Rating: 4 stars (Spotlight Review)
“There was a dead clown sitting in my living room.” From anybody else, this statement would be slightly horrifying, but when you’re Charley Davidson, Private Investigator and conduit to the Pearly Gates, it’s just another day.
In this third installment, Darynda Jones continues her sizzling Graveyard series by picking up where Second Grave on the Left leaves off:
Charley has bound Reyes Farrow to his body to prevent Reyes from committing suicide. As a result, she is living on as much caffeine as she can get her hands on because every time she falls asleep Reyes is there, incredibly angry and passionately aggressive—and not necessarily in a bad way.
While Reyes alternates between threatening Charley’s life and lobbying her to release him from his body, Charley’s mind is on other issues: a doctor with a missing wife and a dubious aura, an angry biker gang who wants the person responsible for poisoning their dogs, and her own father who wants her to quit the P.I. business.
And just when she thinks she has seen it all—including being followed by the ghost of a little girl holding a really big knife—Reyes escapes from prison and drops a bomb: Earl Walker, the man Reyes is in prison for killing, is actually still alive and tying up a few loose ends—and not in a good way.
Readers have complained that Ms. Jones’ witty writing style is a tad annoying. Although I totally appreciate her sense of humor, I can see their point. Sometimes, you can get too much of a good thing. In this go-round the zingers just keep on coming and, it did, at times, get a bit grating.
Something that doesn’t get old is Jones beginning each chapter with a funny T-shirt or bumper sticker slogan. A few of my favorites: “The police never find it as funny as you do”, “I chose the road less traveled, and now I’m late”, and “Sorry about what happens later.”
Though the handsome silver-eyed cynic, known as Garrett Swopes, played mostly in the periphery of the storyline, the belated introduction of Mistress Marigold is a bit anti-climactic, and there is too much back story accommodating those coming late to the party, Third Grave Dead Ahead is not to be missed.
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (January 31, 2012)