The Dirt on Ninth GraveSeries: Charley Davidson #9
by Darynda Jones
Published by Macmillan, St. Martin's Press on January 12th 2016
Genres: Paranormal Romance
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.
I admit it. I was a tad leery going into book number nine of the Charley Davidson series. We had a huge turn of events at the end of Eighth Grave After Dark and the overall story arc going forward was looking like it might go stale. I was so afraid there was going to be some “shark hopping” happening.
I should have known better. Why do I worry? This is Darynda Jones, here. She can mix up three seemingly unrelated mysteries that seem utterly unsolvable and then uniquely close them in a matter of pages with a “wow.”
Yet again, I was completely hooked by the mysteries that Charley is compelled to solve in this book. Except this time around, she doesn’t know it’s her job and that she normally gets paid for it. She just feels like it’s the right thing to do. She doesn’t know much, like her own name, but she knows she enjoys helping people.
This is where going back to the previous book and doing a re-read comes in extremely handy. At the very least, I would recommend giving a looksy at the last chapter and the epilogue of the book. That’s what I did and it set me up brilliantly for picking up on Charley and Reyes’ story and the little details.
The Dirt on Ninth Grave picks up one month after Charley woke up outside a diner in Sleepy Hollow, New York with no memory of who she is. She’s only fairly sure of two things: that because there’s a big fat rock on her left hand’s ring finger that maybe someone is out there looking for her and she’s fairly certain she sees dead people.
Through the kindness of the locals in Sleepy Hollow, she gets a job at the diner she woke up outside of. She sleeps on a cot inside the diner until she has enough money saved up for a tiny apartment down the street. This small town seems to rally and support this stranger.
What’s stranger still is all the new folks coming into town around the same time she arrives. And the guys are all soooo good looking… Do you see where I might be going with this?
“…with the stealth of a drunk ninja,…”
With the story stripped down to “basic” Charley and “basic” Reyes BUT at the same time YOU know everything that has happened in the past, and Reyes’ knows everything, and on top of that Charley can read people’s feelings and knows when people are lying…. I was completely engaged and glued to my e-reader almost non-stop as I practically devoured this book in one sitting. This isn’t typical for me with paranormal books because it usually takes me a little longer to “digest” the world building and battle scenes. I can also tell you that Ms. Jones had me bawling twice! Damn her for going there for one of the instances.
I’m not sure if I actually reviewed The Dirt on Ninth Grave or more or less discussed it…. Eh, fist bump to Ms. Jones – 5 stars. Does that work?