Monday, 4 July 2011

Secrets of the Demon Review

Secrets of the Demon
-          Diana Rowland

Publisher: Bantam

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?

Kara can summon demons or rather beings from another plane of existence with a different moral priority that we call demons and can ask them for help and knowledge. She uses this rare ability to help her solve serious crimes which have a supernatural element to them. This time around it looks like a golem is interested in an up and coming pop star and Kara and her FBI partners have to hunt the summoner behind the man-made construct.

This is the third adventure and if like me you’ve following the adventures from the start, it’s a joy to return to the world. The characters are familiar and a lot more is revealed about some prominent characters. Compared to the lonely, introverted, work obsessed girl we met in the first book, Kara has started to open and let people into her life. I particular liked the friendship she has crime scene officer, Jill which reminds me of a number of my own female friends – lots of banter and support available! The two FBI task force agents Ryan and Zack are given a new twist which adds to the growing arc of the series and folds nicely into the stand alone investigation.

What makes this series different is Kara doesn’t have any powers that can help her in the everyday world – yes, she can summon demons but it can only be done under certain conditions and is no use if you’re suddenly confronted by a threat in the street. As such she has to rely on brains, street smarts and her gun to get out of tricky situations and her arcane abilities to provide insight into the case. There is a definitely relation to a police procedural here with the case less personal this time around, but the overriding arc is developed further with some questions answered and more posed. The police work is shown as actually work with plenty of research and paperwork needed to help solve the case - but there is plenty of action and hints of romance to keep most UF fans happy.  

This is one of the most underrated UF series out there – well written with great characters and an exciting plot. If you like CSI crossed with the supernatural please give this series a go!

Recommended for fans of Ann Aguirre and Laura Bickles. 8 out of 10


  1. Well, I've already wanted to read something by Diana Rowland anyway so I might start with this one...thanks for your review and a great pick!

  2. Oh yes... this is on my UF wishlist now! I haven't read a book by Diana, but I will remedy that hopefully soon. I love strong UF characters!

  3. Sounds good, thought that demon in the background is just so freaking scary!!!!!