Monday, July 11, 2011

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2) by Darynda Jones

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 16, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0312360819
ISBN-13: 978-0312360818

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans.

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? Here is your signpost for the most hilarious read of the summer: Second Grave On The Left.


Only a week after the exciting and hilarious happenings in First Grave on the Right, Jones throws Charley Davidson into another tantalizing case with an aspiring U.S Senate candidate, a dated missing-persons file, and each person who could have known what happened dropping dead like flies. Knowing that she has to find Reyes soon before he decides it's too dangerous to keep his corporeal body alive, Charley takes on both cases and does everything in her Private-Investigator-and-Grim-Reaper-Power to solve both before it's too late to help either.

Famous for her one-liners, funny in an catch-you-off-guard kind of way, Second Grave on the Left left me laughing with a splash of tears that made the renown Charley Davidson more of an endearing and confident character all-around. More of an insight was shown of Charley's character, demonstrating how she's not really human just by her reactions whenever she's in danger or feels threatened. A calmness sort of takes over her that she subconsciously realizes has to do with the fact that, though she may currently be in a dangerous situation, the best thing to do is think analytically of what she should do to avoid the worst possible outcome--or her death, whichever.

The re-introduction to all of the old characters was something I enjoyed reading immensely. If there were ever a cast of characters I enjoyed reading more about, they're definitely the ones. Cookie was as auspicious and helpful as ever, Garret flirting and determined, Reyes the hottest of all man- and hell-kind, and as for Charley's family....I could never get enough of her Uncle Bob--Ubie to Charley--and her father made a rather significant appearance that, in the end, was quite tearful.

While the writing style was absolutely engaging and characters a thrill to read, the first look we have into the more sinister world that Reyes promised would soon come in the last book was a bit of an understatement but it was also the first development of Charley's true powers. Darynda Jones nailed it again with this audacious sequel that promises more development of the main character and more action in general. I am thoroughly ecstatic for the third book in the series to release and more PI-and-Grim-Reaper-Power.

Grade: B+/A-

Source: Publisher


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