The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, #9
E-ARC via Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 12th, 2016
Adult Fiction | Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she’s more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn’t help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she’s lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.
At the beginning of 2015, I decided to discover some really good Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. Charley Davidson, though well known amongst bloggers that I follow, was something I’ve always felt like a series I would not be able to enjoy. But the increasing noise from others about the books could no longer be ignored. In March, I gave in and picked up the first book. It only took one book and the rest, as they say, is history.
*** Warning: Some spoilers up ahead ***
THE DISAPPEARING ACT OF CHARLEY DAVIDSON
The end of book 8 showed how Charley lost her marbles when she had to give up their daughter for hers and the world’s sake. She unleashed unimaginable sorrow with the choice they had to make. She literally vanished into the thin air, to Reyes’ heartbreaking woe. Ms. Jones, at least, made sure she gave us a glimpse of where Charley ended up. So you can only imagine how anxious I was for the 9th book.
SLEEPY HOLLOW, NEW YORK
Meanwhile, Janey Doerr was found in a back alley without any memories and recollections of who she was. But with the small town spirit and the generosity of strangers, she was able to find a place to live and a job waitressing at a diner. In an honest-to-goodness Charley Davidson fashion, Janey was able to make friends left and right. There’s Cookie and her husband, Bobert; the diner owner who lets her get away with a lot of things; the handsome strangers who she seems to keep bumping into; and the few dead people who hones on her like a heat-seeking missle. Oh and there was that dead dog with the affinity to showers and a thirteen-year-old angel who propositions her any chance he gets. So maybe not remembering things about your life wasn’t so bad after all.
STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN
If you’re one of those people who have followed this series and have been feeling blasé about the last few instalments, you’re in for a treat! Reading book 9 is like starting anew. I especially enjoyed watching Janey and Reyes pussyfoot around each other. It’s like Ms. Jones gave us an alternate universe where Charley is newly discovering the hotness that is, Reyes. It is also fun to watch her discover her powers (mostly by accident) and meet all the dead people that sought her light. At the same time, I would’ve liked to see her react differently to the unsualness of meeting dead people. I thought Janey could’ve at least tried to act terrified at first because she wasn’t used to seeing them all her life.
This was a wonderful instalment that shows how long series should be done. Ms. Jones was able to freshen it up without veering away from the story arch she’s started. You will laugh, you will cry and in the Reyes-Dutch fashion, it will get you hot under the collar!