Oct. 30, 2012 | St. Martin's Press | 320 pgs
Source: Provided by publisher via Netgalley
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In Darynda Jones's Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.
With the majority of my all-time favorite series, there is always one installment that isn't quite as incredible as the rest. But with Charley Davidson, each novel is just as dynamic and captivating as the next. They never disappoint.
Fourth Grave was loaded with humor, adrenaline-fueled action, and intense moments between our favorite grim reaper and the irresistible son of Satan. It was everything that I love in a story and what I have come to expect from the remarkably talented Darynda Jones.
Charley hasn't left her apartment in months as she's still suffering mentally and emotionally from the torture that she endured at the hands of a madman. But never leaving her residence also means not generating an income, something that also affects her assistant, Cookie. So when she finds herself desperate for money, she decides it's time to collect from someone who owes her a large debt.
I straightened my shoulders and tightened my grip on the steering wheel, because tonight I had a dragon to slay. A dragon named Reyes Farrow.
The moment she finally decides to leave her apartment, she finds herself entangled in mysteries and repeatedly in danger.
One mystery involves a disturbing case where a woman is in fear for her life, but no one will believe that she is actually in danger. The other is a threat to Charley's life as she's relentlessly hunted by vicious demons. She knows why they want her, but not how they are able to track her or a way that they can be stopped without hurting innocent people. Fortunately, Reyes is a bit more generous with information than he has been in the past and Charley discovers that he has dedicated his time to tracking the demon-possessed who are determined to find her.
We are finally rewarded with more information about Charley's grim reaper status. I'm always eager to learn more about the mystery behind her existence and intended purpose. But what we learn still only scratches the surface, because Darynda loves to tease us, and I'm looking forward to learning more as the series continues.
Charley and Reyes' relationship is still running hot and cold. They can't deny the strong attraction that they have for one another, but they are both stubborn and always seem to have obstacles in their way. I'm often left wondering if they will ever get their act together, but the lingering doubts and resulting tension are all a part of the excitement.
There are many, many reasons why I'm obsessed with Reyes, but one of the things that makes his character so intriguing to me is that one minute he's the hero, saving Charley's life, willing to do anything to keep her safe. The next he's backing her into a corner, angry and intimidating, growling in her face. There's no doubt that he loves her, but I admire that he doesn't mask who or what he is just to make her happy.
Then he was in front of me, his hand around my throat holding me when I wanted to run. "You reek of fear."
I fought his hold to no avail. "And whose fault is that?"
"Mine, and I apologize again, but you have to get the fuck over it."
Amidst the battle with demons, her financial troubles, and working a case that is frustratingly difficult, Charley also has family issues on her list of things to deal with. She still refuses to speak to her father and receives a visit from her evil stepmother instead. She ventures a little deeper into the reasons behind her animosity toward Denise and we learn a little more about how poorly she was treated as a child. And although she was very close with her father until recent events, we learn that she also resents him for allowing Denise to treat her so badly.
There are still many questions that remain and, as usual, I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment so that I can search for the answers. Fans of humor, mystery, romance...let's just say fans of reading...you must pick up the Charley Davidson series.