Series: Charley Davidson #9
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: Non-explicit sex
Reviewed by: Kate
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.
Normally a huge fan of the Charley Davidson series, I'm having a hard time writing this review for THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE. While it still had some of the elements of the first eight books in the series, there was a lot that was different, and it was a bit more difficult to get through.
Spoilers for the first eight books!!
THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE picks up about a month after EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK picks off. While we still have the snarky sayings at the beginning of each chapter, and Charley's love of coffee hasn't diminished, Charley doesn't know who she is, and therefore, she isn't herself. This was what made the book most tough for me. Seeing Charley's friends and loved ones and knowing who they are while she doesn't is a really weird feeling, and not something I commonly feel when I read books. The reader is in the interesting position of knowing more about Charley than Charley, but also of being completely in the dark about the motives of the characters around her. Where normally Cookie and Charley would talk about what they plan to do next, that's not happening here.
So, while I appreciated THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE as a kind of bridge in the series, I almost wish it hadn't dragged on as long as it did. Charley still found a mystery, but she wasn't as focused on it as previous books' cases, because she doesn't know she's a PI. The climatic action all takes place near the very end, so it takes a lot of slogging through Charley's feelings about herself as "Janey" before you get to the good stuff. And good stuff it is - I definitely won't sell that short. This was one of those rare books that almost made me burst into tears on the subway while I was reading it!
All in all, THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE was an interesting installment in the Charley Davidson series, but not one of my favorites. If I was ever to re-read the series, I'd probably skip this one except for the last few chapters. Worth the time for die-hard series fans, but if you aren't already into this series, I would not suggest starting here - go back to the beginning and fall in love with Charley first.Series Titles:
- First Grave on the Right
- Second Grave on the Left
- Third Grave Dead Ahead
- Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet – 4/5
- Fifth Grave Past the Light – 4/5
- Sixth Grave on the Edge - 4/5
- Seventh Grave and No Body - 4/5
- Eighth Grave After Dark - 4/5
- The Dirt on Ninth Grave