Wednesday, June 12, 2013

IMMORTAL LAWS - Book Reviews


The 6th Laws thriller, Immortal Laws, is coming September 15, 2008! Find out why New Mystery Reader Magazine says, "this is one of the best thrillers I've read yet."

Immortal Laws
ISBN 9780976924358
© Jim Michael Hansen
Dark Sky Publishing, Inc.
Trade Paperback
412 pages
$13.95 USA
September 15, 2008

Back Cover Copy. Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry is thrust into his most bizarre, terrifying and twisted case yet as he hunts for the killer of a woman who was murdered with a wooden stake through her heart as if she was a vampire. Meanwhile, beautiful young blues singer Heather Vaughn learns that she has been targeted for a similar death. She frantically searches for answers, not only to save her life but also to find out whether dormant genes from an ancient past are buried inside her. As time runs out, both she and Coventry find themselves swept deeper and deeper into the throes of a modern-day thriller born of ancient and deadly obsessions.


"Vampires, murders, and sex (oh my). These titillating elements commingle in Hansen’s latest thriller starring Denver detective Bryson Coventry, a randy fellow who spends almost as much time bedding potential witnesses as he does investigating cases. Coventry’s current probe involves the murder of a young woman by a wooden stake through the heart, and little does he know that his latest sexual conquest, a Jamaican beauty named London, has come to Denver to warn blues singer Heather Vaughan that she might be the next victim. Apparently, what Heather and the victim have in common is that they both descend from vampires—that is, from people who were killed ages ago for the belief that they were vampires. Could London really believe that descendants of these unfortunate victims possess powers beyond the realm of human ability? And who could be wanting to see these descendants dead? London is the link that brings Coventry into this dark world, as Heather becomes the pawn in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Way creepy, a little tawdry, but boatloads of fun."
--Booklist (September 1, 2008 edition)

"Review: Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry investigates two separate cases, the disappearance of a local television reporter and the vampire-style murder of woman, a wooden stake driven through her heart, in Immortal Laws, the sixth thriller in this series by Jim Michael Hansen.

After spending an evening out on the town with Bryson, Jena Vernon disappears from her home without a trace. Though Bryson is not a suspect in her disappearance, he is a person of interest and therefore prohibited from officially investigating her high-profile case. That doesn't stop him from unofficially pursuing clues that lead him to similar unsolved cases in other parts of the country where the missing woman was later found murdered. He believes he's in a race against time to prevent the same for Jena. The case to which he has been officially assigned is most bizarre: a woman has been found murdered with a wooden stake embedded in her chest. He doesn't necessarily believe in the existence of vampires himself, but knows all too well that others may and sets out to find this self-styled vampire slayer before anyone else loses their life.

The large cast of characters in Immortal Laws is effectively managed by having them appear, for the most part independently, in accounts from three points of view: that of Bryson, a purported vampire Heather Vaughn, and the vampire slayer Trent Tibadeau. It should be noted that the vampires depicted in this novel are not the stereotypical characters from legend and film; they are fairly typical, everyday human beings who happen to be blood descendants from people considered to be immortal vampires in their day. In a rather oddly compelling way, that the author chooses to represent them as relatively "normal" makes them all the more unusual.

Of the three narratives, that of Bryson's unofficial investigation of the missing reporter is in many ways, and certainly somewhat ironically given he's the series character, the least interesting. A sense of danger or urgency is never established and even though it is presumed that the storylines will intersect at some point, Bryson's unofficial case remains essentially orthogonal to the others up to the final pages and even then never seems fully integrated into the story. His murder investigation is also weakly delivered and is clearly secondary to his search for Jena.

Of far more interest are the narratives of Heather and Trent. These are well-rounded, nuanced, captivating characters that inexorably draw the reader into their spheres. Each takes a cat-and-mouse approach to the other, with their suspense-filled pathways culminating in a climatic encounter, the outcome of which cannot be foreseen. A couple of seemingly minor and tangential subplots and a disappointing final "twist" are all that mar the courses these characters take.

There are many reasons to recommend this book, but in the end, the intriguing, most unusual plot of Immortal Laws is what makes it a worthy addition to this fine series." Mysterious Reviews.

"After reading his latest, it’s clear that Hansen is a writer at the top of his game.Vampires and Bryson Coventry, who could ask for anything more? A might-be vampire is followed by another and warned that “slayers” are after her because she is a bloodline descendant of a vampire. Bryson at the same time, in a different location, is trying recover from the image of a woman’s body with a wooden stake driven through her heart. Bryson and the might-be vampires soon meet and get caught up in a series of unspeakable murders. l can’t wait to recommend the latest book in this continuing series to my friends."
-- Andra Tracy, Book Reviewer, Out Word Bound Books, Indianapolis, IN

"IMMORTAL LAWS is the sixth book in the LAWS series by Jim Michael Hansen. In this latest edition Hansen dives head first into the supernatural and Coventry faces unusual antagonists in the form of vampires? But this is not a horror novel, but rather a well written story with elements of the supernatural and crime mystery expertly woven into a first rate thriller.

The series continues with Bryson Coventry and his elite Denver Homicide unit investigating a surreal case of a murder victim stabbed through the heart with a wooden stake. When another victim is identified with the same MO, Coventry is not sure what direction to take. Meanwhile, his personal life is being pulled in two opposite directions. On one hand he meets the woman of his dream (again?) and his torn with guilt over the disappearance of a close high school friend, Jena Vernon, who wants to make more of their casual relationship. He now must solve both of these cases, even if he is considered a suspect in one of them.

What is different in this episode of the series is that Hansen has chosen not to have an attorney be the co-lead of the story. Instead we meet Heather Vaughn, an up and coming jazz singer who stirs up the ghost of Billie Holiday and who is now dealing with the information from a stranger that her life is in danger because she has a direct bloodline connection to an infamous vampire. As Coventry’s investigation moves forward, Vaughn may somehow be connected to other dead women. The Slayers, the men who are hunting down and trying to kill these bloodline descendent vampires, are one of Hansen’s more interesting characters. Many red herrings are thrown the reader’s way and add tension to the story line.

After six editions to the series, Hansen carefully manages to keep his stories interesting and enjoyable. In each story we learn a different side to Coventry that makes him more lifelike and likable.

IMMORTAL LAWS is a fascinating blend of multiple genres. For those who think that this is a horror novel will find that Hansen is a master of the thriller form. I would suggest reading this novel during the daylight hours with a garlic necklace on. However, once you start, you will be reading long into the night. Like Coventry, bring some coffee to keep you company."
--Aldo T. Calcagno, Mystery Dawg (, for Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine,

"Bryson Coventry is back. The Detective in charge of the homicide unit for the Denver Police has found the most beautiful woman he has ever met–again–and he wants her badly. Problem is she is a vampire?

Okay, you say how can a thriller writer – not a horror writer – actually take his main character, throw him into story about immortality and bloodsucking and pull it off? How will this play out? Surprisingly it plays out very well.

Coventry and his partner Shalifa Netherwood have been assigned to a bizarre case. A young woman has been found murdered in an abandoned Denver warehouse, a stake driven through her heart.

Not only is this bizarre, but when another body turns up murdered in the same way, clues and leads begin to spin counterclockwise for Coventry. Not much makes sense, but he stays on the trail. There is an undercurrent to the murders, but he cannot put his finger on it. When an old female friend from high school disappears, and the investigation points to her as being the next victim, Coventry revs the investigation into high gear.

A novel such as this, with a plot that uses fictional characters, I mean vampires, is not something that I would even pick up from the bargain table at the book store. That decision would be my mistake. This is the first book I have read that uses these two disparate genres and blends them together into a very entertaining story. The hero gets the girl, repeatedly as usual, wants to marry her, as usual, fortunately for us, she has other ideas.

Jim Michael Hansen uses this bizarre storyline to drag you into the world of vampires, bloodsucking, and of course lewd and lascivious sex. All of which (Hansen has made this his style) is surprisingly tasteful in a story in which the writer could easily go overboard.

Armchair Interviews Says: Not a horror novel, Immortal Laws is a thriller and a pretty darn good one at that." --Jeff Foster, Armchair Interviews

"Dark nights and fierce thunderstorms. Old legends of creatures that feed on the blood of the living. Yes, I am talking about vampires, those immortal beings that only come out at night. The only way to kill them is by driving a wooden stake through their hearts. Such are the tales saved for books and old movies.

That is until Denver Detective Bryson Coventry is faced with a murder whose victim has a wooden stake driven through their heart. The Detective has no leads until he finds out that the exact same type of murder took place in Paris not too long before his victim was found in Denver. Now Coventry feels like he is getting somewhere. Then one of his old high school friends – who is a t.v. journalist – is kidnapped. And he is the prime suspect in her disappearance.

Then there is Heather Vaughn. Vampires have stepped out of legend and into her life. One stormy night, an intoxicatingly beautiful woman named London tells Heather that she is part of a vampire blood-line, and that vampire “slayers” are after her. Heather really isn’t sure she believes this, until not long after meeting London, she is attacked in her own home and forced to kill one of the slayers. Now Heather realizes she has a target on her back, and she must immerse herself into the world of vampires to save her life.

This is the first time that Jim Michael Hanson has written one of his “Laws” books where one of the main characters was not a lawyer. I think Mr. Hanson did a great job on his sixth novel. (Even making an Alfred Hitchcock-like cameo within its pages.) This story was captivating, erotic and humorous at times. I find a great adventure each time I delve into the world of Detective Bryson Coventry."
--Kathy Martin, In the Library Reviews

*** "Jim Michael Hansen has taken this sixth book, Immortal Laws, to a whole new level. His ability to take the edge-of-the-seat suspense and give it the spine-tingling tension and compelling intrigue it deserves is just a small part of his talent. The rest is perfect enjoyment that the reader gets immersed in page after thrilling page. His ingenuity as a writer keeps improving just like a fine wine." *** --Wanda Maynard, Simegen Reviews

"As I began reading the sixth book, Immortal Laws, in author Jim Hansen's series Laws , I truly wondered what would await me, what devious work, and evil players would I find; I have to say Mr. Hansen definitely surprised me. I would never have imagined I would be confronted by Vampires and wooden stakes, but that is how our brilliant author works, always keeping his work fresh and alive, even though all of her characters aren't. Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry, one of the main players in the Laws series, is called to investigate a young woman's death, murdered with a wooden stake driven in her heart, the scene is not a pretty one. As Coventry begins to investigate he finds out there are more deaths around the world done in the same fashion. The stakes begin to get high as Coventry's friend, TV personality Jena Vernon is kidnapped and the race is on to save her life and the life of others. That is if Coventry can figure out the connection between them all; time is running out.

We meet Heather Vaughn who has something in common with the dead women. It seems Heather is a descendent of the vampire bloodline and someone is making it their business to hunt down these descendents and kill them, but why? However Heather is luckier than the other bloodline descendents as she has two body guards who seek her out, telling her the story of her heritage, the danger she is in, and offering their help as protectors. However, people and events are not always what they seem to be as you will find in this top-notch read. Try as you may you will definitely not be able see the end coming nor will you put your finger on who is behind all of these murders and why. As always, this novel is creepy, adventurous, mysterious and has all the ghoulish goodies you expect Mr. Hansen to feed you with; you won't be left hungry. I like the way our author brought in other parts of the world, in the USA and outside in the storyline, broaden the scope if you will, of the far reaches of evil that our modern means of travel allows. I also liked the personal touch he gave in this read of Coventry's concern for his friend Jena. Whether you are a die-hard Hansen fan, as I am, or just beginning to read his outstanding novels you won't be disappointed. Par for the course, this one will take you down some dark allies, around some winding bends, into some devious, sick minds and bring you out totally exhausted with the journey only to realize where you knew for sure the read would end up wasn't even close. Great read! Recommended to the highest! Well done Mr. Hansen!" --Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review

"Do you believe in vampires and other dark-side beings? Talented author Jim Michael Hansen will keep you reading as you join homicide detective Bryson Coventry in a case guaranteed to have you sleeping with a light on. Vampires seem to have invaded his world.

A young singer is told by a woman from Jamaica that she is descended from vampires and because of this, she is in danger from a group called the Slayers. It calls for courage to stay and face the killers. Will she be able to do it or will she become a victim or will she run?

Bryson Coventry must deal with a new type of killer when a victim is found with a stake through her heart. Was she a vampire or was her killer just adding his own twist to murder?

Coventry's investigation bring him into contact with the Jamaican woman and he feels drawn to her. Can he separate his emotion from his hunt for the murderer as she plays more than one role in this well told tale?

Talented author Jim Michael Hansen will have you wanting to tell people not do go down that dark street, to avoid going out at night. And you will willingly follow them into those dark streets just to see what happens. Just be careful and consider wearing a garlic necklace to keep vampires away.

This is a tale that will have you rechecking your windows at night and looking over your shoulder for those mysterious fliers with fangs. Guaranteed to keep you reading, this is one of the best thrillers I've read yet. A different type of thriller deftly laced with horror that will have you looking for Mr. Hansen's other books.

Enjoy. I certainly did."

--Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader Magazine

"IMMORTAL LAWS by Jim Hansen: (2008 Release) Blues singer Heather Vaughn has the same bloodlines as a young woman who is found with a wooden stake driven through her heart – both are descended from men who were reputed to be vampires. In this, his sixth outing, coffee drinking serial womanizing Denver homicide detective Bryson Coventry is under suspicion because of the disappearance of childhood friend Jena Vernon, now a local television news reporter, last seen with Coventry. Heather is trying to stay alive while helping to find a group of slayers that appear to be roaming the world to eradicate vampire descendents. Coventry doesn’t believe in ghosts, or vampires, or werewolves, or any of that stuff, but he does believe in himself “Just because I don’t know what I’m doing doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” Another solid police procedural with only a touch of “woo-woo”, that doesn’t interfere at all with the action in this modern-day thriller rooted in ancient and deadly rites. All in all, another very satisfying read." --Jack Quick, Bookbitch Reviews