Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: Mark of the Demon by, Diana Rowland

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.... (summary from author's site)

Click here to read an excerpt from Mark of the Demon. 

My thoughts...This was a very dark story that kept me guessing until the very end.  The plot could be described like an episode of CSI, from the crime scene workers to the medical coroner giving autopsies.  The heroine, Kara, is placed as lead on a murder investigation to find a serial killer who has recently restarted his killing spree after a lengthy hiatus.  She has the abilitly to summons demons which  helps her detect the presence of arcane on the victims.  Diana Rowland did a phenomenal job of building suspense and creating suspicion.  I really did not know who to trust, who was honest, and I was truly surprised by the ending.  Overall, the plot was faced paced, full of action, and at some points left me gasping at some of the horror revealed.

The characters were all lika-able, even the ones we shouldn't trust.  The main character Kara was a loner.  Her abilities kept her apart from people, which I think made her a poor judge of character.  I was frustrated at times at her ease of revealing her secrets to a virtual stranger, but I account that to her need for interaction and companionship.  She had two male companions, both of which kept me suspicious.  My favorite character was Kara's aunt, who was very quirky.  Overall, I found all of the characters interesting.

The cons...The middle of the story dragged a bit for me, but there was enough of a mystery to keep me interested.  Readers with a low tolerance for violence should be warned that some of the scenes are very graphic. 

Overall, I enjoyed the story.  I am not a fan of Demons.  Of all the beings in paranormal stories, they scare me the most.  That being said, Rowland had a very unique take on them.  They were not portrayed as being horribly evil, no more evil than the humans at least.  They were not described as beings from Hell, but rather from another plane. The next book in the series, Blood of the Demon, has already been added to my wishlist. 

Cover LOVE?  I think this is a very cool cover.  In person, you can see the detail of the foiling on the front.  Love her necklace. 

For more information about Diana and her books, please visit her website

In you enjoyed this book, you may also enjoy...
1. Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland
2. The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
3. Three Days To Dead by Kelly Meding



Maria the Bookworm said...

I've just bought this book. Great review :)

Becky said...

Interesting review. I like the sound of the plot but I'm not sure about the level of violence. I'll have to think about it. Thanks for sharing.

jacabur1 said...

I enjoyed the review Elie, have both the Diana Rowland
Kara Gillian Series books on my wish list already so thanks for insight on what I would be getting into with the plot and characters. I have read and enjoyed both the Kelly Gay and Kelly Meding debut reads and am looking forward to their 2nd releases this summer in each of the series.

jackie b central texas

Donna [F.D. Ramblings] said...

Very nice review! I really enjoyed this book myself, especially the CSI aspects of it. I have a big interest in criminal mystery and procedures, and this book satisfied it.

Misty said...

Ooh, intriguing. This looks like something my book club might enjoy. Might have to mention it to them.

Cym Lowell said...

Thanks for linking this up to the party! I sent out a tweet...

As always, you write great reviews!


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