Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

(Kara Gillian, #1)
  Urban Fantasy

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...

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Some people go gung-ho over angel UF, my thing is the darker stuff. Reeling from my encounter with the Hollows series, where the books carved a permanent place in my psyche, I itched for more demon themed Urban Fantasy stuff. Not easy to find done well, especially since so much of it is poorly done Paranormal Romance stuff that I have no interest in reading.

Mark of the Demon did scare me with its beginning. Jumps into a sex scene in the very beginning, which usually turns me off, and I worried dullness/cheapness would follow. Thankfully that's not the case as the sex scene that popped up so soon is promptly shut in the closet and hidden. The rest is pure story, thankfully with the absence of senseless nookie.

This one holds a unique touch - a blend of urban fantasy with the investigative crime scene. Sure all of them have mysteries and many heroines are in law enforcement of sorts, but this one more so. She's a homicide detective working her first case involving a serial killer in a small town of Louisiana, along with a yummy FBI agent who grows on you, forensics, morgue trips, you name it. The book focuses as much on police procedure as it does the arcane magic she investigates.

Kara is a genuinely likeable heroine - tough but flawed and insecure, not beautiful at all but yearning to have companionship, having to hide a large amount of what she is and can do to avoid enduring small town ignorance. Rhyzkahl was awesome - powerful, sexy, terrifying, and you never know where you stand with him. At first it seemed she was very valuable, then almost like she wasn't, so I suppose other books will fill in more of the secrets so I can finally catch on.

I'm a character-orientated gal, so this book totally works in that respect. Plot wise it's different, edgy, dark and demented. The ending was incredible, and there's nothing light and fluffy about this story and the evil man they're investigating. Again, awesome.

   Book Quotes:

“You have the Fraggle Rock theme song as your ring tone,” he said, with a
bemused look on his face. “You are so weird.”

“Too easy to lose the way. Too hard to keep from unraveling when there’s nothing to remind you of who you are and where you should be. Another eternity passes in the flick of an eyelash.”

   Author Extras:

Glossary for the Kara Gillian series

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