FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT (Charley Davidson #1)
by Darynda Jones
PUBLISHER: Piatkus (UK) | St Martin’s Press (US)
RELEASE DATE: Nov 2011 (UK) | Feb 2011 (US)
FORMAT: Paperback, 286 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross over. Thus, when three lawyers from the same law firm are murdered, they come to her to find their killer.
In the meantime, Charley’s dealing with a being more powerful – and definitely secure – than any spectre she’s ever come across before. With the help of a pain-in-the-ass skip tracer, a dead pubescent gangbanger named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charleys sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn’t nearly as dangerous as falling in love.
What a brilliant debut novel. I loved it. The characters, the story, the world… There’s lots of action too, which is suspenseful and engaging. I couldn’t put this book down and read it in one sitting.
Charley is fantastic – I love her character. She’s sassy, brave and keeps getting herself into trouble. She’s smart, funny, witty, and I love her snark. Charley is a grim reaper who can see and talk to the dead. She’s also the light, the portal to the other side and helps them cross over.
But as being a grim reaper doesn’t pay the bills, Charley also works as a private investigator and helps her uncle and the police with certain cases, using her ability to talk to ghosts. Of course most of the police thinks she’s nuts, but her uncle believes in her and she’s been right too many times for it to be fake.
I loved all the characters in this book, especially Charley’s best friend, Cookie, she is such a hoot. She’s also fun and loyal and I loved her to bits. It’s great to see an urban fantasy heroine have a loyal friend who she can talk to about anything. It’s refreshing since so many of our urban fantasy gals are loners. Don’t get me wrong, I love the loner heroine who’s gritty with a dark past etc, but I must admit it was a breath of fresh air to meet Charley.
There’s also Angel, a cheeky boy-ghost who acts as her informant and Mr Wong, a chinese ghost who hovers in the corner of her living room and hasn’t moved for years.
Although her uncle knows she can talk to the dead, he doesn’t know the full extent of what Charley is. Charley hasn’t told anyone about her Grim Reaper status, but she decides it’s time to have a least one person in her life that knows. There is a great scene with Charley and Cookie when she reveals who and what she is, and why she keeps disappearing at short notice. I really enjoyed the fact that Charley was opening up to her best friend, but Cookie’s acceptance of the whole scenario was a little bit quick. However, now that Cookie know’s I’m wondering if she will get mixed up in Charley’s world a lot more.
With such a sexy, funny and interesting character as Charley, there undoubtedly had to be a little romance involved. And there is, but not too much which is just how I like it. There are two love interests who are both totally hot but very different in their own way.
Reyes is a dark, sexy, mysterious entity who keeps entering Charley’s dreams to seduce her, and materialising when she’s in danger to protect her. He’s a great character and there’s so much we don’t know about him – I’m very intrigued.
Then there’s Garrett, a handsome policeman who’s skeptical about her abilities and who doesn’t believe in the supernatural. I didn’t particularly like Garrett at first but he definitely grew on me. Their banter is great and I started to feel chemistry between them. He’s as stubborn as hell, but a complete match for Charley’s sarcastic nature. I’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship evolves.
A fresh new voice in the urban fantasy genre and a must read for any urban fantasy fan. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- First Grave on the Right
- Second Grave on the Left
- Third Grave Dead Ahead
- Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
- Fifth Grave Past the Light
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