Monday, January 11, 2016

#Monday Review - The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones (Urban Fantasy)

Series: Charley Davidson # 9
Format: E-Arc, 336 pages
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy

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.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave is the NINTH installment in the Charley Davidson series. After a brutal ending to Eighth Grave After Dark, Jones picks up the story about a month after Charley disappeared, and now we find out that she ended up in Sleepy Hollow, New York with no memories, but the ability to see dead people, and know when someone is lying to her. As the story picks up, Charley aka Janey Doerr, is a waitress who is surrounded by people who she has come to like. Especially Mr. P, and the trio of Musketeers who come in every single day to eat. 

Her best friend since day one has been Cookie, who is a bit of a klutz, but super awesome and sweet just the same. Having Jones write about an Amnesiac Charley might have been one of the more brilliant moves that she's done in the nine books she's written. We, readers, know who Charley is, and we know who the people are like Reyes, Bobert, Garret, Osh, Angel, FBI Agent Kit Carson, Gemma, and a Rottweiler ghost dog. I think Jones did an admirable job in attempting to have these characters keep a straight face when they were around Janey.

While this book is a fresh idea in the series, it isn't anything readers will be shocked over. We still get Charley's original sarcasm, humor, hi-jinks, and even putting herself into dangerous situations where she can't help but get involved in doesn't change. Readers also get some much needed fresh air with the romance between Reyes and Charley. Charley sees that Reyes is a bad, bad boy, but his appeal has every woman swooning to be around him. The relationship between the two is timid at best and extremely hot. You really have to feel for Reyes that he can't fix what is happening to his true love.

One could say that this story is a bit of a pause in Charley's hectic life of being chased around by Lucifer's minions who want to kill her. For a brief period of time, she is aware of the dangers that are waiting to attack her. She isn't aware how powerful she really is, and that gave me pause for a moment or two. I could actually imagine bad things happening while she was in this new state. What I couldn't imagine was the arrival of a certain archangel who blows the lid off of what, and who Charley really is. 

I will never give up my adoration for author Darynda Jones or for Charley. She mixes in an intriguing storyline, with fun and dangerous characters, and then leaves you emotionally spent by the time you turn the last page. As with her previous efforts, Charley has more than her hands full and it is even worse when she doesn't know who she really, and why people want her so badly. I dare you to remain calm after reading the final part of this story. My eyes and nose started running, and that's not because of a cold or allergy! Bring on the next book!

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