Shadow Touch (Dirk & Steele Series #2)

Shadow Touch (Dirk & Steele Series #2)

by Marjorie M. Liu

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062013620
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/08/2010
Series: Dirk & Steele Series , #2
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 133,029
File size: 2 MB

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

Shadow Touch

By Marjorie M. Liu

Dorchester Publishing

Copyright © 2004 Dorchester Publishing
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-505-52630-1

Chapter One

Shortly before being shot in the back with a tranquilizer dart and dumped half-dazed on a stretcher, right before being stolen from the hospital by silent men in white coats, Elena Baxter stood at the end of a dying child's bed, her hand on a small bare foot, and attempted to perform a miracle.

She was good at miracles. She had been practicing them for her entire life, and at twenty-eight years of age, had become quite proficient at the art of doing Strange and Wonderful Things.

The child's name was Olivia McCoy. Eight years old, with a large brain tumor swelling against her skull. Conventional treatments had only delayed the inevitable and likely worsened the quality of Olivia's end, and yet, unable to let go, Mr. and Mrs. McCoy had brought their daughter to the Milwaukee Children's Hospital for one last stand. The hospital had a good reputation for healing childhood cancer, and while the doctors frequently patted themselves on the back for their successes, their triumph was tainted by uneasiness. They did not know why all the children in their ward inevitably recovered. The statistics simply did not allow for such a confluence of miracle.

Elena, a simple unpaid volunteer inside the hospital, was not so surprised.

Today she was delivering stool samples and plasma, running from one department to the next, taking the calls of the nurses who needed charts delivered, patients transferred, messes cleaned. Flowers had to be delivered from the gift shop, cards signed by forgetful and not-so-loved-ones. Kind words needed to be said to the dying, hands held for just moments, to give comfort. The patients, young and old, liked Elena. She made people feel good, even if they did not know why.

The nurses and doctors knew this, and as Elena had anticipated, allowed her some freedom of movement. She could go into patient rooms and sit for a while, unattended. The children liked to be read to, especially when their parents had to leave for work or run errands or sleep. Olivia, for example, enjoyed hearing about the old woman who named things, or the story about a kitten with a big meow. Elena thought she was a very sweet girl.

Which was why, with the books piled on the bed stand and Olivia fast asleep, Elena decided it was time for a little miracle. It was clear to her, based on experience, careful eavesdropping, and sneak peaks at Olivia's charts, that the treatments were not working and the girl would be dead in a week. With children, unlike adults, Elena could not bring herself to perform triage. Every life needed to be saved.

Olivia's foot was cold. Poor wasted body. She slept uncomfortably, with the pale exhaustion of the dying: a shallow rest, as though in her mind she knew the end was near, and was afraid of never waking up again. Cancer always put a bad taste in Elena's mouth; like an unripe persimmon, shriveling the insides of her cheeks. No other disease caused quite the same reaction. Elena held on to the little girl's foot, and through that contact entered her dying body. Olivia's spirit felt older than her years: like a mummy, dry and brittle.

Elena, drifting like a ghost inside Olivia, played her game of possession. Breathed for the girl an image of health, coaxing and prodding, a gentle heal yourself, bury it down, because Olivia already had everything she needed: protective mechanisms that made it possible for any human to spontaneously regress even the most malignant of tumors. Natural human capabilities were a wondrous thing, but only if the body woke long enough to use them. Elena was very good at waking people up.

It took some time. Olivia's body was stubborn. Eventually, though, Elena felt the response: a subtle twist, a gathering of strength around the cancer in the child's brain. Little teeth, gnawing away at the tumor. No more swelling, after today. The girl would live longer than a week, longer than two, and in three, after exceeding everyone's expectations, after the death watch had grown tiresome, the doctors would perform another scan and discover the dying tumor, the healing brain, the happy child.

Elena fled back to her body. Sounds returned: the nurses, chattering softly in the hall outside Olivia's room, the click and beep of essential instruments, the squeal of stretcher wheels. She imagined the girl looked better already. There was pink in her cheeks.

Elena never heard the men enter the room. She felt pain between her shoulder blades, had a moment to think that was strange because she was always careful on the farm and rarely pulled a muscle, and then she started falling and it was impossible to stop, to hold on, to keep upright.

Hands caught her. Rough hands, strong, lifting her off the ground. Her throat felt paralyzed. She saw white coats, hard eyes.

Oh, no, she thought, lucid enough to feel fear. They finally found me.

Elena was carried away.


Excerpted from Shadow Touch by Marjorie M. Liu Copyright © 2004 by Dorchester Publishing. 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

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Shadow Touch 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 141 reviews.
KayTeeL More than 1 year ago
I started this series with the first book (think it was a Free Friday offering) and plan to read the series. Good writing and very few typos.
dkivisto More than 1 year ago
Great series-read the first one and decided I had to have the rest of the series.
bratkat1976 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is the second in a series but the book easily stands alone. Liu retraces just enough back story from the first book to make sense but does not take up too much time doing so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is definitely my favorite in the series. I love Artur and Elena. The romance is sizzling and the action is non-stop. All the characters introduced in this book are great. If you love paranormal romance and urban fantasy I recommend you read this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She is very good at developing the characters and weaving a plot. Hard to put down once you start.
billcain More than 1 year ago
You get to meet some new people in this one and will grow to love or hate them as in the the novel
1Christian More than 1 year ago
The story line is great. Ms. Liu has a wonderful way with words, and creates the mood well. I would give it 5 stars for that, but for the foul language and explicit sex, which ruined the book for me, I would give it no stars at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was drawn into this series after reading the first book. This one however, took a very dark turn for me. It is still well written and draws you in but I found the first half of the book disturbing. Artur is kidnapped and taken to Russia to a lab facility where they're doing lab tests and torturing gifted people. An evil woman in charge craves power and answers by planting a worm in their brains to get them to follow the dark side. The story brings in a gifted healer and two other shape shifters that pull together to escape and run for their lives. I'm sure most readers may find this book engulfing and it keeps you on the edge of your seat but it was just a bit too dark for me. I still give it a high rating because it is well written with an enormous amount of imagination so my rating is more on the talent of this author rather than this single story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is riveting and so well written. You will not be disappointed if you are looking for a book that keeps you interested from cover to cover. Shadow Touch will touch all of your emotions, fear, compassion, love and so much more. Marjorie Liu does not disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as good as the first. Rather odd in fact.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the series that started with Tiger Eye. 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.
reneebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dirk & Steele agent Artur Loginov is an empath who can sense a person's emotions and memories by touching them or an object they have touched. He is a very damaged man with a dark, ugly past as a former member of the Russian mob and is now using his talents to help rather than harm others.Elena is a psychic healer who can get inside the minds of injured or sick patients to help them use their own mental powers to heal themselves.Both Elena and Arthur come to the attention of an evil organization called The Consortium that intends to use people with these special skills for their own dastardly purposes. So Elena and Arthur are drugged and kidnapped (separately) and taken to an underground prison to be brainwashed into using their skills for evil.The story was riveting and I finished it in one sitting. I'm a bit squeamish about blood and torture and I didn't care for some of the torture that was described. I also thought the prison scenes which went on until about the midway point took up too much of the book. During this time the reader doesn't knows were they are being held and I kept wondering 'where the hell are they?' And the identity of their jailers was also kept from the reader. All was revealed very slowly and made for a captivating and sometimes frustrating read. Artur and Elena meet in the hallway of their prison and make a psychic connection. Eventually they escape together with the help of some shapeshifters and that's when the action intensifies. Unfortunately, the suspense and intrigue overwhelm the romance which took a back burner, but it was still enjoyable with some hot sexual tension and steamy love scenes. (Grade: B)
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Elena Baxter has magic hands, she can heal with them. She works as an unpaid volunteer in a hospital helping those who are very ill, getting no praise other than for her patience and dedication to her cause. She doesn't understand what she does and feels lost.Artur Loginov can see what has happened, making him useful on crime scenes. He works for Dirk & Steele helping with cases.The two of them are kidnapped by the Consortium, to be tested and broken for their cause or to die while being experimented on. The Consortium don't care about their people except as tools and don't want thinking from their staff, they just want obedience.It's an interesting read and the two main characters are well drawn. I look forward to more stories to learn more about this world.
imayb1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the big-picture view, the story is about a goodly paranormal investigation agency, Dirk and Steele, vs. a less-moralistic up-and-coming rival agency. On a character-level, there is a love story between Artur, a psychometrist, and Elena, a psychic healer. In between, there are interesting heroes and villians, murders, mysteries, kidnappings, and social and political machinations, all in a well-written, tightly-wrapped plot. Don't judge this book by its cover; it's much more than just another romance novel.
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