I love a good mystery. Especially one that keeps me guessing til the end, and Lina Gardiner did just that with Grave Illusions , the first installment in the Jess Vandermire, Vampire Hunter series.
Jess is a strong heroine, a vampire who hunts her own kind. She was a cop before her turning and continues to uphold justice while keeping the darkness in her at bay. She is aided by her devoted brother, a priest who rescued her from the total damnation of the undead, and leads a covert police unit to crack down on those vamps with nothing but blood-drinking, murder and mayhem on their minds.
It’s a lonely existence for her, with only her brother providing her real company. But then she meets the tough ex-cop John Brittain, an upstanding guy paying a penance for a justifiable act that had unintended consequences and which cost him his career and the respect of his colleagues. As Brittain is drawn into her world and her fight, she finds herself experiencing thoughts and emotions she hasn’t felt in ages. And he’s feeling them, too.
Their waltz around each other is sweet amidst the danger and mysteries facing them. Brittain is as determined to have Jess as she is determined to put him off. Their relationship, however, is driven not just on their attraction and affections, but also genuine respect for each other, their abilities and dedication to their mission.
All in all, Grave Illusions  is a solid supernatural action-mystery story that has just the right amount of romance — though some may clamor for more — and a mysterious cliffhanger ending that left me eager to read the next installment in the series. Having a latent interest in investigative sciences, I hope she plays up more of the forensics aspects in future volumes, and turns up the heat between the lovely Jess and stalwart Brittain. They produce some interesting sparks that are definitely worth investigating.
Have you read Grave Illusions ? If so, feel free to let us know what you think.