One Grave At A Time
Published 2011 357 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
How do you send a killer to the grave when he’s already dead?
Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans' voodoo queen just keeps on giving – leading to a personal favour that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.
Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity--forever. But one wrong step and they’ll be digging their own graves.
One Grave At A Time is the sixth book in Jeaniene Frost’s bestselling Night Huntress urban fantasy romance series. Six books along and series fans know pretty much what they are going to get when they pick up a Cat and Bones book – romance, witty dialogue, kick-ass fantasy action and instant entertainment. One Grave At A Time certainly doesn’t disappoint on any of those fronts.
For any urban fantasy or paranormal romance fan who hasn’t already come into contact with these books it worth noting that the books are a mixture of urban fantasy and romance. There is a long running romance between the story’s central vampire characters Cat and Bones, which is developed further with each new instalment. For that reason I’d recommend newbies start with Halfway To The Grave and read the books in order. The urban fantasy elements are equally strong as the romance and each book sees Cat and Bones (along with their friends) take on a new set of supernatural (and evil) bad guys who are intent on destroying either Cat or Bones – or the world in general if they have larger ambitions.
This time out Cat and Bones are facing what has to be their trickiest foe to date – a murderous ghost. Tricky, because their usual modus operandi when confronted with an evil foe is to just stab, slash or beat it until it’s completely dead. When the bad guy is already dead, and incorporeal, it presents a whole new set of problems.
In the Night Huntress world ghosts aren’t an unusual occurrence. There have been ghosts in the majority of the stories so far but they are usually completely harmless since they are unable to physically interact with the world. All vampires have the ability to see ghosts but mostly they just ignore them and just about all humans can’t see ghosts at all – so spending your eternity as a ghost is generally an exercise in impotence and frustration. Heinrich Kramer is something of an oddity. He’s a powerful ghost, with poltergeist powers and the ability to manifest a physical body on Halloween. He’s a hater of women (torturer, rapist and murderer too) so he makes an easily detestable bad guy for the story.
One Grave At A Time is very well paced. Once Heinrich fixates upon Cat the action is non-stop. He regularly pops up to violently harass Cat and thwarts all her early attempts to capture him. Even if Heinrich is something of a one-trick-pony there is never a dull moment, especially when Spade, Denise, Cat’s mom and Ian decide to join into the action.
From a romance perspective, the relationship between Cat and Bones is clearly deep and loving but the edge of uncertainty that sharpened earlier stories in the series is definitely missing here. However, the story is still a pleasure to read and it sets up an intriguing (and unresolved) mystery regarding Cat’s old military team that will certainly be enough to guarantee that Night Huntress fans will be lining-up for the next series instalment.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
You can find out more about the Night Huntress novels and read an excerpt from this book at Jeaniene’s website.