- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 792 KB
- Print Length: 118 pages
- Publisher: Avon (13 Mar. 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006FO85VG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #425,920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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A Dream of Stone & Shadow: A Dirk & Steele Novella Kindle Edition
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Aggie is on assignment investigating a missing child, when all ties lead back to a kiddie porn ring. But Aggie has help in the way of a beautiful voice who directs her to a young girl who has been abducted by a group of sexual predators. Only this disembodied voice seems to know exactly what Aggie is missing in her life. Not only he is able to communicate psychically, but he is able to touch her body and make her feel alive from over 3000 miles away.
Charlie is a gargoyle who, along with his two brothers, has been trapped and imprisoned by a powerful witch who seems to take pleasure in torturing his all too human body of flesh and blood. And when the pain and torture become too much death is the ultimate goal- Charlie’s mind disengages and seeks refuge elsewhere. But on one of his many journeys, Charlie discovers a frightened young girl who is the victim of sexual abuse. Only Charlie has no way to help. As a disembodied spirit, he is unable to physically aid the young girl, but his presence is soothes the child. But Charlie soon finds Aggie Durand, and along with her partners at Dirk and Steele, they uncover a kiddie porn ring run by a mother and her son.
Charlie and Aggie’s relationship becomes physical when Charlie is able to ‘touch’ Aggie in ways she has not been touched in a long time. In order to ‘touch’ Aggie, Charlie must make sacrifices that cost him his life over and over, but it will be Aggie’s ultimate sacrifice that will save Charlie and his brothers.
A DREAM OF STONE AND SHADOW is a short story approximately 8 chapters in length. It is a quick read with the usual Dirk and Steele cast of characters, as well as a few gargoyles thrown into the mix. A great storyline and another wonderful addition to Marjorie’s D&S series.
Geez, it starts out so exciting with lots of action, ramming cars, shooting out tires, and then we learn why Aggie and Quinn are after these people. That's one thing. Then to see Rujul and what he's been freed from…
Our introduction to Charlie is less action-oriented and not quite as gruesome, as long as you don't mind a touch of the Hannibal Lecter and his food choices.
Interesting angle on the purpose of gargoyles, and so sad about their reasons for stopping. I guess you can only take so many centuries of ingratitude and being hunted down before you withdraw.
"I can't believe this. I just had a public orgy with a disembodied gargoyle."
Damn, the witch catches Charlie, but she does raise an interesting idea. One I don't like, but it does make sense of why some people are so incredibly, horribly cruel and vicious.
"My father once said that it's our inability to change the past that helps us make better futures."
It's not one of Liu's best, but it does make my heart go pitter-pat with its big-hearted people and their determination. It's almost cozy in spite of what Aggie and Quinn are hunting, and it's that stony gargoyle who makes it so cozy.
"Hearts go blind. … it takes courage to help others."
Dirk & Steele are focusing on child porn rings, and Agatha and Quinn have been on a stake-out for an expected meeting. The aftermath has Roland demanding that they take a break. Have sex with each other. Quinn reckons he’s cool with that…
But Aggie’s passion finds a different outlet, pulling Charlie to her — she’s what he needs to free Emma.
Aggie Durand is a pre-cog and can see the future, and it's not always pretty. Her parents live in a small town in Idaho where Dad is a lawyer.
Quinn Dougal is telekinetic and a crack shot. He's also Aggie's partner at Dirk & Steele.
Dirk & Steele is…
…a private detective agency of supernatural people whose focus is on doing good. Roland Dirk is the boss, a clairvoyant with the ability to read your mind over the phone. Dean; Koni; Amiri, a shapeshifting cheetah from Kenya; and, Rik are more of them.
Charlie and his three brothers are gargoyles imprisoned by a witch. Gargoyles were created to be demon hunters back at the dawn of humans.
Emma is the ten-year-old the Kreers are currently abusing. Rujul is the twelve-year-old they rescue.
Special Agent Warwick was in on the Yarns bust, and he shows up later as well.
David Yarns is an international child smuggler and films pornographic video with children.
Mrs. Kreer and her son, Andrew, are pillars of the community. They also kill mothers and kidnap their children to use them in child pornography. Sarah??
The cover is shades of blue as a dream-like landscape of a stone domed folly reached via a flight of stone stairs flanked by a stone balustrade and urns as newel posts reach up to another urn on a plinth. Fog shrouds the ground and rises up to reach the full moon, a raven waiting, perched on a stone railing that surrounds the folly. Pink pushes the title and author's name to the fore.
The title is what Charlie is, "A Dream of Stone & Shadow".
The plot tackles an extremely dark subject - child pornography - and if this is a trigger for you, stay away from this book. It gets a bit explicit, and I wish it hadn't (just for my own comfort zone), but it definitely establishes two characters as depraved villains. And then there is the witch - truly vile (cannibalism here - also not pleasant). But at the end, she meets her finale with utter satisfaction for the reader - a real bucket of water over the head moment). Not sure exactly the how of it was accomplished, but who cares - it felt good to read! The book was riveting. There is relative insta-love between Aggie and Charlie (who is essentially perfect, more perfect than most heroes in paranormal, but I really liked him, so that was OK). Only one slightly graphic sex scene (which is a departure for most of the paranormal written today) but another caution - interspecies sex. But since gargoyles aren't real, hey, why not?
Ignore the cover - it's kind of cheesy looking and has absolutely nothing to do with the book - and pick it up. Devour it. If you like paranormal that is dark and gritty, with some romance thrown in, you will love this.
Now this was a fantastic read. I totally ate this up because it stayed exciting and interesting through out the whole book, not one dull moment.
I loved Charlie the Gargoyle, though he was immortal, he could kill him self and while his body was regenerating his soul could travel and converse with others in spirit form. He was so caring and passionate about helping others and my heart just melted because he would intentionally kill himself so his soul could travel to be with a little girl named Emma who was kidnapped and who was being sexually abused. He wanted to help her get out of her situation and he did.
I loved Aggie too, she was so fierce and full of action, she had a special gift of seeing the future and it saved her life and her friends lives many times when they were in hot persuit and in the line of fire. Aggie was passionate as well and the author did a great job of matching Aggie up with Charlie.
The story was so awesome catching the sex offenders and putting them behind bars. The ending was so unique and heartfelt, I didn't want it to end.
The story is a tough one to feel good about liking because it is such an awful subject, but I suppose that is what makes Aggie and Charlie the heroes they are to the little girl. It is not terribly graphic and in my opinion that is why I was able to read and enjoy it.
Liu's use of paranormal characters is inspiring. She also told a likable love story with a couple that can truly appreciate one another.