Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland, 4 stars, Great Debut Novel
This book easily piqued my interest and kept me turning pages to find out what happened next. To the exclusion of all things, I finished it in one day. If you enjoy urban fantasy, you'll love this urban fantasy suspense thriller. In Mark of the Demon, I got lost in the magic and didn't analyze the writing, dialogue, characters and world building-although all these things are skillfully managed. I loved this book because it took me AWAY from thoughts of writing and just let me enjoy. I had no choice. I was sucked in!
The main character, Kara Gillian, is a witty detective by day, a demon summoner by night. She's worked hard to get where she is and she's good at it, but the character is sympathetically written with vulnerabilities. She isn't the perfect, beautiful heroine doing the job with a tough obnoxious attitude, unrealistically killing multiple baddies three times her size. (I don't like those kinds of characters.) Kara is totally believable as a demon summoner detective with Fraggle Rock as her ring tone.
The story opens with her successfully summoning one of the highest level demons. She's finally getting the break she's been waiting for in the police department: heading the task force for the Symbol Man's serial murder case, and she must learn to handle herself among the men assigned with her, and solve the crime as quickly as possible. But something goes strangely awry during a routine summoning, and Rhyzkahl, an intensely powerful angelic creature appears. Oops.
The plot is original, and the suspense had me going all the way to the end. The story was perfectly paced, not long winded. Knowledge of police work is evident, and I loved the interactions between Kara and FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff.
Just an all round sexy, exciting, fun read! Blood of the Demon will be out in Spring, 2010, so I'm sure some pressing questions will be answered. I hope.