Sins of the Demon
by Diana Rowland
Review by Cathy Green
DAW Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756407056
Date: 03 January 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
It's the Christmas season, but there is very little peace and joy in Det. Kara Gillan's life. As Sins of The Demon opens, Kara and her demon bodyguard and now roommate Eilahn are attempting to place heavy-duty wards on the police station where Kara works. The potential problems that Kara was warned about in Secrets of the Demon are starting to happen, as someone from the demon realm is attempting to summon her, and that can't be good. Warding her house was easy, as Kara lives outside the city of Beaulac and has no close by neighbors. Warding the police department is a much more complicated endeavor, as police departments operate 24/7 and there is no good way to explain what Kara and Eilahn are doing.
Kara and Eilahn are able to set the wards, but not before being interrupted by a helpful rookie patrolman and a demon. Both incidents nicely showcase Rowland's ability to balance comedy and drama. The need to set the wards and provide protection from attack are serious business as is the risk of discovery, but when interrupted by the rookie patrolman, Kara comes up with the not very good story of looking for her cat, which even Eilahn thinks is lame. The comedy comes from Kara coming up with an unlikely cat with a stupid name - a calico manx named Fuzzykins and from the eager, helpful patrolman eventually finding a feral tailless calico cat that Kara is now forced to adopt. Naturally, the cat loves Eilahn and hates Kara and turns the scary demon into a happy goofball obsessed with the well-being of her furbaby.
More disturbing than her demon bodyguard's cat obsession are the bodies that start turning up, and Kara's connection to them. Several people, all of whom hurt Kara in some way in the past have turned up dead from what could be some sort of massive stroke, but is more likely connected to whoever is trying to summon Kara. Also once the connection to Kara is revealed and the bodies start piling up, Kara comes under suspicion and is suspended, albeit with pay.
We also learn more about which demonic lord Ryan used to be and even more connections to Kara's family's past are revealed. Also, Kara evidently has very bad taste in boyfriends. Eilahn provides Kara with a bracelet that will protect her from magic when she's out doing her job in unwarded places, but on the downside also prevents Kara from doing magic and cuts her off from magic in a way that makes her ill. Given that the attempts to summon Kara are increasing in frequency and can lead nowhere good (e.g. being bound as a slave to a demonic lord), it's a compromise Kara is willing to make.
The danger and the body count is balanced out by the lighthearted sequences involving Eilahn and Fuzzykins. For instance, Eilahn buys the cat a Kitty Kondo and likes the name Fuzzykins because it sounds like the demon language words for whirling knives, which is a great name for her awesome cat. Eilahn also goes overboard decorating the house with Christmas decorations.
Ultimately, Rowland advances her plotlines, starts a new continuing plot thread involving Kara's friend and co-worker Jill, and brings Sins of the Demon to a cliffhanger ending that's even more of a game changer than the revelations at the end of Secrets of the Demon. Rowland has said that she currently has a three book contract with DAW (http://www.dianarowland.com/faq.html), so we definitely get at least one more book featuring Kara Gillan, and given the ending of Sins of the Demon, I have no idea where she's taking Kara next or how Rowland is going to resolve the cliffhanger, but I really, really, want to read the next book to find out.