07 January 2017

KISS OF DARKNESS (Silhouette Shadows No. 32)


Synopsis from Goodreads: Adrian Smith's latest orders tore at a conscience that shouldn't exist, pricked a heart that was his curse. But he'd made his deal with Death centuries ago, and now he had to do Its bidding. He would kill the scientist who was on the brink of prolonging human life; then he would return to his own private hell...

Adrian had expected his prey to be an old man whose time was near, but instead, he found himself preparing to harm a beautiful young woman, bursting with life. Yet Adrian could no sooner murder Sue Cooper than he could hope to fight Death and Its agents of evil when they came to do the job themselves...

Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, Silhouette Books, 1994.

How acquired: Given to me by a neighbor many years ago.

My thoughts:  I was unfamiliar with Silhouette Shadows when I picked up this book to read, and partway through my curiosity got the better of me and I looked up the line. It seems to have had a limited run, from March 1993 to March 1996, with only 66 titles. Some familiar authors and some I'd not heard of. 

Five hundred years ago Adrian lay wounded on a battleground, where he was approached by Death, who offered him immortality in exchange for enslavement. In agonizing pain, Adrian accepted. Since then he has lived his undead life mostly in isolation, leaving his solitary hut only to do Death's bidding.

Sue is a scientist on the brink of a breakthrough in her latest research project, looking for a way to extend the human lifespan. Death does not want her project to succeed, so he orders Adrian to kill her. But of course, once Adrian meets her, he is loathe to take her life.

The story has a different take on vampirism, which was interesting, and not what it seemed in the end. One of Adrian's abilities is to ward. At Sue's apartment, he places magical wards on the door and windows, to keep anyone else out. The description of him doing so is always vague:
After locking it, she saw him step back and make a few movements with his hands.

The next morning, while Adrian is asleep, Sue sneaks out of the apartment. How did she get past his wards you ask? Quite simply:
She set down her bag and tried to imitate in reverse exactly what she had seen Adrian do last night. After two attempts, she heard a soft hum and then a click. When she tried the door again, it opened readily.

I don't know why but this really bothered me. She is a human, with no magical powers or abilities. Yet by simply imitating the hand movements Adrian did, she can turn his wards off and on. It just didn't make sense to me. As silly as this sounds, given the paranormal nature of the book, it just wasn't believable.

This book was not great. It was like one of those corny old B movies. Yet I enjoyed it so much that I feel the need to search for more Silhouette Shadows. 

Click here if you'd like to explore the line yourself. 

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