Beyond the Grave: Jess Vandermire #2

Beyond the Grave
Lina Gardiner
Jess Vandermire, book two
ebook, 188 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by ImaJinn Books
ISBN 9781933417431

Vampire Police Captain Jess Vandermire is hunting a serial killer vampire. The trouble is, Jess is experiencing blackouts, and every time she does, another woman turns up dead. Has she slipped over the dangerous slope into full vampirism? Is she the serial killer she's hunting?

Lieutenant John Brittain makes it his job to find the killer and prove Jess innocent, but it's hard to be human in a world of super-strong, super-fast vampires. His best weapon is his tough-cop intellect and he's using it for all he's worth. Yes, Jess is a vampire, and yes, she's capable of killing. He knows, however, that she hasn't committed these crimes, and he has the horrible feeling that if he doesn't catch the killer soon Jess will be the final victim.

As Jess and Britt wage war against this evil vampire, it becomes a battle for the last vestiges of Jess's own humanity. Soon the question becomes, who will draw first blood?

Jess has battled the vampire part of herself for decades. Now, in meeting Britt and ultimately falling for him, she is ready to attempt a normal life, or at least a normal relationship. But before she and Britt can consummate their love, Jess begins to have nightmares and blackouts. Before this, she'd never even dreamed and she's absolutely never been knocked unconscious without reason. Waking up with urges to drain Britt of his lifeblood sends her over the edge with panic and the whole team is disturbed by her failings.

Meanwhile, all evidence in a spree of serial killings points to Jess, and Britt and Sampson are left to sort through the madness as Regent falls under scrutiny from the Archdiocese.

This installment was a complete flip-flop from the first where everything was on top of the world amazing... until the lackluster ending. Here, ninety-five percent of the story is so dull and predictable that the disappointment gathered from the pages actually hurts... until the end. There, things get interesting as Jess' world falls apart, and it's up to the next, and last, book to put everything back together. 3 out of 5 stars.

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