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Evil Dark

(Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,115 ratings  ·  98 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
Paperback, 396 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,115 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 20, 2014 rated it did not like it 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
(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 t
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ken B
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 furthe
May 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spec-fic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 28, 2013 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.
Angela Verdenius
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent read, with a gripping storyline and wonderful characters. Where the bad are bad, the good are good...and inbetween you have others... An Urban Fantasy cop mystery to really get your teeth into! I'm off to get the next in the series.
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, crime, 2012
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 spent another three ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 ...more
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-
All Things Urban Fantasy
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 pun
Mr. Matt
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-urban, 2013
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
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Super dark, yet funny procedural with a noir feel. I really enjoyed it, even when I realized things were a bit contrived, the jokes pushed a bit much and things were repeated a bit. I can't wait to read the next one.
The name's Markowski, I carry a badge...that type of thing. Folks are being burned alive, tortured to death and other stuff. Markowski is trying to figure out who is doing these horrible things and keeping his family and friends alive, any way possible. Gnarly, yet funny. My ki
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
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. :)
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.
Matthew Quirk
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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."
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!
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.
Nick Brett
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Hmmm, enjoyed the first book "Hard Spell" so obviously got the follow up. This I enjoyed a lot less. It felt the author was having such a good time writing this, he forgot he had an audience of readers.
This is an alt - world where Supernatural being co-exist with humans and a specialist bunch of cops deal with related crimes and incidents. This time there are unpleasant snuff movies in circulation and someone is promoting a war to end all wars between humans and supernatural beings. So our
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Normally, I would have given four stars but for the ending. The ending really ruined it and was so heavily written like a Mary-Sue-Self-Insert wish-fullfillment that I really wanted to throw the book at the wall. It is just the last chapter, the epilogue that got mee feeling this way but it was too much. What a dumb way to end a book. I mean, yes, I get it, the protagonist must be rewarded, but with a fucking threesome? I am pissed. Also, the whole reveal of the "spy" was a bit... I don't know, ...more
Steven Allen
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik Sapp
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
My only regret was that it was so long between when I read the first book and this one. The book made a lot of references to things that I assume occurred in book 1, but it had been so long that I forgot the details.

It starts off a little slow, but by about 25% in, it began to really pick up and I was almost at the end before I knew it. I really like the character development, as well as the way the author explains the world by slipping in things "everyone knows."
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
It was nearly as good as the first book in the series. Better plot twists, but it lacked some of the dark humour from the first one.
I didn’t mind the last two pages, but they didn’t add anything either.
Duane Gosser
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice continuation of story started in Hard Spell. Good pace and fun characters. Nothing fancy just solid occult/crime drama. Ready for more.
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5* audio
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really love this series. I wish that there were more than three books.
Mary Lee
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books are Amazing! I wish he would write more! A super mashup of detective/paranormal stories! I love them!
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
mediocre (goat without horns, hehe)
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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 Communicatio

Other books in the series

Occult Crimes Unit Investigation (3 books)
  • Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1)
  • Known Devil (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation, #3)