “Sin City” Las Vegas, where a beautiful, feral headliner needs protection from a terrible darkness that is threatening her world. A passionate tale of romance, mystery, danger, and otherworldly occurrences, this is Marjorie M. Liu at her finest—and further proof that, “If you have yet to add Liu to your must-read list, you’re doing yourself a disservice” (Booklist).
About 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.
Read an Excerpt
Eye of Heaven
By Marjorie M. Liu
Copyright © 2006
Marjorie M. Liu
All right reserved.
Death was an inconvenience that Blue could have done without,
and if it hadn't been for the two highly moral individuals
breathing down his neck, he probably would have pretended
amnesia and simply ignored the news. After all, he was
practically an invalid, newly awakened from a coma. Barely
out of the bomb-blasted woods. He had an excuse. And for
Christ's sake, if his father was dead, there really wasn't
much that Blue could do about it now.
No such luck, though. Three days later, Blue found himself
bundled onto a commercial airliner, flying solo to San
Francisco. He was the only person seated in the First Class
Cabin - not a surprise, knowing Dela and her freewheeling
credit card - but Blue did find it rather disconcerting to
discover that the flight crew had been given ... instructions ... on
how to handle him.
As in, with kid gloves. Which meant that for fourteen hours
straight, Blue found himself under the carefully pressed and
brightly smiling care of three women, who - though he
objected strenuously - showered him with books, magazines,
hot towels, a private DVD player - and one very large box of
chocolate chip cookies that resembled, in the most vague way
possible, large and bloated zoo animals. Blue felt like a
stinking rich twelve year old being sent onhis first airplane
ride. Only thing missing was a tour of the cockpit and a pair
of those little plastic wings. If kids even got those
anymore. Airlines were turning into cheap bastards.
More unfortunate than all of the unwanted attention, however,
was the fact that the flight gave Blue a lot of time to think.
As in, about all the different ways he was fucked till
Sunday. Going home to his father's funeral was just the icing
on the cake. And so very convenient.
Convenient enough that he briefly considered the possibility
of a conspiracy between his mother and Roland. Something - anything - to
keep Blue from running away to continue his - now
fruitless - hunt for Santoso and the core leaders of his
organization. His mother, God bless her, was capable of such
deception, and Roland - well, he was a master at games of
manipulation, especially for good causes.
Like keeping his people alive.
Because Dirk & Steele is a family, Blue thought, hearing the
echo of Dela's voice inside his head. All we have are each
Misfits, outcasts - even some pillars of the community - hiding
in plain sight, brought together by an uncommon bond
formed by nothing more than the odd genetic quirk - and an
unbending devotion to helping others. Living lives less
ordinary - off the beaten path inside another world where
telepaths and telekinetics and honest-to-God shape-shifters
rubbed elbows with the mundane. Secret lives standing in line
at the grocery store, at the gas station, sitting on the
toilet in the stall next door, flying in an airplane - this
freaking airplane - concentrating the entire time to prevent
an accident, a short in the system, one tiny glitch that might
send everyone down in a massive ball of flames -
Breathe, Blue told himself, gripping the arms of his seat.
Breathe in, breathe out. Relax. Just ... relax. Your mind knows
what to do. This is nothing. Nothing.
Yeah, and there was nothing like thinking about nothing to
make a person fixate utterly and completely on something.
He was so screwed.
And yet, halfway into the flight, with the lights turned down
low, he finally began to relax. His shields felt strong,
solid and tight, and though he could feel the hum of power
surrounding him like a cocoon, it did not rattle his bones or
buzz his tongue. Everything was quiet inside his head. Safe
and very still.
And feeling very safe, and very still, he began to think,
again, of Santoso Rahardjo. As well as the woman who worked
Blue's gut ached, as did his ribs and right leg. His knee
popped when he straightened it. His left hand was weak. The
backs of his eyes felt odd, which coincided with the
occasional bout of stars bursting in his vision. No
complaints, though. He was still walking, talking, and if he
had his way, he would be doing more than that in no time.
Because even though Dela and Roland had assured him that
someone was going to take over his investigation - that all
his work ferreting out the hierarchy of body parts and money
would not go to waste - Blue was not going to be satisfied
until he was back in the game, danger or no danger.
You're a control freak. A micro-manager. Trust your friends.
They know how to do their jobs.
And if they got hurt? Better him than them. Besides, it
seemed to Blue that despite his miraculous survival, there was
still a big fat target painted on his head. And sooner or
later, someone - probably that blonde - would come and
finish the job.
Stop it, he told himself, digging into the box beside him for
a cookie. Focus on now. What you have to do when you get
Which was all very simple. Heal up, take care of his mother
- if she would let him - and attend a funeral where no one
would know his name.
Easy as pie.
Or not. Because soon after landing in San Francisco and
hobbling through customs, Blue encountered a long row of
mounted television monitors, all of them tuned to CNN, and it
was like watching - in awful visual stereo - one long
eulogy. He did not notice at first - was too busy trying to
act like he wasn't in pain - but through the chatter and
crush of the airport crowd, the background noise crept in. A
woman, with a deep pleasant voice. Blue heard her say the
words "tragic loss," and "a great man," and then, quite
suddenly, there was a name to go with those adjectives, a
memorable name, a name Blue knew as well as his own, because
it was his own.
Felix Perrineau. Dead at the age of seventy. Heart attack in
The lights in the terminal flickered. Blue clamped down hard
on his emotions, fighting himself, but it was too late: sparks
shot from the ceiling fixtures, the electrical sockets,
raining down as people ducked and shouted. Static leapt like
baby lightening bolts from the carpet.
Blue said nothing. His hands curled into fists. He closed
The lights did not go out.
But a moment later, his cell phone began to ring.
* * *
The call was from a stranger, a man who knew his real name.
Blue did not like that, but he agreed to meet the fellow
because he also knew his mother's name - and he had a message
from her In her native language.
The stranger's Farsi was bad, or maybe that was the cell phone
connection, but Blue caught enough and all the worry he felt
for his friends transferred in one gut-wrenching second to his
"Sleep," said the man, his voice cracking, his accent poor.
"Sleep, my son. I wish that sleep come to your eyes and
you'll sleep like a stone in the water."
Words from an ancient lullaby, one that Blue had not heard for
years on end. His mother did not sing anymore. She did not
speak her language. She did not do anything that reminded her
of Kandahar, of Afghanistan. Too much pain. Her sisters had
But if his mother had shared that lullaby with a stranger - a
song he knew meant a great deal to her -
Something's wrong, Blue thought, dialing her home number. And
it sure as hell isn't grief.
She was not at the house. She was not at the law office,
either, and her secretary was no help, confessing only that
Mahasti had been gone for the past several days, away on a
Some emergency. Blue tried her cell phone. No luck there,
Limited options. No time to call in the agency. Damn. What
a time for an ambush.
And if it is Santoso involved? If this really was a ruse?
Time for a fight, then. No holds barred. No misguided ethics
or hesitation. No tricks or subterfuge, either. Blue
gathered up his strength and walked through the airport
terminal. He did not try to slip away without being see - or
better, wait out the man and follow him. Instead, he marched
straight into baggage claim, searching for an older gentleman
wearing a blue suit and purple tie.
Blue found him easily, the man standing out like a diamond in
the rough of straggling airport humanity. Tall, elegant, and
lean - waiting quietly beside carousel one. All easy
strength, easy class, good breeding melting from his pores.
The man's silver hair was thick and full, his jaw set, his
keen eyes a very bright shade of silver. He looked remarkably
like Blue's father.
"You're family," Blue said to him, when he was close enough to
say anything at all. Introductions on his part, he thought,
were completely unnecessary - and somewhat of a relief.
Because maybe Santoso wasn't involved, after all, and this was
just what it seemed to be - a family matter, overdue and
difficult. Nothing Blue needed to kill over. Not yet,
The man did not smile. "My name is Brandon. I'm here to take
you home, Mr. Perrineau."
Mr. Perrineau. Blue could not remember the last time he had
been addressed by his given name. He thought, perhaps, never.
"You can call me Blue," he said cautiously. "That's good
"Good enough," Brandon echoed, mouth crooking upward. "If you
like. Though I can assure you there's no need to hide from
the other. It is your legal name."
"Really." Blue tried not to laugh. "If you spent any time
around my father, Brandon, I think you would understand why it
would be totally ... inappropriate ... for me to take his name."
"Bygones," murmured the man, and pointed toward the double
doors leading out of the airport. "If you don't have any
Blue did not. What he did have was a burning desire to go
home to his apartment and get his gun.
"Where are we going?" he asked, unmoving. "And why would my
mother pass on a message to you, instead of calling me
herself? Where is she?"
"At your father's house." Brandon walked slowly backwards,
towards the exit behind him. "She is safe, she is healthy,
and the only reason she did not call you herself is that she
wanted to make a point. Something that would make you ... sit up
"My mother doesn't need messengers to make me sit up and
listen," Blue replied sharply. "Something else is going on
"Of course," Brandon said. He turned around and walked
through the exit. This time, Blue followed.
* * *
It took them two hours to drive to his father's estate. A
rambling drive, over winding roads that curled and curled into
the mountains. Blue occasionally caught wild glimpses of the
sea, heard the cries of gulls mixing with the rasp of ravens.
The air was sweet. Beyond the confines of the Audi, his mind
encountered only silence.
Brandon did not talk, nor did Blue encourage him. No energy
to waste. His body hurt. He could not stop thinking about
his mother. Santoso was there, too, but more distant. For
the first time since waking up in Malaysia, Blue was ready to
hand the case off to his friends.
"We're close," Brandon finally said. His posture was relaxed,
voice easy and deep. The road ahead of them cut through deep
forest, shrouded from the sun.
"Are you his brother?" Blue asked, because sitting beside
Brandon was like being next to his father, and that was more
disconcerting than he wanted to admit. Even more so than the
sudden spike of electricity buzzing his brain. Close, yes.
"Does it matter?" Brandon replied. "I thought you wanted
nothing to do with the family."
Blue pushed his nails into his palms. "I don't believe I ever
had a choice. I know my mother didn't."
Brandon said nothing. Merely tapped on the brakes, slowing
the car to a crawl until he pulled onto a narrow turn-off that
appeared, quite suddenly, on the far side of a massive cedar.
Blue glimpsed a blinking red light - some laser sensor set in
the ground - and knew that ahead of them, someone had been
alerted to their presence.
"This is your first time here," Brandon said.
"Yes," Blue lied.
Brandon glanced at him, and for a moment Blue wondered if he
knew the truth. But all he said was, "Your mother arrived
several days ago. I promise you, she's safe."
"Safe's not enough," Blue said, unclenching his hands. "She
better be healthy, happy, ready to dance the tango - because
if she's not any of those things, if my father has hurt her,
all of you are fucked and good."
"So little trust?"
"No trust. At all."
Brandon's only response was a grim smile - which Blue did not
find comforting in the slightest.
The house looked the same as he remembered; a mansion made of
logs, some California dream of rustic wonder that had always
caused Blue to speculate how a man like his father - who had
a heart as small and hard as a hollow walnut casing - could
possibly appreciate, or even want to live, in a place of such
wild beauty. The mind boggled.
Men in dark clothing moved along the periphery of the house,
deep in the woods. Blue saw some of them with his own eyes,
but there were others waiting out of sight. They carried
radios, earpieces, tazers; Blue could feel the electrical
currents in his head. He thought about shorting them out, but
held back. Later, maybe.
Brandon parked the car in front of the house. Blue glimpsed
movement behind the windows. He began to open his door, but
Brandon caught his arm and said, "Careful now."
Blue stared at his hand. "I thought this was supposed to be
Brandon released him, but his eyes were hard. "For your
mother," he said, and Blue could not read the terrible emotion
that swept through his face. "But for you? Be careful."
Blue heard the crunch of gravel; Brandon looked away and
quickly got out of the car. Blue stared at his back for one
brief moment, gave up the question on his lips - and,
gritting his teeth, opened up his own door to follow. His
knee popped; the entire right side of his body felt stiff.
His confinement to the plane - and the car - had not done
him any favors. He tried not to hobble.
A security guard stood nearby, rifle in hand, a pistol
strapped to his side. Blue thought about shattering the man's
eardrum - one high voltage shock from the radio device in his
ear would do it - but again, control won out. Caution, being
prudent. Timing was everything.
Brandon gestured to Blue, and together, the two of them walked
up to the house. The front doors - carved and embedded with
stained glass - opened wide as they neared. Inside, shadows,
the outline of hard wood furniture. No lights. The curtains
were drawn. Blue caught the edge of movement, and a woman
stepped into the light.
"Mom," Blue said, and his relief was nothing less than a
sucker punch. He forced himself to breathe.
"Felix," she said. Her voice was soft but firm, no sign of
fear or weakness. She wore a dark gray gabardine suit,
closely tailored to her full figure. Her thick black hair - courtesy
of a good dye job - curled in smooth waves to her
shoulders, framing a round face that might have been sweet if
her eyes had been as soft as her body. Instead, here gaze was
black, sharp, narrow - closer to an eagle than a dove - and
Blue did not miss the shadows in her gaze, the appearance of a
new wrinkle in her forehead.
Mahasti glanced at Brandon. "Did you explain anything to
"Of course not," he replied. "It wasn't my place."
"Not your place," she echoed sarcastically, and shook her
head. She held out her hand to Blue. "Come here. Let me
look at you. Your employer said there was an accident."
"Mom," he said firmly, ignoring her scrutiny. "What's going
"Your father," she said, and the disgust in her voice was
profound. "Your father and his tricks."
"He's dead," Blue said, searching her face. "Tricks are for
Brandon stepped past them and entered the house. The moment
he disappeared around the door, Blue moved in close and
grabbed his mother's shoulders. She was a short woman; he had
to bend over to peer into her eyes.
"We can leave right now," he told her quietly. "Say the word
and we're out of here. No one will be able to stop us."
"Ever the optimist," she murmured, looking away. "I am so
sorry, Felix. So very sorry. If it was just myself involved,
I would never have allowed this to go so far. Would never
have agreed to anything. But it is not just me, and I
cannot ... I cannot find a way out. Not this time."
Excerpted from Eye of Heaven
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.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The detective agency facade Dirk & Steele uses to cover its more unusual activities seems to be cracking. Dirk & Steele agent, electrokinetic Blue, in Jakarta on the trail of a flesh-peddling, illegal organ dealer, discovers this the hard way -- at the wrong end of a bomb. Barely recovered, and with his cover blown, he's recalled to the States when his estranged father, international philanthropist Felix Parrineau, dies. But when more than his father's death is a lie, Blue is blackmailed into a desperate mission -- retrieve the brother he didn't know he had, or see Dirk & Steele exposed and his mother deported. The track leads him to Las Vegas and the biggest gamble of his life.Iris McGillis has a second skin. Golden eyes, and her rapport with the big cats in her circus act have made her a star in Las Vegas, but she's much rather be roaming the wide empty spaces as the leopard that hides within her. When ecoterrorists attack her lions and a sniper takes a shot at her, a stranger knocks her to the ground, saving her life. The man's name is Blue, and he has a secret, too.Liu's fifth go-round is still solid. She excels at creating characters that aren't simply cookie-cutter versions of earlier players, as well as at taking slightly tired plots and making them sing. This one falls a bit short: it wasn't quite as riveting, but was still a great read.
After being disappointed with her last book, The Red Heart of Jade, I was hesitant about reading this one, but it turned out to be a very good read. This is the next book in the Dirk & Steele series about a paranormal detective agency whose members have special powers, i.e. telekinetics, psychic healer, empathics, shapeshifters, etc. TRHoJ had a convoluted plot and not much romance. But in EoH the romance was front and center.Blue Perrineau is a electrokinetic (he feels electric currents and can stop them at will) who works for the agency and is blackmailed by his father into looking for his half brother. I never really bought this plot device but whatever. He tracks his brother down at a circus act working in Las Vegas. There he meets Iris McGillis a performer who he instantly realizes is a shapeshifter. Iris thinks she is alone in the world after losing her mother. But she has her lions. There is an instant attraction between them that sizzles the pages but they don't actually get together (for sex) until almost the end of the book which was rather disappointing. Isn't there a rule that the H/H have to have sex by the middle of the book? Okay, if there isn't, there should be because I was losing interest and thought about skimming ahead. The sex was quite good when they got around to it. The plot was much tighter than Red Heart of Jade but it had plenty of action and overall I enjoyed it as much as Tiger Eye. (Grade: B+)
As good as always
I love this series and it keeps getting better. I loved Blue in the first book and now we get to see his story. The action is great in these books and so is the romance. I really recommend you pick this up. This story is a stand alone but i would suggest you start at the beginning with Tiger Eye. You won't regret it.
Am enjoying this author's series. Plan to finish the Dirk & Steele Series and check out some of the others. Easy reads. Love that the good guys win!!! Marjorie Liu doesn't disappoint!!!
Great series-read the first one and decided I had to have the rest of the series. They continued to be great.
Enjoyed the characters a lot. If you like the other Dirk & Steele novels you will love this one.