"True Grit" Meets "True Detective" in New Gripping Ritual Murder Thriller

The Demon Mark

The Demon Mark

The Demon Mark by SK Falconer

Falconer has all the usual murder-mystery theatrics and more. It works exceptionally well.”
— Kirkus
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, June 20, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Combining an unfiltered image of frontier life with the slow and suffocating isolation of the wilderness, author SK Falconer’s new thriller The Demon Mark is a darkly atmospheric and gripping ritual murder tale set in 19th-century New South Wales.

In this small colonial town near the Australian wilds, everyone has their secrets, and jaded war veteran and police inspector Cormag Macleod knows this better than anyone. When strange marks on a corpse spark dark rumors of rituals and the paranormal, Macleod finds his passion rekindled again as well. But when superstition leads to panic and faith becomes fanaticism, the grizzled investigator will find himself neck-deep in a darkness so deep it might just be too late, both for himself and the town.

As Macleod, in this second book in the series, spirals further and further down the rabbit hole of the unsettling case, Falconer captures not only the aesthetic and atmosphere, but even the rhythms and speech patterns of frontier life with subtle yet immersive skill. The period research that underpins the series is once again both thorough and unobtrusive, and this novel’s moody evocations—the dirt, the countryside, the volatile weather—are even more effectively done than in its predecessor.

The low-tech setting combined with Falconer’s vast medical background allow for astonishingly detailed, old-school sleuthing that will have readers just as invested in the case as Macleod.

“His medical knowledge and background really shine, adding deeply to the overall story,” says Amazon reviewer Nicole. “As someone with an academic background in criminal justice and forensics, his prose rang true and resonated with me.”

With a haunting atmosphere, pulse-pounding action sequences, a nuanced take on mental illness, and clues and red herrings at every turn, The Demon Mark has people everywhere talking. “Falconer has all the usual murder-mystery theatrics and more,” says Kirkus Independent Review. “It works exceptionally well.”

The Demon Mark is available on Amazon and other popular retail outlets where books are sold.


Saul Kenneth Falconer is the pen name of Paul Bird, a fiction writer who lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and four children. He was born and raised in Newcastle, Australia, where he studied nursing, then medicine and began his specialist training as a physician. When he is not writing, he works as a rheumatologist, caring for people suffering from arthritis and joint diseases. Writing gripping crime and thrilling science fiction has been a passion since his youth. Visit www.skfalconer.org.

SK Falconer
SK Falconer, Author

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