"The Red Heart of Jade" is the 3rd instalment in MML's paranormal romance series; "Dirk & Steele", a detective agency which employs very unusual people to tackle even more unusual crimes. Dean Campbell, a clairvoyant who has cropped up in both "Tiger Eye" and "Shadow Touch" finally takes a leading role in "The Red Heart of Jade" and finds himself drawn into a world of magic whilst investigating gruesome murders occurring in Taiwan.
We learn the Dean grew up with a close friend, Mirabelle (Miri) Lee, a young woman he fell in love with, only to watch her die from a gunshot wound at the age of 16. Badly hurt himself in the attack, for many years after the incident Dean found himself using his gift to try and track Mirabelle; only to find no trace of her. Now chasing a psychopathic murderer, a being who just happens to be a shape shifting dragon, he finds a photo of the killer's next target; Dr Mirabelle Lee.
Discovering Mirabelle is alive proves shattering for Dean, a woman he believed died in his arms 20 years ago, yet for the first time he momentarily finds a trace of her and is just in time to stop her being snatched by Robert, an immortal being hired to kidnap her. Only that morning Mirabelle extracted a mysterious piece of red jade from the mummified remains of a woman, yet it appears this gem houses significant power, a power someone is willing to kill for.
On the run from the dragon shape shifter and Robert, Miri too tries to comprehend that Dean is alive. Having been resuscitated in an ambulance following the attack, she firmly believed she saw Dean die too; however his appearance is somewhat easier to deal with than immortal mercenaries, powerful ancient magic and an assortment of shape shifters, some of whom want to kill her although she has no idea why.
I cannot find fault with this author at all; this is another fantastic paranormal romance from MML, with enough action and mystery to thoroughly grip the reader from the first page. The passion between Dean and Miri positively sizzles and the dangers they face whilst trying to stay alive against some formidable enemies creates an exciting and enthralling read. I now eagerly await further stories in the Dirk & Steele series; "A Dream of Stone & Shadows" will appear in the anthology "Dark Dreamers", due for pub. Sept 06, and the story of Blue, the electrokinetic who made a brief appearance in "Shadow Touch will be told in "Eye of Heaven", due for pub. Dec 06. I can't wait for either.