Book Review: Grave Illusions (Jess Vandermire, Vampire Hunter #1) by Lina Gardiner

Grave Illusions is the first book in the Jess Vandermire, Vampire Hunter series by Lina Gardiner.  Lieutenant Jess Vandermire, New York City police officer, is uniquely specialized to recognize and fight an unseen threat. It's her job to forge a black ops team, an assortment of men and women who wouldn't be considered for the job under normal circumstances. For her, it's all about retribution until ex-cop John Brittain is recruited to her team. Suddenly, her priorities aren't quite so easily definable. John Brittain has a chip on his shoulder and is as tough as they come. But is he ready for the whole truth? When Jess tells him the truth about herself, will he stay and fight or will he turn against her and not only threaten their lives but destroy the fragile relationship developing between them?

Grave Illusions is an urban fantasy with a solid show or world and character building, and a good pacing. John is a well built character that kept my interest. I like that neither Jess nor John are perfect characters, or so completely flawed that redemption seems unlikely. The dangers they face, and the team they put together, and very well written and capture the attention and imagination. They face large challenges, but deal with them head on, forthe most part. My only problem with the book is that it felt like there might have been a prequel or relate series before it (none of which seem to exist) since some of the characters had such complex back stories and interconnected relationships which readers only get a glimpse of. However, I still greatly enjoyed the complex reveals of some of those pieces, and the depths of the characters and larger story arch.


Grave Illusions is a solid start to a urban fantasy series. The characters are story are intriguing, with some new twists to the well explored ideas about vampires and the law. I have added this series to my to be read list, and look forward to reading on. 
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