|Title: Mark of the Demon
Author: Diana Rowland
Series: Kara Gillian #1
Cover Art: Juliana Kolesova
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Date Published: June 23, 2009
Review Copy: Bought
When Homicide Detective Kara Gillian finds traces of arcane power on a body, she quickly realizes that this is no ordinary murder. The serial killer known as the Symbol Man is a nightmare that Beaulac, Louisiana thought had ended three years ago, but now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he is well-versed in demonic lore.
However, Kara is a Summoner of Demons, and may be the only cop on the city’s small force who can stop the killer. Able to see and interact with a world most people can’t, Kara must draw on her skills as a police officer and master of the arcane to stop the Symbol Man from killing again and possibly summoning something even she can’t control.
But with a demonic lord of unearthly beauty and power haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head….
MARK OF THE DEMON reads like Dexter meets the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison (Dexter’s sister Debra reminds me a lot of Kara). That’s a dangerously good combination in my opinion. I foolishly read the second book in this series first so I did have a little more information going than I should have, but I still found the mystery gripping, the police investigation authentic, the demon mythology extremely well thought out and creative, and the romance seductive and scary in turn.
On her website, Diana Rowland describes herself as an author of urban fantasy/police procedurals, which is a perfect description of this series. Having worked as a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant give her a wealth of knowledge to draw from in creating a brilliantly believable character in Homicide Detective Kara Gillian. Where she got her knowledge of demonology is anyone’s guess, but it’s every bit as detailed and plausible.
Rowland manages to weave together two very separate types of stories: the investigation and manhunt for a serial killer, and the uneasy romance/alliance between a demon summoner and the criminally handsome demonic lord she unwittingly summons. One a gritty and grim police procedural, and the other a supernatural and sensual and urban fantasy. The two could have felt very disconnected and yet the blended seamlessly. I already know the sequel (Blood of the Demon) is every bit as good as the this first book, and the third book (Secrets of the Demon) due out on January 4, 2011 is one of my most anticipated titles of next year.
Sexual Content: A few moderately graphic sex scenes.
Click HERE to read an excerpt from MARK OF THE DEMON
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