Review: Sins of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Filed in 5 Stars , Diana Rowland , Review , The Needy Lover Posted on August 28, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 3 comments

Format read: e-book
Series: Kara Gillian, #4
Release Date: 3 January 2012
Publisher: DAW
Length: 311 pages
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo, Book Depository

Book Description:


The homicide beat in Louisiana isn’t just terrifying, it’s demonic. Detective Kara Gilligan of the supernatural task force has the ability to summon demons to her aid, but she herself is pledged to serve a demonic lord.

And now, people who’ve hurt Kara in the past are dying for no apparent reason. To clear her name and save both the demon and human worlds, she’s in a race against the clock and in a battle for her life that just may take her to hell and back.

My Thoughts:

Well, where does one exactly begin? This latest book in Diana Rowland’s Kara Gillian series is one awesome piece of urban fantasy, building on earlier series entries to strike a wonderful balance between plot momentum and character development, between the standalone mystery and the series mystery, and between the arcane and good ole’ fashioned PD detective work.

In my BLI review of the previous installment, Secrets of the Demon (check out the review here), I’d described what I felt was a little bit of a disconnect between Kara’s theretofore character type (strong, razor-sharp, badass detective) and her seemingly new behavior type (vaguely clueless doormat). None of that is present here–Kara takes many moments to ponder and muse upon a great many things–on life, love, trust, identity, crime, and everything between. But even if she has emotional whirlwinds here, I felt she was clearly her own person, and more importantly all of those facets of her character fit much more clearly here.

This book features such a well-crafted mystery that’s not too easy to pick apart at first blush. It doesn’t just drive major plot points, but also reveals so much about the inner workings of book’s cast of characters–none more so than Kara herself. Though the series’ has three books prior to this, ever more is being revealed about Kara to the point that you wonder whether you know her at all (even as, funnily enough, she herself wonders the very same about the people surrounding her, friends and family included). The supporting characters all–to a one–present their own deep mysteries, some larger and more complex than others, but all fascinating.

With each new Kara Gillian book, the crime solving does seem to involve the arcane more extensively–but the elements that make this series work so well as crime/mystery fiction is still present. Diane Rowland uses the red herring masterfully. Her twists and turns kept me guessing then reassessing my guesses (as a good mystery yarn would, mind you). There is, at this point, two layers of mystery going on in the series–that which can be considered standalone for the book, and that which is slowly building upon itself with each new installment. (I should note here that this book could be read as a standalone, but half the fun and thrill would be lost.)

Now, Rowland ain’t in a rush, ya’ll. 🙂 This book reveals the the major plot developments at an easy pace. But at this point, I’ve come to appreciate the slower development of the overarching mystery like a fine sherry–richer the longer it develops. If you’ve read this series up to now, you’ll know how Rowland likes to end these books. So be prepared to run out and buy book 5 (and pre-order book 6) ASAP. ^_^


. . .

Verdict: This series seems to get better with every installment. Sins of the Demon works as a standalone, but shines when taken as part of the whole Kara Gillian series. Great characters, solid mystery. The world is easy to slip into, hard to step away from, and is a great example of a well-balanced urban fantasy.

I give Sins of the Demon 5 stars.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Alisha

Alisha, the bespectacled and ever nerdy California girl, simply won't leave home without a book in hand. She loves language learnin' and is working toward becoming a bonafide grammar ninja. On any given day you'll find her haunting local libraries or baking scores of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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Join the Discussion
  • aurian August 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    A series on my wishlist for sure, although that cover does not really tempt me. Is this the same artist as the Gini Koch – Alien covers?

    • Alisha August 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      I really do think you’ll dig this! (the first in the series is good, not great, but worth a read).

      Yep! Daniel Dos Santos! ^____^ Also did the covers for Mercy Thompson, White Trash Zombie and Kara Gillian books. (I’m a bit biased ^_^)

  • Melliane August 30, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I really liked this one, very different from the others and I’m curious to read more now!

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