With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.
Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.
While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….
Review: This series has been on my radar for a very long time. But for some reason, I just hadn’t gotten around to reading them. So when I was asked to do a feature on Eighth Grave After Dark, I knew it was time to finally jump into the paranormal world of Charley Davidson. I’m have to start out by saying that there were moments when I was pretty lost since I hadn’t read the previous books in the series. There was a storyline that had continued from earlier in the series. I didn’t quite understand all the relationships between people… and there were a lot of characters. If I could go back and read this book in order of the series, it probably would have been a bit more satisfying.
All that said, I did enjoy the book. The world that Ms Jones has created is odd, unique and actually pretty interesting. And there is a whole lot going on. The book opens as Charley is helping her BFF Cookie get ready for her wedding to Charley’s uncle. The wedding is going to start soon when a cop that Charley has worked with in the past comes to her for some help find a missing girl (here’s the mystery part of the story). If that wasn’t enough, throw in the fact that Charley is VERY pregnant and her life and that of her unborn daughter’s as well are in danger. As I said there’s a lot going on and it kept me on my toes trying to keep up.
Ms Jones has an interesting writing style with a touch of snarkiness to it. She was able to touch my emotions. I laughed out loud and found myself tearing up. I was surprised by this fact considering I wasn’t as invested in the characters as I would have been if I had read the rest of the series. That said, I felt more often than not that Ms Jones assumes that the reader has read the series and therefore while she does a little “catch up”, she really jumps into the action and leaves the reader to sink or swim. A few times I had to stop reading and try to figure out if I’d missed something and then just chalked it up to not having read the series.
In the end, I enjoyed the book. It caught my attention and kept me turning the pages. The mystery was a little light, almost as a little filler to the overarcing plot. I’ll definitely have to go back to book one to see what I missed and how the characters got to where they are. But I got the feeling that this was a privotal book in the series and having not read those earlier books I’ve missed all the building to this point. I wouldn’t recommend jumping into the series as I have, but do recommend trying this series.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a RITA Award for best first novel for First Grave On The Right. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Jones lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.