Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson-grim reaper extraordinaire, private investigator . . . meh-is practicing her profession under the influence, caffeine and copious amounts of it, due to an extreme desire to induce insomnia. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan, is there. Only thing is, he’s a tad peeved. She did bind him for all eternity, so it’s hard blame him. But 13 days without a wink is bound to bring out the crazy in a girl. So, when a man hires her to find his wife, Charley accepts the job with one goal in mind: Put the man behind bars, and not the wet kind. She can sense the guilt waft off him and vows to find the woman’s body and prove he’s a murderer. In the meantime, Reyes is back in prison and none too happy about it . . . so Charley thinks, until she is carjacked by the dark-haired rake, who swears the very man he went to prison for killing is not only alive, but close by. And he wants Charley to find him. While a visit to her old friend Rocket sheds no light on Reyes’s situation, Charley finds out the man’s wife is still alive and time is running out. Finding her before she dies would be a miracle, but she has to try. Together with the help of a fashion-impaired receptionist named Cookie, Charley sets out to bring the bad guys to justice. She just hopes Reyes is not one of them. And that she’s not hallucinating from her self-induced bout with insomnia.
Third Grave Dead Ahead is the third novel in the Charley Davidson series. While I personally do not recommend it, these urban fantasies can be read as a standalone. I have loved this series from its inception. Jones writing style and gift for sarcastic humor has this series on my pre-order list. This novel was released on January 31st, 2012 and after a failed attempt to read it in one evening. (I fell asleep sometime around 2 AM with my nook in my hands..LOL) I quickly consumed the remaining chapters the next day.
The story picks up a few weeks from where the last novel left off. We discover that our protagonist; the insatiable, snarky, loyal, butt- kicking, fearless, Charley Davidson, hasn’t slept in almost two weeks. Why? Because every time she closes her eyes the smoking hot, son of Satan, Reyes Farrow enters her dreams; and he is mad. In the last novel, she bound Reyes to his human form and he wants to be released. Charley is confused because he keeps coming to her and Reyes tells her she is summoning him. This freaks Charley out, but she is soon on a case for a missing woman. The husband seeks her help in finding his wife and he stinks, like guilt, and Charley is convinced he killed her. When she discovers, the wife is still alive, the tale twists and turns with danger. While on the case, she is carjacked and discovers Reyes has escaped from prison. While forcing her to drive him to friends, he explains that the very man he was convicted of killing is alive. He asks Charley to help investigate. She desperately wants to trust Reyes, but he’s the son of Satan. As she searches for Reye’s father, her questions and investigation suddenly put her in danger. She is questioned by the police, and fears for the safety of her friends. As if all of this isn’t enough she is dealing with a mafia biker gang and a father who wants her to retire and become a plumber. The mysterious email sender looking for the grim reaper appears. A strange ghost child with a big old knife is following Charley. Souls need to pass through her and the banter between Charley and her friend/assistant Cookie is totally hilarious. In my mind Cookie reminds me of actress Anne Potts in her role as, Mary Jo on Designing Women. Reyes and Charley’s inability to trust each other, while dancing around mega feelings,(that neither will admit too) puts them both in danger. We get to see the human side of Reyes and quite frankly; son of Satan or not I am smitten.
Do I recommend Third Grave Dead Ahead? As Charley would say, “abso-freaking-lutely” Jones delivers a fast paced, witty, action packed mystery, that left me salivating for more. This series isn’t just for paranormal and urban fantasy lovers. I really think this is a book that has something for everyone. Darynda Jones has made my auto-order list and joined the ranks of my favorite authors. The next book entitled Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is scheduled to be released in 2013. Third Grave Dead Ahead is available in paper, audio and eBook format.
“I strode toward Mr. Coffee with lust in my eyes.
We’d had a thing for quite some time now, Mr. Coffee and I …………”
quote from Charley Davidson, Third Grave Dead Ahead
I gave this novel 5 cups of coffee out of 5