Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Third Grave Dead Ahead (#3 in Charley Davidson series)

Author: Darynda Jones
Genre: Supernatural Mystery
Type: Hardcover (library)
Series: #3 in Charley Davidson supernatural mystery series
Publisher: St Martin's Press
First Published: 2012
First Line: "There was a dead clown sitting in my living room."

Book Description from GoodReadsParanormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she's drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because every time she closes her eyes she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan.

Granted she did imprison Reyes for all eternity, but how is she supposed to solve a missing-persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil's son just won't give up on his plan of seduction..... and revenge?

My Review:  I'm having a hard time reviewing this book.  While there was the typical humour and a decent mystery I also have a hard time with some of the characters, their relationships as well as the lagging pace.

Unfortunately, what I loved about the first books in the series is starting to feel very stagnant.  While I liked the mystery of Charley finding the missing woman in this book, it's the secondary plots that were very underwhelming.  It felt like this book was more of a 'filler book'.  Yes, the dreaded filler book.  There was a lot of repetition -- 

***************** SPOILER FOR FIRST TWO BOOKS IN SERIES  *******************

-- ok, we know Reyes is the son of Satan and that Charley needs to "learn what she is capable of" -- and this really bogged down the storyline.  Just tell us and get on with it! 

Reyes is still ticked off and nasty towards the woman she supposedly loves and Charley is still throwing out one-liners which were funny in the beginning of the series but are starting to get old fast .  

I'd love it if Charley grew up a bit emotionally. She's still floundering as she attempts to find herself and understand her powers. She also seems to get over being hurt by the people who love her really quickly (her father betraying her, her sister suddenly buddy-buddy with Charley after years of ignoring her, Reyes' actions ...) and to me that makes her a very weak and hard to like main character.  I also question some of her choices which take on a very serious, selfish tone as she drives erratically (even hitting a phone pole) because she hasn't slept in weeks.  How am I supposed to get behind a character like that?

Then there's Reyes.  I've made no secret that I'm not a huge fan of this guy.  I want more for Charley but I guess it takes more than a nice washboard stomach to convince me a guy is good for me.  Reyes is borderline abusive towards Charley and I hate that part of him. 

That said, I'm pretty sure the author was going more for a bad boy/alpha male/brooding kind of character.  I just don't think she successfully wrote Reyes that way.  {There is a right way to write a great, strong alpha male lead.  Clay (from the Women of the Underworld series by Kelley Armstrong - see the first book called 'Bitten') portrays that strong, alpha male character so much better.}  Reyes comes off as a jerk to me and utterly toxic to Charley.  Not someone I find attractive at all.  But apparently the man can do whatever he wants to Charley as long as he flashes his pecs to make Charley melt into a puddle of simpering girliness and all is forgiven.  Say wha??  {Feminism please take a giant step backwards}. 

I'm honestly rooting for Charley to find someone else instead of Reyes.  In this book Charley does everything within her power to stay awake so she doesn't get 'visited' by Reyes while she sleeps.  The woman is afraid of this man she supposedly is in love with and miserable when he's around.  So, how am I, the reader, supposed to get behind a pretty abusive relationship and root for them as a couple?  I can't.  I just can't.

Unfortunately the negatives about this book are starting to seem like they're going to overshadow the 'positives' very soon.  While I still enjoyed this book I really hope that the author gets back on track for her fourth book in the series.  While the mystery storyline was good, most of the attention focused on the toxic relationship between Charley and Reyes I'm really hoping that the fourth book in this series will turn things around.  Otherwise I think I'll be taking a pass on the fifth and future books.

My Rating: 3/5 stars


April from Courtenay, BC said...

Hey Laurie...have you ever read any books from the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning? I think that you would enjoy them. They are right up there with the Bitten series as my favourite supernatural books. If you haven't heard of them check them out!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

April!!! I have no idea why I didn't get a notification about this comment but I'm happy that I finally noticed it! No, I have never read any of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. It's on my radar but I haven't had the time to read it yet. If you say that it's right up there with Kelley Armstrong's "Bitten" series I definitely have to put it higher on my Gotta Read List. Thanks for the heads up!

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