Saturday, August 14, 2021

Book and Audio Review: Evil Dark by Justin Gustainis

Evil Dark

Justin Gustainis
Narrator: Peter Brooke
Series: Occult Crimes Unit Investigation (Book 2)
Publication:  Angry Robot (April 24, 2012); Audible Studios (March 4, 2014)
Length: 10 hours and 57 minutes; 400 p.

Description: My name's Markowski. I carry a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.

A series of seemingly motiveless murders of supernatural creatures points to a vigilante targeting the supe community. Markowski wouldn't normally have much of a problem with that, but his daughter may be next on the killer's list...

My Thoughts: Stan Markowski is a detective in the Occult Crimes Investigation Unit in Scranton, PA. Though he doesn't think much of vampires or other paranormal beings, he is gradually coming around now that his partner and daughter are both vampires. His current case centers around the unexplained deaths of a variety of supernaturals including witches and werewolves. The FBI also comes to town with another case: someone is summoning demons and making snuff films and it looks like they are being filmed in Scranton.

As Markowski and his partner investigate they discover that Scranton may be the test site for a future race war pitting humans against supernaturals. There are lots of references to Helter Skelter and Charles Manson. There are defrocked bishops and millionaires with agendas. 

This was an interesting combination of genres. It read as a hard-boiled detective story in an alternate present peopled by humans and supernatural beings. Markowski is a smart, competent cop who is eager to get to the bottom of the problem. His partner Karl is a recently-turned vampire and a James Bond fan. His daughter works as a police dispatcher on the night shift, naturally. 

Fans of hard-boiled detective stories and urban fantasy will enjoy this series. I'm eager to read about their next case.

Favorite Quote:
"Neil Charles Duffy," she said. "He's known locally as 'Duffy the Vampire Slayer'."

"Cute," Karl muttered. Clearly, he didn't think it was.
I bought this one April 24, 2012. You can buy your copy here.

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