by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #2
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans
When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?
What was my opinion of Second Grave on the Left? I “abso-freaking-lutely” loved it. Darynda Jones is a genius. This is her second book in the Charley Davidson series, and it delivered all that I had hoped for and more. The storyline is fresh, with a strong cast of characters. The writing is tight, fast-paced, incredibly witty and left me wanting more.
Protagonist Charley Davidson can see the dead; in fact, she is a Grim Reaper. She helps souls cross over into the light. She is also a private investigator who has been helping her uncle and the police force solve cases since she was five. Charley is one of my favorite fictional characters alongside such greats as Harper Blaine from the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson and Mercy Thompson from the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Charley is tough, smart and protective of the living and the dead. What sets her apart is her witty, sarcastic personality and fearlessness. My sides literally hurt from laughing. Get out a highlighter when reading this, because she delivers some one-liners you will want to repeat.
Second Grave on the Left picks up a few weeks after the last novel left off. It has Charley taking on a case involving a group of high school students from twenty years ago. Her father a retired police officer is receiving threats from a recently released felon. Cookie, Charley’s BFF and assistant extraordinaire, has a ghost in her car trunk. We learn more about Reyes, the supernatural, super sexy, son of Satan. He has been a part of Charley’s life since birth. Reyes has saved her from near death, has aided her in learning her abilities and given her an orgasm that no mortal man can match. The interaction between Reyes and Charley is intense, fueled by sexual tension and sarcasm. Reyes comes to Charley in the shower as an entity. He is covered in blood and seriously wounded. We quickly learn that demons have his corporeal body and that he is coming to her from his dreams. Charley wants to find him and save him, but Reyes warns her it’s a trap. While working these cases, dodging a tail and dealing with people threatening her life, Charley begins searching for Reyes. The story that unfolds is fast paced and intense. Charley learns new skills in her role as Grim Reaper and we see growth in her as a character. I love that she evolves while keeping her snarky personality. Jones gives us a glimpse of the powers that Charley has yet to utilize. The conclusion only leaves you wanting more. Little sub-plots and clues set us up perfectly for the third novel, entitled Third Grave Straight Ahead.
Second Grave on the Left and its predecessor First Grave on the Right, are a must-read for fans of urban fantasy, ghosts, romance and PI mysteries that deliver deliciously outrageous humor. Third Grave Straight Ahead is scheduled for release in the United States on January 31, 2012. This reader has already pre-ordered her copy. All of Jones books are available in paper, audio and digital formats.