REVIEW: Secrets of the Demon by Diana RowlandMonday, May 23, 2011 1:00
One of Sybil’s life goals is to convince me to read series out of order. Sometimes I give in; sometimes I don’t. It’s hard to resist when she hands me something like Diana Rowland’s Secrets of the Demon. It is the third book in her Demon Summoner series, following Mark of the Demon and Blood of the Demon. Bantam published the first two, so DAW downplays their existence. It took me awhile to figure out Secrets of the Demon is not the first in a series, but by that point I was hooked on Kara Gillian’s story.
Kara becomes one of my favorite heroines within the first three chapters. She keeps my admiration throughout the novel. Rowland convinces me that Kara is a policewoman. Kara believes in following proper procedure and working with her team. She makes one dumb move that I can think of, and a couple of risky ones, but she’s generally cautious. Her risks are calculated risks. Plus, her powers might cause her to work with demons, but she doesn’t trust them unduly. Best of all, while her love life might be complicated, she doesn’t let anyone make her feel bad about her decisions.
Kara’s caught between Ryan Kristoff, her mysterious partner, and Rhyzkahl, a demon lord. She and Ryan have a serious flirtation going on, which ends abruptly when Kara agreed to summon Rhyzkahl once a month. Of course, she made that deal to save Ryan. She still likes him, but it’s hard when he’s being awful to her and Rhyzkahl is being nice. At the same time, her widowed best friend Jill has just started a new relationship – and Kara suspects she might be with Ryan. (Did I mention that Kara realizes she’s talking about herself too much and asks her friend what’s up with her? And then listens?)
But enough with the relationships! Kara, Ryan, and Zack’s latest case is the attempted kidnapping of Lida, a rock star. They suspect it might be a scam for publicity, but there was some serious magic used in the attempt. Then people tangentially related to Lida’s band begin dying. Yet they’re so tangential the team isn’t sure the events are related.
Secrets of the Demon is an excellent introduction to Rowland’s Demon Summoner series. I intend to try to find the first two novels. (They appear to be readily available on Amazon, at least. And highly rated. How did I not know about this series?) But don’t let this convince you that Sybil’s evil plan is working.
Homicide detective Kara Gillian has a special talent: she can sense the “arcane” in our world, and there’s quite a bit of it, even in Beaulac, Louisiana. She’s also a summoner of demons, and works on a task force that deals with supernatural crimes. Her partners are attractive and smart FBI agents, but they’re not summoners, and they’re not telling Kara why they are on this special force with her.
To make things worse, Kara has pledged herself to one of the most powerful of demons-a Demon Lord-who helped save her partner’s life, but now expects things in return. Meanwhile, she’s trying to solve a string of murders that are somehow tied together by money, sex, rock music and…mud. But how can she concentrate on the case when she’s not even sure who-or what-her partners are?
Read an excerpt here.