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Known Devil (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation, #3)
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Known Devil (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #3)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  456 Ratings  ·  63 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 new supernatural gang is intent on invading Scranton and it looks like I’m going to have to work with the current mob to prevent a demonic gang war.

“If there’s one thing I hate more than living with supernatural scumbags, it
ebook, 375 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Angry Robot (first published August 1st 2013)
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Mr. Matt
Known Devil is the third book in the Occult Crimes series. It follows Stan Markowski, a jaded detective as he and his partner, Karl, solve crimes involving the supernatural community. I like this little series for a couple of reasons:

First, unlike many Urban Fantasy books (see: Dresden, Harry and O'Sullivan, Atticus), the fate of the world/universe/reality are never at risk. Nope. Stan and his partner are simply trying to keep the streets safe for ordinary humans and supes (vampires, werewolves,
Jul 27, 2014 Carol. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of pulp noir and urban fantasy
With Hard Dark, I had the impression Gustainis was having fun. Enjoying the hell out of himself, in fact, and the enthusiasm translated to an entertaining read. This time, the writing feels forced, rote instead of fun. World-building, characterization and writing all left me left me wishing I had picked up my academic reading instead.

The third installment in the Occult Crimes Unit series begins in a local diner where Detective Sergeant Stan Markowski and his partner, Karl Renfer, are having a co
3.5 stars

I loved and enjoyed it almost throughout UNTIL the resolution/ending. Let me explained that one later. In the meantime, I though the whole addictive substance for supernatural beings, the vampire gang wars, terrorist bombing, and the whole Patriot Party with their bigot agenda, and someone keep saving Stan's life.

It was really interesting and I enjoyed every single twists that were thrown my way. A couple of them even made my eyes wide in shock ((view spoiler)
Dec 09, 2013 Kdawg91 rated it it was amazing
I have never read this series, but I requested it on netgalley and then like a goof realized I hadn't read the first parts of the series. HOWEVER, this book rocked, I loved every page, I loved that the fantasy in the world was so interwoven that it seemed almost commonplace, making the book more of a standard crime novel than anything else.

It kicked all kinds of ass in my opinion and I promptly bought the other books of the series. Go read it, you will dig it.

Jan 26, 2014 William rated it liked it
*3.5 Stars*

*Note – I was given a copy of this novel for the purpose of reviewing it.

Normally, I don't give a synopsis of a novel in a review. Publishers and authors do well enough telling what a story's about (or at least what they wish it was about). In this case, a description is warranted because what is provided, while unique in it's brevity and format, isn't enough to sustain a review.

So, a quick breakdown: Paranormal beings (vampires, werewolves, ghouls) have been a known commodity in
Jan 20, 2014 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Known Devil is by far one of the best occult fantasy stories that I have read to date. I enjoy Dresden with his deadpan snarky attitude, and his approach to fighting and dealing with being a wizard and a detective. Markowski trumps that with Known Devil.
Reading this is like a new millennium version of the old Noir films. Told in the first person point of view of the Detective Sergeant from the Occult Division of the Scranton Police Department, this novel has all the hallmarks of the classic dete
The third book in Occult Crimes Unit was well developed and written, I admit I was hooked from the beginning till the end, but some holes stayed unanswered. For example the new drug problem in their city. Did the white witches succeed or not, we didn't get an answer to that at the end. But in overall it was an enjoyable, well written storyline full of humor and sarcasm. Good work by this author!
3.5/5 stars. With every book in this series the stakes rise. Not in the old joke about D&D way where suddenly everyone in your group is a god, no, because Stan Markowski is still just Stan, a human cop in a supernatural world. But in the way where the stakes have to do with Stan and his beliefs and actions.

With help from his vampire partner Karl, official department witch Rachel, and with the support of his daughter and department, Stan uncovers a conspiracy that cause him to make a very di
In Scranton, USA, fangsters are killing each other, Stephen King is a “true-crime writer,” and not selling blood in a bar doesn’t mean you're prejudiced against “supes”; it might just be “some kind of religious thing.” Still, the undead daughter will warm her cup in the microwave while Dad eats breakfast before joining the night shift at the precinct.

You could start this series anywhere and still get hooked. Backstory is minimal and informative, told in the laconic, self-deprecating voice of a w
May 17, 2014 Alisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I highly recommend this novel.

Known Devil sent Sergeant Markowski and his undead partner Karl Renfer on a hell of a ride, pun intended. Markowski’s ultimate goal is to keep the town of Scranton safe from a variety of supernatural creatures ranging from vampires and werewolves, to pixies and ogres, witches and demons, and a butt load more nasty creatures.

Book three of his Occult Crimes Unit Investigations series, Gustainis’ protagonist focuses on three main groups: vampires, elves, and the Patrio
Scott T.
Mar 27, 2014 Scott T. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: I read this from an advanced copy.

Once I got past the elves in the first paragraph (elves as bad guys, really?) I enjoyed Known Devil immensely. And don’t worry, the elves segue into far more fearsome creatures.

The hero is a hard boiled, human cop-detective (say that three times fast.) Stan Markowski works for the Scranton, Pennsylvania police department. His partner is Karl Renfer, a vampire. The book opens with the detectives having a coffee break inside Jerry’s Diner when two
Mar 01, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in the Occult Crimes Unit Series, and it is definitely my favorite so far. Once again Scranton is up to its eyeballs in supernatural crime and intrigue. Up until now, the only supernatural creatures who were affected by drugs were goblins, who can get hooked on meth. Now there is a new drug in Stan Markowski's beloved town, and it seems to affect all supes. Typical to these books, there are a few other problems in Scranton -- namely an apparent war between vampire mafia fa ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing

If you enjoy this review please come by the blog to see this reveiw and many others!

KNOWN DEVIL: Truth, Humor and Politics

E-Galley provided by publisher via Net Galley for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as needed.

You know when you wonder about what’s happening with someone and then suddenly you hear from them a couple of days later? That’s how I learned about Justin’s new book in h
Feb 07, 2014 Maxine rated it really liked it
Detective Sergeant Stanley Markowski of Scranton PD is having a nice quiet lunch with his partner and first vampire cop, Karl Renfer, when two elves attempt to rob the joint. They’re both high on some drug and need money to buy more. Thing is, though, everyone knows supes, as Supernatural creature are known colloquially, aren’t affected by drugs…until now. As if this isn’t bad enough, at the same time this new drug has hit the streets, a war is beginning between competing crime syndicates and a ...more
Feb 03, 2014 Mieneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, crime, 2014
In 2012 I developed a taste for supernatural police procedurals, when I read Scott Sigler's Nocturnal and Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London and Justin Gustainis' Evil Dark was the one that confirmed that these sorts of books were really my thing. After finishing Evil DarkI was really looking forward to reading the next instalment in the Haunted Scranton series and, after two years, this weekend I finally got to return to Scranton and Detective Sergeant Markowski and friends. Known Devil w ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Mayra rated it it was amazing
Known Devil is the third instalment in Gustainis’ Occult Crime Unit urban fantasy series. Though I had not read the first two books, this one was completely stand-alone and didn’t make me feel I was missing anything. I have, however, read other books from Gustainis in the past (Evil Ways, Black Magic Woman and Sympathy for the Devil), and thoroughly enjoyed them. He is a fabulous writer.

In this exciting new series, Detective Sergeant Stanley Markowski of the Scranton PD’s Occult Crimes Unit, and
Jul 20, 2014 Ken rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Known Devil" is the third book in Gustainis' Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series.

Amid a war between crime families and the questionable motives of an upstart political party, a new, highly addictive drug is hitting the streets and the ramifications of its addictive nature are frightening. Detective Stan Markowski and his partner Karl Renfer have to resort to means they never before considered in order to prevent things from spiraling beyond law enforcement control.

While I did enjoy this bo
Lelia Taylor
Feb 13, 2014 Lelia Taylor rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Mix some elves, vampires, goblins and werewolves; add turf wars among the vampire fangsters, sleazy politics and drug-addicted supes (supernaturals); toss with a human police detective and his vamp partner and what do you get? Why, impending chaos in the streets of Scranton, of course!

Stan Markowski and his partner, Karl Renfer, have been my favorite pair of crossgenre detectives since I read Hard Spell, first in the Occult Crimes Unit series, in 2011. My enjoyment continued with the second book
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
Feb 11, 2014 Van (Short & Sweet Reviews) rated it really liked it
4 1/2 Stars

*Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher/author in exchange for a honest review.

I haven’t read the first two Occult Crime Unit Investigation novels, but these books don’t need to be read in order as Known Devil can be read as a standalone. This is a great Urban Fantasy and has one of my favorite aspects…police procedural with a touch of supernatural/paranormal and magic.
Known Devil opens up with Detective Markowski and Renfer at a diner on break when two elves come in
Ken Kugler
Apr 08, 2014 Ken Kugler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Know Devil, by Justin Gustainis, is just what I expect now. A hardboiled detective in the Occult Crime Units Investigations unit, Sargent Stan Markowski, is always on the lookout for the unusual. He always seems to find it and because of his instincts, it also seems to find him.
Early in this story, it looks like Stan is going to bite the dust but an unknown guardian angel takes out his assailant. Who is looking out for him is something that is a thread throughout the story.
The story's main thru
Ed Nemo
Feb 14, 2014 Ed Nemo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Once more into the town of Scranton PA, hub of supernatural gatherings and the weirdness it brings.

This has been my favorite book of the series so far. Markowski and Renfer get to do their cop thing facing down the Vampire Mafia, a group of anti-supernatural hate mongers, and an old villain hungering for his payback.

Markowski and Renfer make some tough decisions in this book. Is it wrong to do blatantly illegal things if it is the only way to win? If you can't trust your local politicos what opt
Feb 09, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm going to apply the phrase "a rollicking good time" to this series. It's just... fun. Dark and bloody, yeah. But fun.

I'm not going to lie, some of the things that Markowski initiates this time around worry me a bit. How far can you bend the rules before it begins to affect you? While I understand why he did some of the things he did (and how his dealings with the supernaturals sometimes lead to things that are better left covered up), once you cross a line, it can be easy to cross it
Jeff Dick
Jan 29, 2014 Jeff Dick rated it really liked it
Shelves: angryrobot
A Fresh Take on a Favourite Genre

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to read this. I typically don’t jump in part way through a series. More importantly, I have read a lot of supernatural crime in the past year and didn’t want something that would feel stale. I was, however, jonesing for something fresh in the genre.

Achievement unlocked.

Known Devil brings something new to a genre that I have come to love. Justin Gustainis has taken well-worn supernatural tropes (vampires, werewolves, wi
Henry Lazarus
Jan 23, 2014 Henry Lazarus rated it liked it
Justin Gustainis has a third police procedural set in a version of our world world where all the mythical creatures exist. Stan Markowski is a cop in the Occult Crimes Unit. His partner. Karl Renfer and his daughter are both vampires as are many of the gang bosses. Known Devil (ebook from Angry Robot) starts when two drug addicted elves try to rob the diner where Markowski and Renfer are eating. Except there are no drugs that effect the supernatural creatures. It seems a new gang is moving in to ...more
Jane Mercer
Apr 06, 2014 Jane Mercer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
This was a Goodreads Giveaway and my first positive one I loved this book it's an urban fantasy cop story. The lead character Stan Makowski (and I thought Warshawski was bad) is a cop with a vampire partner and a vampire daughter, in a modern world were supernatural beings came to the notice of humans half way through the last century.
It's number 3 in the series which means I got to get the first 2 as he is responsible for both his daughter and his partner being turned and I'm sure there's more
Sean Cummings
Feb 12, 2014 Sean Cummings rated it really liked it
I've just completed all three books in the series and Known Devil carries on seamlessly from book two. I enjoyed the Cosa Nostra aspect of the book and it was good to see a bigger role for Karl in this one, though the book left the nature of Karl's relationship with Christine hanging, so presumably that would be addressed in a subsequent volume. This is procedural detective work which is a marked departure from most urban fantasy at book stores - overall a solid read with an enjoyable protagonis ...more
Diane Patterson
I've read several of Gustainis's books, including the first two books in this series. This one was disappointing: the main character's constant joking wore thin, and the solution to the mystery depended on a character I don't even remember from previous books. I liked some of the details, but as I usually ask when a book presents vampires as bring ridiculously powerful: why haven't they taken over the planet?

Also, two young, hot women interested in the middle-aged, rumpled MC annoyed me.

Not his
B.L. Hewitt
Jan 28, 2014 B.L. Hewitt rated it it was amazing

Slick, clever and entertaining. In a well trodden genré, Gustainis’ take on the supernatural world is new and innovative. As Scranton, Pa.’s own version of The Men in Black, Detective Sergeant Stan Markowski and his vampire partner Karl, set out to stop a war between two gangs of ‘fangster’s’. (gotta love that) The storyline is well thought out and the cliché heavy banter between our heroes’s is amusing and perfectly paced to keep you turning the pages.
The author throws in clever misdirection an
Aug 13, 2014 Alisha rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this novel.

Known Devil sent Sergeant Markowski and his undead partner Karl Renfer on a hell of a ride, pun intended. Markowski’s ultimate goal is to keep the town of Scranton safe from a variety of supernatural creatures ranging from vampires and werewolves, to pixies and ogres, witches and demons, and a butt load more nasty creatures.

Book three of his Occult Crimes Unit Investigations series, Gustainis’ protagonist focuses on three main groups: vampires, elves, and the Patrio
Star (The Bibliophilic Book Blog)
Feb 28, 2014 Star (The Bibliophilic Book Blog) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
KNOWN DEVIL is the third book in the Occult Crimes Unit Investigation series featuring Detectives Stan Markowski and Karl Renfer. Set in a world similar, but very different, from our own Markowski has to deal with a new threat to Scranton and the supes who live there. There is a new drug, Hemoglobin Plus (aka Slide), hitting the streets which creates addicts across species lines. This is something which has been unheard of before and is evidentiary of a bigger issue for the residents of Scranton ...more
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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 about Justin Gustainis...

Other Books in the Series

Occult Crimes Unit Investigation (3 books)
  • Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1)
  • Evil Dark (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation, #2)

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