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Authors: Diana Rowland

Tags: #Fantasy, #Fiction, #General, #Epic

Sins of the Demon

BOOK: Sins of the Demon
10.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Raves for the previous Kara Gillian novel,
Secrets of the Demon

“Rowland’s hot streak continues as she gives her fans another big helping of urban fantasy goodness!… The plot twists are plentiful and the action is hard-edged. Another great entry in this compelling series.”

—RT Book Reviews


“This is an excellent police procedural urban fantasy that like its two previous arcane forensic investigations stars a terrific lead protagonist… Kara is fabulous as the focus of the case and of relationships with the Fed and with the demon as the Bayou heats up with another magical mystery tour that will take readers away from the mundane to the enjoyable world of Diana Rowland.”

—Midwest Book Review


“The sex definitely sizzles, the characters are engaging, the world is intriguing, and action pulled me right in. Highly recommended!”

—Errant Dreams


“Diana Rowland has built a fascinating and compelling urban fantasy series, with main character Kara as tough as she needs to be yet vulnerable enough to be realistic.
Secrets of the Demon
is book three in the Kara Gillian Demon Summoner series, and I hope there will be many more.”

—Fresh Fiction


And for the earlier Kara Gillian novels:

“A nifty combination of police procedural and urban fantasy. Not too many detectives summon demons in their basement for the fun of it, but Kara Gillian is not your average law enforcement officer. In the course of Rowland’s first book, Kara learns a lot about demons, her past, and above all, herself.”

Charlaine Harris,
New York Times
bestselling author


“Rowland spins a tale that is riveting, suspenseful, and deliciously sexy. With a unique take on demons, and with one of the most terrifying serial killers ever, (Rowland) will keep you up late at night turning pages.”

Jenna Black
, author
The Devil’s Playground


Mark of the Demon
crosses police procedure with weird magic. Diana Rowland’s background makes her an expert in the former, and her writing convinces me she’s also an expert in the latter in this fast-paced story that ends with a bang.”

Carrie Vaughn
New York Times
bestselling author of the Kitty Norville series


Also by Diana Rowland:







* Coming soon from DAW









375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014


Copyright © 2012 by Diana Rowland

All Rights Reserved.


Cover art by DAW Book Collectors No. 1574.


DAW Books are distributed by Penguin Group (USA).


All characters and events in this book are fictitious.
All resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.


If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher. In such case neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal, and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

First Printing, January 2012

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For Jennifer, Shawn, Katie, Ellie, and Ashley.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24


Every time I start a book I tell myself I’m going to create a file to keep track of all the people who help me during the book with research or support. And I forget to do so Every. Single. Time. So, once again, I’m doing the mad scramble at the end of the process where I desperately try to remember everyone who held my hand. Eep!

Many thanks go to:

My awesome husband for being my biggest fan.

My beautiful daughter for snuggling me when I needed snuggles.

Dr. Mike DeFatta for continuing to answer my bizarre questions.

Cpl. Judy Kovacevich for refreshing my memory regarding crime scene procedures.

Daniel Abraham for the advice, encouragement, and support.

Carrie Vaughn for helping me work my way through the mid-series hump.

Ty Franck for being irreverent.

Walter Jon Williams for inviting me to the mountain.

Roman White for letting me bounce numerous ridiculous ideas off him.

Nicole Peeler for being the best critique partner EVER.

Nina Lourie for being who she is.

Matt Bialer for being a wonderful agent and friend.

Lindsay Ribar for EVERYTHING.

Betsy Wollheim for even more EVERYTHING.

Chapter 1

Someone had recently taken a leak in the alley behind the Beaulac Police Department. Splash marks were still visible against the bricks, and the beam from my flashlight reflected off the rivulets that led to a broader puddle in the center of the alley. Some other sort of noxious liquid dripped from the corner of a dumpster in viscous plops to mingle with the piss, and the dregs in a broken beer bottle added one more pungent ingredient to the resulting aroma.

I carefully picked my way around the various pools of who-knew-what as I made my way out of the alley. Along the ground behind me ran a faint track of arcane sigils, appearing in my
as silvery-blue shimmers, and completely invisible in normal vision. In front of me, Eilahn patiently traced more patterns along the back end of the building, using nothing but the movement of her fingers and her will.

This side was easy. The Beaulac Police Department and its parking lots took up most of a block in downtown Beaulac. We’d started with the back-alley end and the south side that held the detective’s parking lot and the
entrance to the Investigations Division. Those were unoccupied at this time of night. The main entrance with its broad glass doors faced the street, which would only be tricky if anyone driving by happened to see us and wonder what we were doing. But the north end of the building—the one that held the entrance to the Patrol Division—would be the most difficult, since officers came and went through there at all hours.

For decades, the station had been a brick and chrome example of seventies’ era architecture, but thankfully it had been renovated in the past year to remove the majority of the chrome and restyle the structure to better fit the “elegant southern town” feel that the rest of the buildings along the street were striving for. Across from the station was the city administration building, built well over a hundred years ago and looking more like a plantation building than a government facility, complete with massive columns and a broad balcony. The rest of the street was taken up with smaller city offices and about half a dozen small shops and restaurants. The city had done its best to make the downtown area picturesque by replacing the big sodium vapor streetlights with smaller ones that were meant to look like Victorian gas lamps. Wrought-iron benches had been painstakingly bolted down along the sidewalk, and large planters interspersed between them. But right now, any elegance was overshadowed by the cheap and tacky Christmas decorations that the city workers put up a few days prior. Maybe next year they’d have enough in the budget to buy decorations that didn’t look quite so sickly.

Probably only if they cut salaries
, I thought sourly. As
long as they didn’t cut mine, I could put up with a Santa Claus who looked vaguely leprous.

I shifted out of othersight and peered at my watch using my flashlight. Four a.m. We’d been at this for nearly an hour and were barely halfway around the Beaulac PD building. But Eilahn had been adamant that the places I spent the most time should be protected—at least as much as was reasonable. She was a
, an eleventh-level demon, assigned—gifted? loaned?—to me by the demonic lord Rhyzkahl after it had become clear that someone or something in the demon realm wasn’t thrilled about my association with him. And Eilahn took her job damn seriously.

The wards on my house had been beefed up into intense and powerful protections, with an outer layer of aversions that would hopefully make intruders lose their desire to continue into my home. Needless to say it wasn’t practical or desirable to have that sort of thing on the Police Department building. Instead, these protections were the sort that would make it highly difficult for me to be summoned while I was inside them—necessary since someone in the demon realm seemed to be intent on doing just that.

The wards were undetectable by anyone without arcane abilities. At least I sure hoped so. But even though they couldn’t be seen by the naked eye, the process of laying them down looked pretty damn weird. Hence the reason we were out at oh-fuck o’clock in the morning—after the bars closed and before the sun came up.

I sighed and cast a longing glance across the street at the dark and closed coffee shop that had recently opened up next to the city administration building.
Grounds For
The painting of a steaming coffee cup on the window seemed to taunt me.

Eilahn softly cleared her throat, and I dragged my attention back to the matter at hand. Slipping back into othersight, I let the sensations wash over me as I checked for gaps or weak spots in the chain of sigils. Even incomplete, the patterns buzzed against my senses pleasantly, like a flow of warm water over my skin. If any part of the sequence had been wrong or poorly scribed, I’d feel it like a vibration in the back of my teeth. But no, it was clear that this demon knew what she was doing.

“You there!”

I straightened and turned at the male shout from behind me, squinting in the sudden light shone into my eyes. Beyond the glare of the flashlight I could see it was someone in a Beaulac PD uniform. Crap.

“What’s going on here?” the officer demanded.

BOOK: Sins of the Demon
10.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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