Nov 7, 2008

Beyond the Grave - Vampire Novel

Lina Gardiner. Beyond the Grave. ImaJinn (October 30), 2008.

For 50 years Jess Vandermire has been a vampire and vampire hunter. Miraculously she has been able to keep a large part of her humanity intact, and much of this is thanks to the prayerful intercession of her brother Regent, a Roman Catholic priest. He never gave up on her and never lost faith that she could keep her soul even while infected with evil. Unlike Jess, Regent as a mortal has aged. Her baby brother is now elderly, and he worries that when he dies she will not have a protector.

He hopes Jess will allow that position to fall to Britt, but she is reluctant. Britt is her mortal partner in the special operations unit that fights the vampire menace. He loves Jess to distraction, and, although she also loves him as well, she fears that her vampire side could overwhelm her and cause Britt's destruction. While these two wrestle with the agony of their mutual affection, a vampire serial killer is on the loose. Sampson Case, a coroner and vampirologist, carefully examines these cases. What he discovers is reason to worry. Jess's VNA (vampire DNA) is found on the victims. When Britt finds this out he assumes Jess is being set up. Sampson can only hope he is right.

Beyond the Grave is a terrific book to read. The action-packed plot moves quickly with enough twists to keep a reader's complete attention. And the characters are appealing, especially in the case of Regent the tender hearted priest whose strength of faith keeps his sister and those around her squarely in God's light. This is an unusual but compelling aspect to Gardiner's vampire story. As in book one of this series, Grave Illusions, Beyond the Grave has a cliff hanger ending which will leave readers begging for more.

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