Once a heart is lost in shadow…Life has been anything but kind to Mary Chase. But the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals has given her purpose. Now she's been tasked with catching a vicious murderer dubbed the Bishop of Charing Cross. But someone is already on the case - and the last thing he relishes is a partner. Only someone who lives in darkness can find it. Jack Talent has been alone with his demons for many years. He never expected to have the willful Mary Chase assist him on the Bishop case. Their age-old rivalry reaches new heights - even as their desire for one another reaches a fever pitch. Though he aches to bring her close, Jack's dark secrets are a chasm between them. With dangerous enemies closing in, Jack must find the strength to face the past…or risk losing Mary forever.
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Shadowdance has all the right ingredients for me to truly enjoy, the continuation of a wonderful series, historical setting, a bit of Steampunk, amazing sex scenes, mystery and danger. I have loved this series from the first book, Firelight and look forward to continuing the series to see what adventure is next for our Supernaturals.
Jack Talent is the enigmatic shifter who worked for Ian Ranulf at one time but now is a Regulator for the SOS, a Supernatural organization. He is investigating the mysterious deaths of several demons and to add to his troubles, Mary Chase is assigned as his new partner.
Mary is a GIM, Ghost in a Machine, a supernatural being that has been given a new life with a mechanical heart. GIM’s are some of the best spies in London as they can travel outside their bodies without detection. There are trust issues between the two, they have known each other for several years and Jack has always treated her with distain, she usually keeps her distance because she is unsure why he seems to hate her, until now.
As they delve deeper in the mystery of the murders and find more sinister beings, the two fight the attraction between them, Jack is so mean and nasty that Mary just wants to throttle him, but she knows what he is going through since she is the one that found him two years ago after demons tortured him and knows that his pain is so raw, she can hardly blame him. Things are about to disintegrate and they are both in the middle of the inferno.
All I can say is wow, as usual, this series is amazing. Ms. Callihan has outdone herself as we immerse ourselves in the historical world of a slightly different London. This world has special gadgets and interesting species that are both fascinating and terrifying. The beginning of the story is slow as we explore the world Ms. Callihan has created; she builds the tension between Jack and Mary as well as the danger of the serial killer and a possible imitator. The chemistry between Jack and Mary sizzles, as the love/hate relationship threatens to explode, taking everything in its path. The banter between them is witty and intellectual as the two are forced to work together even though they do not trust each other, they both hold on to many secrets. I love the tortured hero, and Jack is a true tortured soul that is done well.
The pace of the story picks up with the increased danger. We have unknown assailants, kidnapped scientist, gruesome demons in mechanical bodies and trust issues, what more do we need? The writing is well done as you imagine yourself walking down the streets of London and the portrayal of both Jack and Mary and the secondary characters is intriguing and ingenious. I love that many of those featured in previous books are here to help and we get to meet new and interesting people that will be in the next book.
Shadowdance is book four in the Darkest London series and since this is a different world, there is a lot of world building. I do believe you can read this as a standalone, the author revisits major developments that help with understanding, but the first three books are so good that I recommend listening to them all. I am excited to see that the next book will feature Holly Evernight and her scientific mind, oh the adventures that will ensue.
Moira Quirk is a favourite of mine and she did not dissapoint with this book. She was outstanding with the delivery of the story.
- Lia "I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!"
Setting 1880's England This the 4th in The Darkest London series, and the best so far. Yes, there is at least one that hangs from this one that comes out in 2014. There wasn't too much foreshadowing of this book in book 3, but the characters were there. In fact, the hero has been a secondary figure since book 2, and it's nice for him to get his own book at last. The hero is one of those dark brooding types. He had a seriously horrible past he has never dealt with fully, and a more recent incident that tortures his soul. I guess they don't have psychiatrists in that world. Oops, sorry for the levity, but there isn't much in the entire series, though the dialog can be entertaining. Anyway, back to the hero. He's a beautifully handsome shapeshifter who works for the paranormal Society for the Suppression of the Supernatural. It's a regulatory agency that keeps "normal" people from knowing about the supernatural world. He has secrets in his past he doesn't want known, especially by the heroine. The heroine is a GIM, which stands for ghost in the machine. Kind of convoluted. Listen to the books for an explanation. She is quite beautiful, and until recently, she was apparently the lover of Lucien, who creates the GIMs. Now she works for the agency. She has secrets as well that she doesn't want anyone to know. So, the heroine has just been assigned to work with the hero and is he ever ticked off! Their relationship is cold at best, and downright nasty at worst. But he has not had success in finding a serial killer, though he has the best record of any regulator in the agency. Their supervisor feels he needs assistance. So the plot revolves around their hunt for the killer. And their relationship. I don't know the time frame in how long has passed between books, because I'm terrible about paying attention to that kind of thing, but I do know that 3 and 4 are immediately sequential. One of the reasons I liked this book best is the push-pull, hot-cold in the relationship. The mystery isn't difficult to solve. Well, part of the mystery. Anyway, the evolution of the relationship as well as the personal growth of the characters was what kept me listening. And Moira Quirk. She is so very good.