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My Need to Read

I love to explore genre fiction, and while I usually go for books with a romantic thread running through it, I just love great character and world building. And since I can hardly stand to let go of my favorite characters, I like series.

Mark of the Demon - Diana Rowland Settling on a numerical rating for this book was a toughie. I'd give it 3.5 if I could, but didn't mind rounding up.All in all, this book was fairly enjoyable. The story takes place in a world where, according to public belief, the paranormal does not exist. This is the furthest from the truth as far as Louisianan detective Kara Gillian is concerned. She's a summoner of demons (not the heaven/hell kind but rather otherworldly creatures), and as such has a wealth of knowledge about all things abnormal. When the book begins, she's only a few months into her promotion to the Violent Crimes division of the Beaulac PD. One would think that it would mean a dearth of cases: the sleepy southern town doesn't get much in the way of extreme crime. But this changes drastically when an previously unsolved string of brutal serial murders is seemingly renewed after a three-year hiatus. Kara is given this case, which is just as well because she realizes very quickly that these murders somehow involve the arcane…her (secret) specialty.Kara Gillian herself is quite interesting as she's portrayed. She's more or less a loner, with no friends to speak of other than her aunt and maybe a fellow officer or two. There was a lot of "self-evaluation" going on in addition to the actual main plot thread, and it was interesting to watch her wrestle with her identity in the "normal" world. As a cop she's extremely sharp, and through her eyes one is privy to a compelling evaluation of these serial violent crimes.There's a good amount of "P" in this paranormal romance (through Kara), but I must admit that I found the "R" to be quite lacking and…dare I say, random? Not outright unwelcome, but rather unnecessary as portrayed. The element added almost nothing to the story, being introduced rather abruptly and with limited believability. The "love" interest here, Lord Rhyzkal, was terribly one-dimensional…it felt almost like his role in the first two-thirds of the story was an afterthought to the last one-third.That last one-third though…rocked. I couldn't get through the story fast enough. The police investigation took on many dimensions, and tied together much of the story such that it all ended satisfyingly. It's the reason why I rounded my rating up, quite frankly. By the time I finished the book, I was looking forward to how the next one was going to continue Kara's adventures. This book definitely has some elements of the so-called "first-book-in-a-series syndrome," but it's worth reading, particularly in order to get the background for book number two (which as of this writing I've read and liked very much).