It seems only fair to start this review with the fact that I burned out on urban fantasy (which is the sub-genre this book fits most neatly into, despite being set in rural Staffordshire) a while back and so Grave Secrets was probably up against it with me. Having said that, the book also had a few issues for me and so I guess I just wasn't the right audience after all.
The basic premise of the book is that vampires are known about and, in Europe at least, regarded with some degree of favour - this stems from a feel-good story involving vampires healing children with leukemia in Germany, which had led to pro-vampire legislation. As a result, our protagonist is quite aware of their existence as well as, unusually for some urban fantasy series, her own powers as a necromancer - in fact, we first meet her in the local cemetery where she's managed to work her way through raising all of its inhabitants one after another. This is the first place I butted heads with the story because while she seems to be creating zombies, they just conveniently appear rather than having to actually get out of their graves, yet are physical enough to do damage to people/vampires as needed.
Anyway, our protagonist (an estate agent who doesn't seem to do very much work at all) gets involved with trying to find the ideal place for a vampire to hang his metaphorical hat, with said vampire being quite hot and someone she's instantly in love with. There we come across issue number 2 for me, which is always how vampires get erections given that they don't have a working circulatory system, but that doesn't seem to stop said vampire from getting it up quite prodigiously. There's also a bit of dubious consent going on, as he doesn't like it when people say 'no' to him and I find that decidedly unsexy.
Anyway, other than the love interest, there's reasonable character development going on with a wide range of supporting cast, all of whom would make much more interesting romantic partners for our protagonist. Even the guy she raises from the dead at the beginning. The plot itself involves quite a bit of driving around the countryside, as well as fussing about clothes and hair, not to mention a lot of those clothes subsequently getting torn off or removed, one way or another. It's also not really a great book for anyone squeamish, though if you're reading urban fantasy regularly then you're probably going to be okay with what's going on here.
All in all, not really my cup of tea and could have been so much more interesting if it had gone in a number of other directions. In the end, it turns into reasonably-entertaining urban fantasy by the numbers and that, for me at least, was a little disappointing.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a free copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.