Review: Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian Series, #1) – Diana Rowland
Author: Diana Rowland
Title: Mark of the Demon
Series: Kara Gillian Series, #1
Format: Paperback, eBook
Original Release: June 23, 2009
One thing a burgurlar should NEVER do is break into a cop’s house. Another thing they should NEVER, EVER do is break in while she’s summoning a demon in her basement. Mark of the Demon has one of the best opening chapters I’ve read in a very long time.
Kara Gillian has just been promoted to detective and she takes her job very seriously. She’s done the footwork, and the deskwork, and is ready to prove herself. It’s incredible the amount of insight into procedure we get due to Diana’s own background in law enforcement. It’s detailed enough to enhance the story but not so much that it takes over the other aspects. Kara is also a Demon Summoner, an inherited gift from her grandmother (and, I hope, not something that was written from the author’s personal experience, lol). Little did she know these two parts of her life would come together in her first homicide case.
“The Symbol Man Murders” baffled the Beaulac, LA Police Department three years ago, and now it appears they’ve started up again. Kara felt arcane signatures on the victim then, and feels them on the newest victim, so she knows she’s the right one to find and stop the killer. However, after her latest summoning went dramatically wrong, she’s having a hard time trusting herself.
Between the gruesome murders, the terrifying but beautiful demon lord, Rhyzkahl, who ended up in her basement (and continues to make delicious appearances in her dreams), and her new FBI partner, Agent Kristoff, Kara has her hands full. Throughout the story, aide from some expected, and some not so expected sources help pull the pieces of the case together.
I have to admit, I thought I had the killer all figured out, but I didn’t see the end coming AT ALL. There was one clue that I didn’t catch until the reveal. The story was told using equal parts nitty-gritty police investigation and powerful supernatural intuition. The side characters were absolutely perfect. Each one had an important place in the telling of the story and added to the overall feel of the book. They also helped Kara infuse some much needed comic relief. I loved that Kara was strong, and even though she had doubts about what went wrong with her summoning, she moved past that and used her other strengths instead of wallowing. The “romantic” aspects of the story were non-traditional, but completely fit. The hot was REALLY hot… and the UST (unresolved sexual tension) was written in such a natural progression that I totally believed it.
I am so excited to get my hands on the second book in the series, Blood of the Demon. I’m not sure where the story’s going from here, but I’m totally ready to find out!
P.S.- Rhyzkahl is pronouced by the author to sound like “please call”… although after pronouncing like “rise call” for the entire book, I’ve been assured he would still come if I called him. *claps hands and looks for a way to put a basement under this Florida duplex*