Sunday, 27 October 2013

I think we've reached the grave now: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4) by Darynda Jones...

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...

 I've never loved this series, but found it a bit moreish regardless of the elements I didn't like. I've given it up until now to grow on me, but book three undid all of the progression that was made in book two, and now FOURTH GRAVE BENEATH MY FEET has proved that the last book wasn't a one-off bump in the road; the 'plot' just seemed like pointless padding, that was only released to pad the series out.

Who is tormenting and mentally bullying Charley's latest PI client Harper? It is obvious from the first time the character is mentioned. Also obvious? The identities of roving gang of bank robbers The Gentleman Thieves, the mysterious new tenant in Charley's apartment building, and what personal events are going on in her father's life that make him act the way he does.

As Charley's  PI mysteries are getting progressively dumbed down in each book, the other things that annoy me stand out more... 

My main problems are with the leads; Charley often seems more surly and bitchy which a strong selfish streak, especially when someone is going out of their way to help her; I'm still pissed about the way she talks to Garrett - it isn't funny and sassy, just nasty. Her constant attempts at humour are so in-your-face-try-too-hard it hurts, she even cracks the one liners in her thoughts. Reyes is a bad boy/rebel/alpha/idiot Barrons wannabe, who is borderline abusive. [Note to the author; I get it - he's good looking. Please change the bloody record].

The other problem I have is the Reyes/Charley relationship. Simply put; it is so shallow. I'm just not seeing whatever deep and meaningful picture the author is trying to paint. All I'm getting is that he's hot, which makes all of his shitty and threatening behaviour ok. And why does Charley always disregard everything Angel and Garrett - people she has known for years and have proved their loyalty repeatedly - say, in favour of swallowing whatever the freaking SON OF SATAN tells her? Her brain switches off and she is controlled by lust whenever he is nearby.

My complaints specific to FOURTH GRAVE BENEATH MY FEET? The fallout from the previous book - aside from her relationship with her father - has vanished way too quickly and easily. Cookie accepts something serious too easily, my favourite character - Garrett - is shoved aside and might as well not be in the book at all, the heaven/hell issue still has no clear direction after four books, and the ending is made up of a string of extremely unlikely coincidences and is way too neat and tidy.

What else can I say? I understand that the author originally signed a deal for a six book series and I hope, for the author's sake, that this series will reach a resolution after book six - she has shown us that six books is too much - padding things out to make it longer clearly doesn't work in her favour. This series is headed for a grave all right, it's possibly already there.

Paperback: £6.99
Kindle: £4.49

No comments:

Post a Comment