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Evil Dark (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #2)

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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  543 ratings  ·  72 reviews
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 li...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,014)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Well....in keeping with my rule that a book which drives me completely away gets a 1 star rating, this gets a 1 star rating and ends my following of the series.

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'...more
Krycek
(Note: original review 10/19/2012, edited 8/13/2013)

The cover caught my eye at the local library. 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 romanc...more
Morgan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dean
3.5 stars really, but the rating system will not allow.
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.
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.

"Evil Dark" did not hit me...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Neither as hard-boiled as most police procedurals, nor as arcane as pure urban fantasy, EVIL DARK is a blend that does justice to both genres without taking either too seriously. The dry police banter, methodical exploration of crimes, and a story and world that were easy to jump into make this a great introduction to the series as well as a satisfying stand alone.

I enjoyed the casual humor and camaraderie between Markowski and Karl. These two swing from good-natured jockeying to bad puns and di...more
Cathy
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 thro...more
Mieneke
I seem to be developing a taste for supernatural police procedurals. After discovering and loving Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London and Moon over Soho last year and Scott Sigler's Nocturnal last month, this month it was Justin Gustainis' Evil Dark and its protagonist Stan Markowski's turn. 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 happily...more
Ruth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ami
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. 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...more
Chris
Ok addition to this series about a cop who investigates paranormal crime in Pennsylvania. These are an enjoyable enough distraction, but not exactly involving or compelling reads.
Ken
"Evil Dark" is the second book in Gustainis' Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series. Both books so far have been fantastic!

A series of snuff films featuring a sadistic demon are appearing in the underground market. Additionally, someone is burning witches in what may be an attempt to start a Helter Skelter-esque race war between humans and supernatural beings. Detective Stan Markowski and his partner Karl Renfer are saddled with both cases and racing against time to prevent a further loss of li...more
Matthew Quirk
A good fast read. I got this book for free and I'll probably pick up the rest of the series. The line that pushed it over the top for me was a throwaway comment about a movie about a vampire police detective in the human-centric Deep South "Johnathin Frid should have gotten the Oscar."
Sheila
Second in the Occult Crime Unit Investigation series, Evil Dark, by Justin Gustainis, continues to draw readers in with an excellent narrator (think Harry Dresden, but give him a badge and a crucifix) in a pleasingly noir world that’s only slightly offset from our own.

The atmosphere is coolly convincing, from crowded precinct to streets and bars, to rooms with locked doors where vampires sleep like the dead. The dialog has pitch perfect humor, pathos and urgency as much-loved friends and family...more
Diane
Evil Dark is the second entry in the Occult Crime Unit Series. Where I found the first book a little hard to get into (though I really liked it once it got going) this one starts with a bang. Stan Markowski, and Karl Renfer are cops in the Unit faced with two seemingly unrelated cases. In one, the FBI visits the Unit with an example of an authentic snuff film involving a human being possessed by a demon, and the demon then killing another human. It's one of four known such films, but more could...more
Lady*M
More coherent, funnier book, great dialogue, interesting case(s). Gustainis shows off some of his adolescent wet dreams with the threesome at the end of the novel, but I can forgive him because I had fun with the rest of the book. Vampirism/supernatural creatures and challenges they face as a metaphor for racism/homophobia/general bigotry are sometimes blatant, sometimes clever. I'll probably pick up the next book as well.
Mara
3 1/2

Fun, pulpy, UF procedural. I don't always like the dialogue (sometimes on the cheesy side) and the world-building seems to me "cheap" at times, too (as in taking the easy way out using twisted references, like In the Bright of the Day as an alternate version of In the Heat of the Night e so on). But, if you ever liked cop serials on tv, you'll love Karl and Stan's stories. :)
Kelly
These books are the seriously gritty, unapologetically bloody side of urban fantasy. Things are dark in Scranton and Markowski's right in the middle of the action. Whether he wants to be or not.

Frankly, I like the dark, the grit, and the blood. It makes for a mighty fine story.

The thing I like about Markowski is that while he's fair and levelheaded when he's needed, he's not without a few hangups about the various supernaturals he comes across. He's dealing up close and personal with vampires on...more
Gail
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.
Holly
Another solid urban fantasy by this author, with characters I care about, a juicy plot and even a twist that I did not see coming.

The ending said there will a third book in this series and I can't wait to read it.

Thank you for another great read, Mr Gustainis!

4.5 stars!
Ken Kugler
Sgt. Stan Markowski of the Occult Crimes Unit is a rough and tumble kind of guy. Over the top dialog is the books specialty and it does it in a fun way. There are many things that we are familiar with that have been adapted into this occult world that Markowski is in. One that I loved was a reference to the Beatles White (Magic) Album.
This story revolves around snuff DVDs being made of victims by way of demon spirited inhabited killings. It is to start a race war with ordinary humans and supern...more
The Speculative Post
So I guess this is a thing now. Otherwise played straight non-fantasy genres with supernatural elements in an urban setting. I’m assuming this is some sort of aftermath of Sookie Stackhouse making ‘What if there were fantasy elements, but they were pretty much no big deal to anybody in the setting, and everybody knew about them?’ into a popular way to build a setting. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently -bad- about this development; in fact, it leads to some very interesting story...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Suspense driven, crime stopping, sarcasm slinging detective duo out to stop an unprecedented supe-human war.

Opening Sentence: The City is Scranton.

The Review:

Evil Dark, the second installment in the Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series, continues to follow the overworked and underappreciated detectives, Stan Markowski and Karl Renfer. Their caseload is high, their sarcasm strong, and all their interagency cooperation mojo is running out q...more
Stephanie
EVIL DARK
Stan Markowsky, Book 2
Angry Robot
USA Mass Market Paperback 384 pp. April 24, 2012
UK B-Format Paperback 416pp May 3, 2012
Also as E-Book


ORIGINAL REVIEW FANGS WANDS AND FAIRY DUST: A HUMAN JOE FRIDAY ON THE SUPE SQUAD




INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY MAY 20 (giveaway ends May 25)

“My name’s Markowski. I carry a badge. Also a crucifix, some wooden stakes, big vial of holy water and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.”
ANGRY ROBOT

In this second adventure of Stan Markowski and the Scranton Polic...more
Sara
Plot: 4.5 Stars
I love the balance between cop procedural and the paranormal in this series. Stan and Karl are a part of the Occult Crimes Unit, and its no different from any other police unit, except for the paranormal creatures. On any given day, Stan and Karl are tring to solve numerous cases involving werewolves, vampires, goblins, witches, and any of the other supernatural creatures that are living in Scranton. If this series was made into a tv show, it would be something like Law and Order:...more
Mr. Matt
I thought this was a better story than the first installment in this series, Evil Dark - although I'm not entirely certain why I feel that way. Maybe it was the fact that I had already been introduced to the author's world and the characters. I was able to pick the book up and settle right into modern day Scranton, complete with goblins, trolls, vampires and, of course, magic.

Reading these books it is natural to draw a comparison with the Dresden series. I am a big fan of some of the Dresden bo...more
Julia


EVIL DARK hit the spot, both as a police procedural and UF. The dry police banter, methodical exploration of crimes, and a story and world that were easy to jump into make this great introduction to the series as well as a satisfying stand alone. I love how these crimes prove that not all supernatural crime is exotic, arresting an ogre that smashed up a bar or talking a wingless faerie off a ledge were excellent counterpoints to the heinous violence of the demonic snuff films.

Markowski and Kar...more
Gregory Litchfield
If a book about a cult that is using a demon to torture and kill people, and then making snuff films from them can be considered fun, than this is that book!

This is the second novel in Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series, featuring Stan Markowski, who is an aging beat-down detective very much in the Chandler mode. Of course what makes Stan's job different than every other detective novel is that he works for a division of the police that works cases involving supernatural beings - or "supes"...more
Meggie
The second book in Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series was even better then the first one. There is a lot of reasons,
- because the main police characters were already known and developed even more,
- because of an interesting mysterious police case.
- well written plot with enjoyable humor, sarcasm and cool dialogues.
The main storyline was personally awesome, pulling for the entire time and got me hooked instantly. LOVED IT! Highly recommended series!
Ade Couper
I do like Justin Gustainis' Occult Crime Unit books: while there have been numerous series involving police vs the Forces of Darkness ( Paul Cornell & Ben Aaronovitch both doing excellent work on this, as well as Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May novels), these are the 1st occult "police procedurals" I've read.

Excellent storytelling, & very visual- you could imagine this being done on TV, by Dick Wolfe ( the creator of "Law & Order"). Highly recommended.
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Justin Gustainis was born in Northeast Pennsylvania in 1951. He attended college at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university that figures prominently in several of his writings.

After earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.

Mr. Gustainis currently lives in Plattsburgh, New York. He is a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State U...more
More about Justin Gustainis...
Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1) Black Magic Woman (Quincey Morris, #1) Evil Ways (Quincey Morris, #2) Sympathy for the Devil  (Quincey Morris, #3) Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives

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