Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mark of the Demon- Kara Gillian Book 1 by Diana Rowland

Back cover summary - Cop and conjurer of demons, she's a woman in danger of losing control—to a power that could kill....

Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives—and souls—of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore.

Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head...

Review (warning spoilers!!!) - I truly enjoyed this book!  It is a good, solid, kick-ass urban fantasy with a realistic heroine and without much tasteless sex.  There was a lot violence though and they were graphic.  This is one of those books that stays with you after you have read it.  Yes, maybe if it would be food, it would be junk food but then it fills you like a rich chocolate cake.

Kara Gillian is a homicide detective moonlighting as a demon summoner (or vice versa).  While investigating a serial killer, she noticed that the murders are connected to the arcane.  With the help of the gorgeous demon lord Rhyzkahl and and handsome FBI agent Ryan, she was able to solve the murders.

The plot is fast, well formed and plausible (as much as an urban fantasy story can be). It is a good murder mystery combined well with urban fantasy elements.  The cop murder-mystery story is solid.  The world building is smooth and doesn't make you go "huh?".  At the end of it all, I didn't feel like I was taken for a ride.

Kara Gillian is an endearing heroine.  She is a normal woman who just happens to summon demons for a past time.  She admits to being lonely, and to eating too much donuts.  She doesn't wear black leather and is not a know it all.  She is very human and I love her.

Rhyzkahl's characterization is perfect for me as well.  He is an ancient, powerful demon lord who is very true to what he is.  I get that.  It should be like that.  For instance, I find it quite unbelievable for a 200 year old vampire to be concerned about pre-marital sex.  At least, Rhyzkahl should be bad-ass and he is.

Ryan is the good boy FBI agent and he completes the love triangle.  It seems we will find out more about what he is in the next books.  My curiosity is tickled.

I can't recommend this book enough.  This is definitely one of the best urban fantasy books I have read in a while.

Rating: ***** Highly recommended

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