July 11, 2013

REVIEW: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4)

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4), by Darynda Jones
Published October 30, 2012
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Format: hardback, borrowed from the library
Genre:  adult paranormal, urban fantasy
To Buy:  Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Welcome to the world of grim reaper extraordinaire, Charley Davidson. Try as she might, there’s no avoiding her destiny.

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of 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. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, 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.

Man, oh man. Just when I thought Charley couldn't get any better, she did. She's become such a well-rounded character, and I love, love, LOVE to see her struggling with something and showing some serious vulnerability. It just endears her to me even more.

After the events of Third Grave Dead Ahead, Charley is really struggling, although she tries to laugh and joke her way out of having to admit it. She's been tortured, literally, within an inch of her life. She's been royally screwed over by two people who supposedly love her. And it's all become finally too much for her. 

Despite all that, the amazing crime mystery that we all have come to expect in the Charley Davidson books is present. While Charley works her way through a case (well, actually, several cases at once, as per usual), she slowly starts to work her stuff out. Her way of using her grim reaper abilities to catch the bad guys helps her to start to get a grip on what her new reality is, and it's therapeutic for her. 

It was nice seeing Reyes in a different role for a change too. He's still broody and mysterious and grumpy, but in Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, he also shows compassion, hurt, and maybe a teensy bit of love. He seems truly dedicated to helping Charley get over her trauma, too, even though he was partly responsible for it. Perhaps that's part of the reason why. 

One of my absolute favorite parts of these books is Darynda Jones' ability to create amazingly jaw dropping M. Night Shyamalan-esque Holy-Crap-I-Didn't-See-That-One-Coming endings. And, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is the craziest one yet. I didn't see it coming, which is the best. I LOVE being surprised. 

Although Charley's and Reyes' relationship is still not where I would prefer it to be, it does seem to be progressing... somewhere. Where, I don't know yet. But, it does seem to be going forward-ish. They're just such an untraditional couple. I don't know if we'll ever see "I love you"s and snuggles and cuddles from those two. But, they do start to make steps to get past the roadblocks that have plagued their relationship thus far, and I'll take that much for now. 

The Charley Davidson series really does have it all - humor, intrigue, drama, twists. And tons of awesome t-shirt slogans.

No comments: