Five star reviews on Amazon, and Night Owl Romance rates it a 4, if you haven't checked it out already, settle in with a novel that gives you a complex plot with mixed genres.
OUT OF THE PAST is a paranormal thriller that is part historical and part modern day. The first reviewer stated: "Out of the Past is a crime-mystery, a thriller, a romance—intensely sensual, interweaving 1880's
London with present day in a heady blend of carefully constructed scenes and a cast of characters that bring the story to life with an undeniable authenticity. This is a tale that will satisfy on many levels. I heartily recommend it for your 'must read' list. Well done, Denysé Bridger." Toronto
OUT OF THE PAST
Cover by: Kayden McLeod
A series of killings has the Toronto Police Department in turmoil. The press has labelled the killer a “werewolf” and hysteria is on the rise in the heat of the summer… Detective Damien Knightley is the lead investigator, but he’s got secrets of his own that need guarding in this very public investigation. Knightley is a vampire, and as the case gets more complex, what he discovers has him both baffled and worried.
In the Northern Ontario town of
, a visionary woman finds a stranger
outside her door, and because he’s near death she brings him into her home. In
the wake of her kindness, dreams and visions expose things that terrify her. The
stranger is a wolf, and history is about to repeat itself and explode in violent
death if they can’t reach Brighton and capture a renegade on a
As Damien recalls a love from a century ago, the threads of time are being pulled together, joining the past and the present. The beautiful woman he is falling in love with is bringing back memories he’d rather forget, and when the killer is finally revealed, there are more questions than answers in the identity…
The flames rose, blindingly intense, searing away the last vestiges of reality. Somewhere inside her, Shanna Blackthorne felt a scream of terror begin. Her hands moved, sluggishly, as though through mud, until they reached her face. She wanted to obliterate the inferno that raged before her, but it refused to be extinguished so easily. She gulped air into desperate, struggling lungs, but only the hot, dry fire poured into her body.
The scream escaped.
There was no one to hear it.
Pain exploded within her, but in its wake was clarity. She writhed, whimpered weakly, and shook her head in denial of what unfolded before objecting eyes...
Fog shrouded the night, curling, mist-like tentacles that floated above the street in search of human warmth. Despite the relative earliness of the hour, the normally busy roads were eerily quiet. Only the occasional burst of noise from an opening door gave evidence to the teeming life of the vast city. Outside the noisy pubs, a lone figure prowled the streets.
He watched, and waited. Patience was a familiar imposition, but it ended well, usually.
Tonight would be no different.
He picked one of the oldest dives in the vicinity, a place he knew well. He also knew most of the women who frequented the establishment. He had long ago decided he preferred the sweetness of feminine flesh to males. There was one lady in particular that he had wanted to get close to, but she had always eluded him. It was the eve of a new year tonight, and he decided it would begin with her company.
He didn't have to wait long, but she emerged from the tavern with another man in tow. Furious, he followed.
He hesitated as he watched the couple from the mouth of a darkened alley. They were less than a block from the Britannia, a public house located at the North corner of
Street and Dorset Street. He'd witnessed the customary
exchange of coin, and could clearly hear the sounds of the whore's business
being carried out. The chill of December didn't reach him as he continued to
hover, torn between his anger and the fury of his lust. He could have had his
pick tonight, but he had chosen this one. She had always disappointed him, of
course. The entire great city was in a drunken Holiday stupor.
The scents of sex and sweat teased his senses and he felt another, stronger pang of hunger deep within him.
He stepped into the alley and approached the couple in complete silence. She knew he was there, he realized a moment later when her liquor-brightened eyes pierced the shadows and found him in the darkness. His heartbeat quickened, he heard his own sharp intake of breath, felt the rapid pulse he'd learned to associate with fear and excitement. Her customer quickly pulled himself together and stumbled off without a backward glance. The passage of time held hunter and prey motionless, clear blue eyes locked with glassy hazel. When she held out her hand to him, he stepped toward her.
"You're not like the others, are you?" she questioned in a slurred voice.
There was still enough awareness to make him pause. He took her chin in his hand and tilted her head so he could look more closely at her. She was very young, especially for life in Whitechapel. She was not overly pretty. Before long she would be like so many of the women who populated this area, aged by the harshness of a life that meant little to any of them.
"What's your name?" He pretended not to know as he kept his tone a gentle, compassionate whisper.
"They call me Emma, my lord," she grinned, the expression exposed rotting teeth and foul breath. He might have been wrong about her age, he realized distantly. She straightened her clothes and inched closer to him. Here was a handsome young lord, and if she played this right, she might be rewarded richly for her trouble.
"Do they?" He smiled, imagined he could hear the shift of her thoughts as she contemplated her chances of successfully robbing him. Still smiling, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold coin. Her eyes fastened on the proffered money, greed easily read past the haze of alcohol. When she snatched the coin from his hand, he pressed her back against the cold brick of the building.
Emma's spurt of laughter was abruptly silenced when her head was yanked to one side. The snap of bones was audible, followed by a groan of pain. Then the only murmur that could be heard in the blackness was the soft maddened laughter of pleasure as his teeth tore her flesh from her bones...
"No... Dear God! Enough... please?"
Shanna wept bitterly, disoriented and horrified by the latest dream/vision. The savage inner conflagration had receded, replaced by the reality of the tiny blaze in the ancient stone fireplace that dominated her small living room. There was little comfort in the awareness that what she had seen was very old. The agony of the killer still twisted around her heart, chilled her despite the heat that emanated from the hearth. This was simply the latest in a long line of dreams that had brought unbearable terror into her life. She'd heard about the others, those that were not ancient deaths, but happening now, and with each murder came the fear that she might have stopped it. The reasonable part of her mind knew better, of course, she never saw a death before it occurred, but that did not make it easier to witness people being destroyed. She cringed, tried to escape the rest of the thought, failed. She could still feel the flesh being torn from fragile bones, muscle and sinew shredding like paper in the hands of a killer that was more monster than man.
She forced herself to her feet, and walked into the lovely, old-fashioned kitchen. As she went through the ritual of making tea, she made herself recall every detail of the murder she had been forced to witness and feel. Within the heart of the killer was a conflict as old as the latest vision itself.
Pain, coupled with deeply repressed fears. The mind of this killer was not mayhem and madness, despite the obvious appearances. She sensed agony, and loneliness, and confusion. Like an empath, she absorbed the emotions, made them part of herself, and cried softly without truly being conscious she did so. Shanna had known isolation and ridicule in her own life, knew what the scorn and contempt of others could drive someone to, if they didn't learn to draw on inner strengths.
She pulled her lacy shawl closer to her, huddled against its illusory warmth. Long waves of auburn hair fell to her waist, and she swept the heavy fall back in a gesture as natural as breathing. The whistle of the kettle drew her wandering attention back to mundane tasks, and she finished her chore automatically.
A short while later, curled before the fire once again, Shanna shivered. Her gaze flew to the door of her cottage- style home, and the sound of a low, anguished howl wrenched at her soul. Pure, raw agony flooded her body, and with it came a terror stronger than anything she had ever before known.