Author: Diana Rowland
Genre: Urban fantasy
Pages: Paperback 370
Opening Lines: "I could hear the intruder breaking into my house."
— "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 used 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 sets 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 . . ."
Thoughts: This book has been sitting on my wishlist for a long time. This past Christmas, I finally got around to buying it. You would think that I would jump on the book and tear into it in a crazed frenzy. Yeah, you would think . . .
This book follows Kara Gillian on her first time homicide case. She has only been a homicide detective for a short time when her captain decides to make her the lead on a serial killer case. Because of her familiarity with the case files of the last Symbol Man murders, he feel that she has more knowledge than his seasoned homicide detectives. While she jumps at this chance, she has her own motives. After seeing on of the previous victims while still a beat cop, she discovered that the arcane may be involved in these killings. Newly finishing her training as a summoner, Kara is more than excited to use this knowledge to help find a killer. However, it goes deeper than she thought.
The spin that Rowland puts on demons is very interesting. Instead of toeing the Judeo-Christian mythology, she makes demons similar to the fae. They are not necessarily evil or good, the are very honor driven, and so on. Even though a demon can do the bidding of the summoner, they will not do anything that will compromise their honor. Further, they are also summoned to give knowledge and/or teach the summoner some new thing they have to learn. That being the case, it was extremely interesting that Kara could summon demons to help her solve the case.
I really liked her aunt's character. Even though her character was kind of in the background and did not overpower Kara, I felt that she was really fleshed out and added a depth to Kara. I still cannot decide if I like Agent Kristoff. I spent half the book convinced that he was behind the killings. Something about him seemed too sketchy. And, along those lines, I'm not sure if I liked the twist. I felt that she didn't lead into that one enough. However, I'm not sure how she could have done it.
The sex was steamy, but it didn't distract from the overall story. However, I am still very curious about the demonic lord and why he chose to interact with Kara in that way. Granted, Rowland kind of explains why he lacked the rage he normally would; however, I really want to know why he took a special interest in Kara. Did it have to do with his desire to be called? Not sure. I'm hoping that the next books will go into a little more detail.
It was obvious that Rowland has worked in law enforcement. There seems to be a lot of books that center around a character being in law enforcement that just fail due to lack of knowledge. However, it was apparent that Rowland knew what she was talking about. After sitting in a dispatch center for awhile, was able to give me a unique perspective on the book.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book. It never lagged, there was good character development, time spent in fleshing out the scenery, and the plot was well played.
Currently: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (trying to)
Current Pages: 6860