Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
St. Martin’s Press (Aug. 2011)
Hardback: $21.99; ebook: $9.99
Favorite Lines: “I locked the door behind me, essentially leaving the son of Satan in my apartment. Alone. Annoyed. And quite possibly sexually frustrated. A niggling in the back of my mind had me hoping I didn’t make him angry. I would hate for him to catch my bachelorette pad on hellfire.” (p. 48)
When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.
Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?
If you like the idea of a female Grim Reaper, you’ll love Darynda Jones‘ Charley Davidson series. Second Grave on the Left combines humor, passion and mystery into a delightful roller coaster ride which ends with an OMG exclamation.
Do not skip book one thinking you’ll start the series with book two. While the story recaps the highlights of First Grave on the Right, it in no way is a substitute for it. We learn about Charley, her family and friends, her love interest Reyes, as well as the world in which they live in book one.
This book, Second Grave on the Left, showcases Charley’s friendships, gives a better look at her family life and of course heats the pages with scenes filled with the drool worthy son of Satan. Set only one week after the events of book one, Charley is still reeling from discovering Reyes is the son of Satan when her best friend seeks her help finding a missing friend. While she investigates a series of deaths, Charley gets a little help from an incorporeal Reyes. His human body is being tortured by demons and he plans to let it die. Reyes wants Charley to let him go. When that doesn’t work, he is brutally honest about the lengths he will go to prevent his father from entering heaven. His honesty makes him more attractive to me and Charley’s reaction to it proves she is in for the long haul. She would do anything for him–even things he might hate her for.
Second Grave to the Left is a mixture of mystery and paranormal with a sprinkling of romance told in the first person from Charley’s POV. It’s snarky, bloody and satisfying. The whirlwind of action includes old school gangsters, fake FBI agents and a ghost in a car all of whom vie for Charley’s attention. It never becomes overwhelming or distracting though. The next book, Third Grave Dead Ahead, will be released in February 2012.