"We have another one of those weird dagger murders. What did you call it—The Eyes of Coals?"

Cadence has lived a long life when the story begins. Despite being tired of living, he remains a magnet to women as he frequently pushes his impulses to the edge. He owns an antique shop that his deceased brother's daughter runs. His close friend and employee are captivated by Cadence's inability to die. Both are constant companions in the protagonist's life, yet he often treats them like budding youths, blind to the nightmares that lurk in the shadows.

Cadence practically wears his world-weariness. He is an ancient man trapped in a cycle of darkness and violence with a past that is never far away and a terrifying future he longs to ignore. He is an attractive combination of brooding masculinity and well-earned self-indulgence. He is a cure-loving son of darkness with the burden only an expert guardian can sustain.

The best elements of other great works of fiction are present throughout the narrative. The haunted quality of eternal life and all the tragedies it entails is reminiscent of The Picture of Dorian Gray. There is even a reference to the book early on, with the main character almost feeling a hidden kinship for Oscar Wilde's protagonist. At times Cadence is equal parts lonely and commanding. He bleeds, is flawed, and can be placed in danger. Yet like so many caped crusaders, secret agents, and time lords that have come before him, there is always the feeling of protection he invokes within the reader—a sense that he still has a hidden move and the upper hand. Evil follows at every turn, and parents can sometimes be enemies. Also, dusty antique shops are a great setting for an enthralling story. Masterfully told, this book is beguiling in its execution and its engrossing characters.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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