Beyond the Pale


Dark Nights, Dark Dreams
by Savannah Russe
(Signet Eclipse, $6.99, R) ISBN 978-0-451-22566-5
Dark Nights, Dark Dreams by Savannah Russe is an action-packed suspense story with a hot leading couple and plenty of twists and turns.

Sam Chase is a foreign agent stationed in Baghdad, hoping for a transfer to Paris.  Baghdad has been hot, threatening and dangerous. Sam has only been able to stay alive because of the voice in her head that warns her when trouble is coming, and the visions of violence she sees when the trouble is happening nearby. Sam has had these visions since she was a child, and her mother explained to her then that this ran in the family. Her mother also told her that she was to pay attention to the voice, and also to keep the family secret. Sam has kept quiet about her ability since, and listened carefully to the voice that has saved her life.

Suddenly, Sam receives a transfer - but not to Paris. She is being transferred to Virginia to join AngelWay, a psychic detective foursome who will investigate handpicked cases.  The case that they will begin with is the grave robbing of an important soldier. Sam meets her new partners, and they are to reside in Sam’s childhood home together while they work together. There is Rina, a voodoo priestess; Frankie, a witch; and Aurora, a medium who can locate people and objects, and who has just been released from prison.

Sam is also partnered with Lance “Bear” Rutledge, a hard-nosed forensic investigator who doesn’t believe in psychics or the supernatural. Sam and Bear have immediate chemistry, despite their very different backgrounds. 

The case becomes scary, twisted and dangerous very quickly and Sam and Bear are soon trying to follow leads while not getting killed. It becomes clear that they are dealing with supernatural villains, but Bear refuses to believe it. Sam tries to explain what is happening while trying to keep her own secrets from Bear. As they depend on one another for survival, they try and fail to fight their mutual attraction. The case takes on a life of its own as dangerous activity spreads over the city and rumors of a threat to national security begin.

Sam is an interesting lady. She is tough, gutsy, and passionate. Even though she is disappointed by her transfer and terrified that she has to use the powers she’s tried to hide all her life, she sucks it up and carries on.  Sam is coping well with the changes in her life, but Bear really gets under her skin. Bear is deep, hoping for a happy ending for himself. He has a deep compassion for others, a quick temper, and he’s a good guy out to find the truth through his job. He just can’t buy the supernatural aspect that Sam is looking at when they investigate the case. The reader can’t help but sympathize with Bear as the situation gets weirder.

  The chemistry between Sam and Bear is electric, they really connect from the beginning through to the end of the story. The only thing that keeps this story from being great is the relationships between the AngelWay team are much less convincing. Though the story focuses on Sam and Bear, it would have been so much more enjoyable if the “angels” had an emotional connection to one another. As Rina, Frankie, Aurora and Sam work together, they mostly act annoyed with one another. Even as the plot thickens and the girls get hurt, they remain coolly polite, unaffected and unattached. It’s hard to believe that they would trust each other enough to work together.

Dark Nights, Dark Dreams is a good story: fast paced, suspenseful, and sexy. I feel that true camaraderie between the AngelWay foursome could have pushed it up a level, but since that friendship is missing, I feel comfortable giving this story a four-heart rating. 

--Amy Wroblewsky    

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