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Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian) Mass Market Paperback – June 23, 2009
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“Mark of the Demon is a nifty combination of police procedural and urban fantasy. Not too many detectives summon demons in their basement for the fun of it, but Kara Gillian is not your average law enforcement officer. In the course of Rowland’s first book, Kara learns a lot about demons, her past, and above all, herself.”—Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of From Dead to Worse
“Rowland spins a tale that is riveting, suspenseful, and deliciously sexy. With a unique take on demons, and with one of the most terrifying serial killers ever, Mark of the Demon will keep you up late at night turning pages.”—Jenna Black, author of Speak of the Devil
“Mark of the Demon is a fascinating mixture of a hard-boiled police procedural and gritty yet other-worldly urban fantasy. Diana Rowland’s professional background as a both street cop and forensic assistant not only shows through but gives the book a realism sadly lacking in all too many urban fantasy “crime” novels.”—L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Saga of Recluce
About the Author
Diana Rowland has lived her entire life below the Mason-Dixon line, uses "y'all" for second-person-plural, and otherwise has no southern accent (in her opinion.) She attended college at Georgia Tech where she earned a BS in Applied Mathematics, and after graduation forgot everything about higher math as quickly as possible.
She has worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, which means that she’s seen more than her share of what humans can do to each other and to themselves. She won the marksmanship award in her Police Academy class, has a black belt in Hapkido, has handled numerous dead bodies in various states of decomposition, and can’t rollerblade to save her life.
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Top Customer Reviews
During a summoning to complete her Summoner Training, the wrong Demon comes through the portal and into Kara's house. He doesn't seem all that bad, especially when he shows Kara what she's been missing from not having a man lately. But after her encounter, Kara realizes what a huge mistake she has made and that this Demon is not one to play around with. When he starts invading her dreams and the line between reality and dreaming is confused, Kara starts to regret ever doing the summoning in the first place.
A serial killer dubbed The Symbol Man killed thirteen people when Kara first joined the police academy. He was never apprehended and now three years later, he has begun his killing spree once again. Kara has always been interested in the case since first sensing arcane power around one of the deceased bodies. She has studied the case files and is the most educated on The Symbol Man out of everyone in the police force. So when Kara is given the lead on the case for her first job in Violent Crimes, she is thrilled to be given such a big opportunity to prove herself as a Detective.
The FBI has joined forces on this case and with them comes a gorgeous but obnoxious man named Agent Kristoff. Kara works side by side with him while trying to keep her knowledge of the occult under wraps so everyone doesn't peg her as a crazy satanic worshipper.
When the case turns out to definitely involve the world of the occult, Kara is at a crossroads on what to do. Does she keep her occult knowledge and position as a demon summoner a secret and try to solve the case herself or does she put her trust in a member of the FBI in the hopes that he doesn't think she's a lunatic? If Kara doesn't entrust in someone for some help, more people could end up killed. Will Kara's decision turn deadly or will she solve the case and come out alive?
Mark of the Demon is a delightful collaboration of genres including urban fantasy, suspense, romance and police procedural. Debut author Diana Rowland takes everything that I love in a book and puts it all together to write an outstanding novel. Take a dash of Charmed mixed with some Dexter and you have Mark of the Demon.
Mark of the Demon demands to be read in one sitting and is impossible to put down. There are some graphic scenes in this book so it is definitely not for the faint of heart. I enjoy the gritty and grimy aspects and was indeed shocked and scared while reading this book and it's not easy to scare me! Mark of the Demon is a breath taking, heart stopping, white knuckler thriller that grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go! Run and get this book when it releases June 23rd. The next book, Blood of the Demon is due out January 26, 2010.
She's also the shining star of Diana Rowland's exciting debut novel, Mark of the Demon.
Sarcastic and witty, Kara is just flat-out-fun to read, and she's so refreshingly real and layered, such a nice change from the leather-clad, kick-ass, superhuman, biker-type heroines of most urban fantasy series that I found myself pitching headfirst into this book, unable to put it down until the wee wee hours of the morning, after finishing every delicious page.
An awesome blend of cop thriller and paranormal mystery, Mark of the Demon is exquisitely detailed, richly plotted, and well-paced. Her characters are human, with histories that aren't always pleasant, and personalities that sometimes match. FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff in particular was a yummy treat. Sometimes he was a total fed, sometimes he was like a goofy kid, and never did that dichotomy seem out of place or undefined.
Rowland's life experience truly gave an absolute air of legitimacy to the police stuff and her imagination blew me away on the paranormal stuff. Her demons and the world in which they inhabit, glimpsed only briefly but so beautifully, are a breath of fresh air in a literary world gasping for it. Rowland does a totally kick ass job introducing you to them and to the world in which Mark of the Demon exists. It rocked MY world and made me rock with laughter. It made me ache for the girl who suffered a childhood trauma and fell down a path of self-destruction and cheer for the woman who pulled herself off that path and doesn't let her past define or cripple her, or use it as an excuse to be horrible to everyone around her (or to herself). There was strength of character in Kara Gillian, and I appreciated it. And there were such DELIGHTFUL teasers in the book, hints of what'll be further fleshed out (I hope) and explored in the next book, Blood of the Demon, to be released in February of 2010. I. Can. Not. Wait!!
The only small criticism I have for the book was an early scene following the accidental summoning of Rhyzkahl, a demon lord. The subsequent scene seemed out of place and out of character, and the deeper I went into the book the more out of character it seemed upon reflection. I just don't see how Kara could go from being terrified beyond human comprehension and certain of her death to getting it on with the singly most destructive creature she'll ever meet, no matter how beautiful. I understood the compulsion bit, but when Rhyzkahl ceased that, the rest seemed jarringly out of place. As a result, that scene seemed sort of gratuitous and unnecessary.
That being said, I would like to caution those readers who like their violence or description of crime scenes to be glossed over. Rowland pulls no punches and hides no horror. It would be a shame to miss this book, but it may be necessary for you. That's not a criticism, as I happen to like the gritty reality of it and understand the necessity, but not everyone will or does.
Mark of the Demon gets a 4.5 stars (and a big HELL YEAH) from me. Highly recommended and MUCH appreciated! Enjoy!
Kara is a small-town cop and a demon summoner. When her first case turns out to be the resurgence of the 'Symbol Man' killings after a three year hiatus, she's not sure whether to be excited or overwhelmed! She quickly determines the killings have an arcane purpose and that means she's likely the only local detective who can solve this case. But first she'll have to deal with an amorous demon lord, a suspicious FBI agent, and a very high body count.
The author had to take the time to set up her world, its rules, and her cast; but once she had that fleshed out, I was drawn into the mystery of who was killing and why. I won't give away the solution, but I was a bit disappointed by the sleight-of-hand required from the author to produce the killer. If you like to 'solve' while you read, you'll likely have problems with this one. If you just like an exciting, gritty, urban fantasy mystery with some pretty hot sex thrown in...then you should pick up "Mark of the Demon" by Diana Rowland.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has been on my TBR pile for quite a while. The author was the keynote speaker at a luncheon my writer's group hosted last year and I...Read more