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Miss This is England? Which of our picks are you most excited to watch? Let us know in the comments below…. Steve Charnock Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. Follow Steve on Twitter. Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

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Occult Crimes Unit Investigation 2. Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Evil Dark , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 20, Mike the Paladin rated it did not like it Shelves: urban-fantasy , didn-t-finish. There are a lot of problems with this for me anyway. His world is very fluid. We met ghouls in his first book and learned a little about them. We meet ghouls in this book and most of what we learned in the first book went out the window.

He changed several of the details of the world this time and that sort of jumped out at me. It wasn' Well It wasn't a deal breaker, just a little of a Somehow though the only difference in him is his aversion to sunlight and his change in diet. He never struggled with needing to over feed as we were told in the first book new vamps do.

He still makes vamp jokes. All in all he seems like the same half formed character only he now lives on a warm liquid protean diet I just didn't really enjoy the writing. I laid the book aside a couple of times and finished other books. Finally at about the halfway mark I threw in the towel. No more of this series.

Sorry if you like it. Enjoy, but for me. View 2 comments. Oct 09, Krycek rated it liked it Shelves: crime-fiction , series-out-of-order , urban-fantasy-paranormal-whatever , horror. It reminded me of those old mystery paperbacks from the fifties and I hoped that the story inside was just as cool as the cover. Happy surprise, it was. Timely, too, since Dragnet reruns have been on the TV lately.

This is a supernatural Dragnet , but with more violence and swearing.. This thing's been done before, sure, but it's done very well here. All in all, a neat bit of UF without all the romance stuff, which isn't really my thing. Actually, the plot was a little all over the place and I would have given this three stars, but the fact that the story and Markowski's easy-going narrative kept my nose stuck in this book and wanting more bumps it up to four stars, despite the ending view spoiler [ I mean, I'm glad Markowski's got to hook up with someone--the poor guy deserves a little lovin'-- but a threesome?

Highly bloody unlikely. Plus he barely remembered it because of too much champagne. What a waste of a threesome. There are some pop culture references that are slightly altered to fit this world where the supernatural is out in the open, like a reference to a James Bond movie called " Goldfanger.

Melding this supernatural world with our own didn't always mesh smoothly, though. The anti-supernatural movement in the book was supposed to be analogous to racist and anti-gay movements in real life. I found this a little awkward even though I get what the author was trying to express. I'm just not sure the thing worked very believably in the book since real-life prejudice is a pretty big issue. Not a real complaint, just me being an analytical social scientist. Overall, much better than I expected.

Three stars from me means I liked it. Four means I liked it a lot and I liked this one a lot. And yeah, this is the second in the series. I haven't read the first, but it wasn't a problem in this case. So, I'm reducing the rating to three stars. Not a big deal. It's still an enjoyable read, it just doesn't meet my own personal four-star standards, which are continually being honed. And I realized, after these months, that the spoiler I mentioned above is just too dumb to forgive. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. Welcome back to the alternative Scranton, where the supernatural is out in the open, and Stan Markowski and his partner, the undead Karl Renfer, have to investigate supernatural crimes. Stan, Karl, Christine, et al continue to process the aftermath of the first book. Then two FBI agents rock up to town, looking for some help tracking down the creators of supernatural snuff films. Stan and Karl investigate, only to f Welcome back to the alternative Scranton, where the supernatural is out in the open, and Stan Markowski and his partner, the undead Karl Renfer, have to investigate supernatural crimes.

Stan and Karl investigate, only to find themselves on the trail of a conspiracy to incite the race war to end … well … everything. Too long a time has elapsed since I read Hard Spell. I had completely forgotten Stan and the other characters and anything that occurred in the first book. Fortunately, Evil Dark leaves enough breadcrumbs to let you get a morsel-sized idea of what happened.

But this book is mostly self-contained. Stan has to deal with the fallout from the first book, but the mysteries are new. Both mysteries which, surprise surprise, turn out to be related are interesting. Gustainis is good at describing police procedure without going into so much detail that it becomes tedious.


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Some supes just want to get by. Others are criminals—just like some humans are criminals. But Gustainis has a lot of success translating the police procedural into an urban fantasy novel format. But what the fuck was up with those last three pages?? Look, the elephant in this book, for me, is the creepy male gaze forced down our throats by Stan-the-narrator-man. For some characters, like Lacey Brennan, this comes up repeatedly. And while there is nothing wrong with a straight male character remarking on when he finds a woman attractive, the frequency and way in which Stan does it becomes uncomfortable, particularly given that he is the narrator.

I was going to mention the male gaze in any event in this review, but I was mostly going to downplay it and brush it off. Because I did enjoy this book! I want to recommend it. I want to critique it, but I want to recommend it too. So the story is over. The bad guys are caught or at least discovered.

We can all go home. And, besides — you know what they say. And I know I had more than two. The sheet moved a bit, and then Linda Thorwald was looking down at me from the other side. Her hair was pretty mussy, too. To be clear, Stan is not dreaming. Even if he were dreaming this would be an odd and uncomfortable way to end the novel.

Kate Stark ftw! View 1 comment. May 31, Ruth rated it it was ok Shelves: spec-fic. C So, the story of the Occult Crimes Unit continues apace. The characters are developed a bit more in this book and some urbanology I know! Dry humour was good and the deft turning of some historical information by substituting some supernatural names was also humorous. I still enjoyed the style of writing and the pace but the last 2 and a bit pages were absolutely soul destroying and I actually re-read the paragraphs so I tortured myself twice to make sure that I had actually re C So, the story of the Occult Crimes Unit continues apace.

I still enjoyed the style of writing and the pace but the last 2 and a bit pages were absolutely soul destroying and I actually re-read the paragraphs so I tortured myself twice to make sure that I had actually read it correctly. I am not explaining myself correctly but nooooooooooooo, Mr Gustainis — What.

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Typo on P FWFTB: vigilante, cynical, daughter, community, supernatural. Yeah, we use that one sometimes. Jul 16, Morgan rated it it was ok. I was enjoying it, but then it all fell apart in the end.

Evil Dark (Occult Crimes Unit, book 2) by Justin Gustainis

The last quarter of the book felt rushed, like there was a deadline to be met. The final three pages seem like they belong somewhere else. Like they were randomly tacked on. I half expect the third book to start with "And that's when I knew I was having drug-induced hallucinations". Mar 28, Gail rated it it was ok. This is one of those books that starts out okay and then crashes and burns in the last sixty pages. And then the last few pages made it so very, very much worse.

It is also the last book by this author I will read, as it is not the first of his books I have been underwhelmed by. May 02, Mieneke rated it really liked it Shelves: crime , fantasy , I seem to be developing a taste for supernatural police procedurals. I had a tremendous amount of fun with this book.

Its writing and tone of voice hooked me from the first page and by the end of the book I was disappointed that it was over so soon, as I would have happi I seem to be developing a taste for supernatural police procedurals. Its writing and tone of voice hooked me from the first page and by the end of the book I was disappointed that it was over so soon, as I would have happily spent another three hundred pages with its characters. The atmosphere Gustainis creates with his writing is fabulous. From the first page you get a feel for not only who Stan Markowski is, but also in what kind of town he operates.

While some of the characters were archetypal, the fact that I thought them so might be due to the fact that I've read and watched a lot of police procedurals. There is the rugged, older main character, with his younger, slightly goofy partner, the gruff squad captain with his heart in the right place and the sexy, sassy female cop love interest among others.

And naturally, the cops and the FBI have a hard time playing nice with each other. But archetypal or no, these characters are definitely a bit different, as they are part of a police squad that deals with occult crimes, that means crimes involving or committed by supernatural creatures ranging from vampires to ghouls and goblins.

In fact, Stan's partner Karl and his daughter Christine are vampires themselves. Not having read the first book in the Occult Crimes Unit series, I'm not sure about much of Stan, Karl and Christine's back story, other than that it involved getting Karl and Christine turned into vampires to save their lives — or undeath, such as it is — but we do see Stan having mixed feelings about this change in his partner and daughter.

There is a lot of hidden depth to Markowski's calm exterior, which makes him interesting to read about, even if a lot of that depth remains unilluminated, though I can't be sure whether it's truly unknown or things revealed in the previous book. Karl, with his James Bond obsession and his rather unique perspective on their case, is a good foil for Stan's serious demeanour and their verbal exchanges are some of the highlights of the book. The different supernatural creatures found in Evil Dark are a natural part of the story's world, not monsters hidden from human society, but integrated and every day.

In fact, I loved the alternate world Gustainis has created. His Cranston is a place unlike our own, but at the same time it could still be the next town over from ours. The supernatural creatures aren't just an everyday part of life; they even have their own history, such as ogres and goblins being distantly-related. They have even penetrated popular culture; there is a website called Drac's List, where vampires can meet potential 'donors', James Bond starred in From Transylvania with Love , Steinbeck's bestseller is Of Elves and Men and Stan buys his daughter something special for dinner at Sup'r-Natural Foods or the local Vlad-Mart.

The little details Gustainis manages to drop into the narrative in this manner are awesome and add up to a very convincing alternate reality. In this very real supernatural environment, we are presented with a frightening case which Stan and Karl get handed by the FBI; there are people making supernatural snuff films, not the urban-myth kind, the real deal.

With such a big case on their plate, Stan and Karl get busy, but it seems that every day sees more cases added to their workload as the unit is inundated with cases. Gustainis manages to make all of the cases fit together in a way that leads to a surprising conclusion, one I very much enjoyed. Evil Dark was a terrifically entertaining read, which kept me invested in its characters from beginning to end.

Now I want to read Hard Spell , just so I can spend some more time with Stan, Karl, Christine and the rest, after which I'll eagerly await the as-yet untitled third book. A fun, fast read centred on an interesting case to solve, Evil Dark is a recommended read for anyone who likes police procedurals or the supernatural without sparkles or tramp stamps and leather pants. Meanwhile, I think I need to find myself some more supernatural police procedurals, to see if they are a temporary craving or a lastingly acquired taste. Any suggestions? This book was provided for review by the publisher. If you read my review of the first in this series, "Hard Spell," then you know how I came upon this book-via the author.

If you have read that or any other of my reviews you will also know that I tend not to summarize plot.

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I can read dust-jackets. So can you. How was the book? How was the character development? How did the book draw me in? These are things that I attempt to convey from my own, very subjective narrative. I love the characters. I really enjoy the evolution of the Markowski and Renfer and spending time with them is great. I would like to see more of Christine. Sharkey was a great addition.

Gustainis gave me a little more description when it came to less savory scenes. I needed that to add grit. The book lost pace in quite a few places and here it loses marks. Additionally, while the first book had some very humorous passages, this installment seems to be going so far out of its way to make a joke almost all the time. This is part of the pacing problem for me, but also makes the dialogue feel contrived at times. The overuse of Gustainis' own colloquialisms continues here and starts to grate: "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" being the number one offender that one really go on my nerves and references to "Helter Skelter" came in a close second.

Last, but not least-the ending. Part of it was great. Part was way out of character and left me feeling like I did not know the protagonist as I thought I had. I felt a bit let down by the author in this. All of this having been said, I still really enjoyed this book! Please do not let the negative dissuade you from reading it. It was truly enjoyable, as was the first, and I will most definitely be reading the third soon.

I was asked to be honest in my review and so As noted, the characters are a great deal of fun, the mural is vivid, the laughs are plenty while sometimes stilted and, importantly, the story is a good one. I look forward to reading "Known Devil" soon. There are several cases that Stan and his vampire partner, Karl, are dealing with in this book. First, a case of torture-snuff films, where demon is called to torture and to murder human.

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Then, there is a case in which witches are being burned and other supes werewolves and vampires are killed. Other than that, they also must deal with 'side-cases', like saving a fairy from killing himself or a drunk ogre that take a human hostage in a bar. I postponed reading this because of a not-so-good revi There are several cases that Stan and his vampire partner, Karl, are dealing with in this book. I postponed reading this because of a not-so-good reviews at Amazon. Well, that teaches me to trust reviews from person I am not familiar with The book has a great and steady quick-pace.

All those cases end up connected to each other, into one big plan that deals with Helter Skelter and a war race between human and supernatural beings. I enjoy the investigation process, most definitely. Other than that, I also welcome Stan's daughter, Christine. She doesn't have a big role in the first book. But here, there are several interactions between Stan and Christine. I enjoy learning more about her and it's always nice to read about family. There are some gritty and gory scenes that involved lots of blood The ending is pretty 'naughty' -- but I think Stan deserves the celebration after what he has been through.

Will definitely check out book 3 next year Aug 19, Cathy rated it really liked it Shelves: urban , read-in , great-cover , mystery , fantasy , paranormal , magic-users , series-reminder , vampire , elves-fae. A very enjoyable traditional police procedural with a hardboiled cop, tempered with a nice touch of warmth and wry humor.

I always like the tone of this series, it rings very true to me. He just feels very real to me as a detective, from the opening with his curiosity making him stop to help the elf when he knew he shouldn't, to the tension with the FBI agents, to his relationship with his partner, everything just felt right. The mystery was high tension and interesting and held my attention thr A very enjoyable traditional police procedural with a hardboiled cop, tempered with a nice touch of warmth and wry humor.

The mystery was high tension and interesting and held my attention throughout the book. I also enjoyed his relationship with his daughter, both the feeling of genuine love and the sense that he was just such a bewildered dad who just had no idea how to deal with her transformation; it's really relatable even though her transformation is into a vampire and most dads only have to deal with their little girls turning into women.

All of the characters in the book pop off the page really well, good guys and bad, it's a very vivid story. There was one small thing that happened that really made me think a bit. Stan was reading reading a book about a group of scientists who accidentally open a portal to hell and he was really hoping it was just fiction. It made me wonder if reading urban fantasy would be as fun if I knew it all really existed. But what else would I read?