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Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (#4) by Darynda JonesTitle: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Author: Darynda Jones

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Charley Davidson (Book 4)

Publication Date: October 30, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 1250014468 (St. Martin’s Press)

ISBN-13: 978-1250014467 (St. Martin’s Press)

Reviewed by: Sheila

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & Dirty: Charley Davidson, Private Investigator and Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, battles against the bad guys, demons, and her own fears.

Opening Sentence: I sat watching the Buy From Home Channel with my dead Aunt Lillian and wondered what my life would’ve been like had I not just eaten an entire carton of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy with a mocha latte chaser.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

To date, Darynda Jones has provided readers with the following aspects of Charley Davidson: the fun and sexy Charley, a distracted and ADD Charley, even a broken-hearted and betrayed Charley.  Fourth Grave Beneath my Feet shows a rarely seen serious and depressed Charley, a sad sight indeed.  Fear is hardly a light-hearted subject but I feel that in this case, Jones was able to take a normally serious theme and put a more humorous spin to it.

In the last book, we left Charley barely surviving the attack from Earl Walker. Fourth Grave explores the after effects this has on Charley and her usually sunny disposition.  Poor Charley.  For a grim reaper that has a decidedly happy and glass-half-full demeanor, she has had quite a blow.  Suffering from PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, she still must brave the world at large for a new client.  I’m sure this task would also be easier if demons weren’t after her as well.  Or dealing with her conflicting feelings for the supernaturally sexy Son of Satan.  Or the fact that, unlike most of her body parts, her couch doesn’t have a name.  So much for Charley to do and yet so little money for coffee and snacks.

I am blown away by the new aspect of Charley Davidson.  Up to this point, she projects an image that is so self-assured.  The fears that hinder normal people never seem to faze our favorite ADD PI.  Now though, we see a much more vulnerable Charley.  With all the other amazing things that she has accomplished to date, it is both a relief and saddening at the same time to see her so shaken.  I may long to see Charley’s emotional growth, even though it breaks my heart at the same time.  This, of course, provides the perfect opportunity for the supporting characters to really shine.  I found their combined love and encouragement a wonderfully heartwarming gem within a much more serious and dark story landscape.

What Charley book would be complete without one sexy Reyes Farrow? *sigh* I am starting to despair that these two can have something more than a Romeo and Juliet ending.  The attraction and explosive chemistry between them is not enough anymore.  Every step forward seems to be followed up with two steps back; and the teasing is getting old. I would like to think that there is a HEA in their future but all the signs seem to point more toward disaster rather than a ride off into the sunset.

The case Charley is working in this book seems slightly more arbitrary than in the past.  It is the excuse for her to leave the comfort and security of her apartment, rather than her need or desire to help others.  The positive spin is that it provides a wonderful outside view of Charley’s own insecurities.  No one believes her client is being harassed and stalked, just like no one can really understand what emotions Charley is working through as an otherworldly creature with all the trappings of a frail human heart.

Overall, this book is a great addition to the Charley Davidson series.  The only downside is that I must, AGAIN, wait to read more.

Notable Scene:

I looked at Misery’s dash.  Being with her was comforting on some level, but not as comforting as my sofa.  Then it hit me.  An atrocity I’d overlooked for years.  I’d never named my sofa.  How could I do that to her?  How could I be so callous?  So cold and selfish?

But what would I name her?  This was big.  Important.  She couldn’t go through life with a name that didn’t fit her unique personality.

Filled with an odd sense of relief at the new goal in life, I put Misery into drive.  I could worry about being a roosting hen later.  I had a sofa to name.

The Charley Davidson Series:

1. First Grave on the Right

2. Second Grave on the Left

3. Third Grave Dead Ahead

4. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

5. Fifth Grave Past the Light (July 9, 2013)

FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, I bought it myself.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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