Monday, 10 January 2011

Secrets of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Diana Rowland's site
Series: Kara Gillian #3
Review for books 1 and 2
Copy obtained: bought
Release date: 4th Jan 2011 (US)
Publisher: DAW
Rating: 4.5/5

My name is Kara Gillian and I'm a homicide detective . . .
But that's not all. I sense the "arcane" in our world, and there's quite a bit of it, even in Beaulac, Louisiana. I'm also a summoner of demons, which comes in handy now that I work on a task force that deals with supernatural or paranormal crimes. My partners, Ryan and Zack, are attractive and smart FBI agents, but they're not summoners, which sometimes makes it tough for them to understand what I'm dealing with.
To complicate things even more, I managed to get myself into a "situation" with one of the most powerful of demons - Demon Lord Rhyzkahl - who, in exchange for saving Ryan's life, struck a bargain with me that definitely works better for him. It doesn't help that this beautiful demon lord finds me attractive - something Ryan doesn't appreciate. And I know Rhyzkahl has something on Ryan, but so far I can't find out what.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to solve a string of murders that are somehow tied together by money, sex, rock music and...mud. But how can I concentrate on the case when I'm not even sure who - or what - my partners are?

I loved the first two books of this Kara Gillian series so of course I was super excited for Secrets of the Demon to be out. I love the blend of crime procedural with the paranormal side of demons and summoning. I also find Kara very refreshing with her down to earth, slightly jaded nature, her sense of humor and hidden vulnerability also help make her very likable and easy to relate to. All of that greatness is carried on and developed in this third book.

Secrets of the Demon gets off to a strong start with Kara, Ryan and Zach tasked with protecting a young new star singer after she received death threats which had a demonic theme. All fairly simple, straight forward, in theory. Except, Kara has never seen or heard of the creature that attacks the girl. And things only get stranger and more twisted after a body is found.

What I love is that while these books don't always have the fastest pace, they're flipping hard to put down. It builds form a steady, but not slow start, twisting and turning always gaining intensity before reaching a high at the end. You think you've got it worked out, or parts of it at least, and then SMACK! Something completely unexpected happens/is revealed and you're left gaping and trying to fit it all together again. Also, Diana has a way of dropping these little teasing sentences in just so, no preamble, no explanation, but they make me do a double take and wish like hell I could flip through pages to find out exactly what those statements are about. It's frustrating, brilliant and I can't seem to get enough of it. I am such a glutton for punishment...

Secrets of the Demon builds on books 1 and 2 very nicely as well as being a great book in it's own right. Crime plot wise, it stands alone, character wise it doesn't. Well, it probably could be read as a standalone as the important parts are refreshed, but I'd recommend reading them all in order. There is some great character development through out the book, particularly with Kara's relationships with, well, actually with pretty much everyone around her. All very different and all equally as important as the next and I love seeing where some of these friendships and otherwise are heading. There have been a few little things throughout books 1 and 2 which have left questions and there are a few answers here in Secrets. But hell if there aren't more questions in the end! And it's a hell of an ending. It's one of those EVIL cliff hangers that I seem to love and loathe equally. Because it's perfectly done, it's not over built, it's just there. Another big smack in the face. My copy of the book was very lucky not to get thrown at the wall! Suffice to say, bring on book 4! Adored Secrets of the Demon, halfway consider the author evil, but I want more so it can't be a bad thing right? ;) Love this series, it is unquestioningly one of my favourite adult series around, and one of the best written I think as well. If you've not tried them yet, go do so, starting with book 1, Mark of the Demon.


Jessica said...

GREAT review Cem!

And that cliffhanger was just the root of all evil!!

Mine's up too if you want to check it out! Secrets of the Demon

Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life} said...

I skimmed ur review hehe but I ordered this series on Book Depot today =D