zondag 8 januari 2012

Darynda Jones – First grave to the right

The first book in the Charley Davidson series, published February 2011.

First grave on the right
First grave on the right

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper

Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to 'go into the light.' But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

I have read several enthusiastic reviews about this book, but nothing prepared me for what I got.

Charlotte Davidson is one tough cookie. She works as a PI in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Doing the usual in following spouses, finding proof of cheating, finding missing persons. Her second job is helping her uncle Bob, who is a homicide Detective. It sure helps his career when Charlie can talk to the victims, asking them who killed them. Charlie’s unofficial job, is Grim Reaper, helping ghosts cross over into the light. They are not always ready for that, so she tries to help them, help their loved ones, or find their killer. It is not something she always enjoys doing, especially when they show up in her bedroom or bathroom unsuspected and uninvited.
And lately her nights are filled with hot sex, when a dreamlover visits her. She has no idea who he is, until that same morning, he joins her in the shower, while she is half awake, and calls her Dutch. Could it really be him?

It is the middle of the night when her uncle calls her. He needs her help with a couple of homicides. As it happens, someone has shot three lawyers of the same firm. A woman and two men, and one of them has already found Charlie by himself. The second man is in denial, and won’t leave his body. And the woman needs Charlies help to get the police to find her body. They have no idea who has killed them, or why, and Charlie promises to help them find out, and help their loved ones find closure.

More and more clues are popping up but Charlie is also obsessed with finding out about her lover, is he the same guy who has protected her her whole life from serious harm?

Okay, it is totally impossible to write more, without spoiling any of the myriad or surprises in this book. I can only say: read it! It is awesome.

It took me a while to get to like Charlie. She is not just a smartass, she has to have a smart remark every single time. Which did get a bit annoying sometimes. She is a young woman, just in her twenties, and she is curvy. She has named her boobs, which I think is hilarious.

There is a sort of bounty hunter who liked her, until he found out about her paranormal side, something he cannot believe in. So he started acting like a jerk. He also kept pestering her, until she told him more. And he still cannot believe her. So back to the being a jerk. This kept happening a few times, and he gives very mixed signals. Does he like her, or not, does he only want to use her? She certainly does not believe him, and keeps rubbing him the wrong way on purpose.

There is a young cop, who is haunted by a little girl ghost, and he also does not want to believe her. So, another jerk to deal with.

Her father and her uncle believe in her, and they have been using her special abilities ever since she was a little girl. But her father does not protect her from her stepmothers dislike. Her father is a retired cop, and now owns a bar. Her uncle is good in what he does, but he seems to rely on Charlie for every case. And he is something of a ladies man, which is a fun detail.
Charlies neighbour Cookie is also her secretary/receptionist, and they are great friends as well. Cookies young daughter Amber is looking up to Charlie.

In the end of the story, I really liked Charlie. She does not give up, she keeps going, no matter how much she is hurting. And it really is not always easy for her. She also has a young boy ghost helping her with her PI cases.

And the ending of the book, o the ending. No not a cliffhanger (luckily, I hate those!) but such a great surprise. I can’t wait to start reading the next book.

A truly original story, Darynda Jones has a writing style I just love. It is fast paced, and easy to read. Great main characters and secondary characters. Both alive and not. I do recommend this series, and will dive straight into book 2.

8 stars.

2 opmerkingen:

  1. I am glad you liked it too, and yes what an ending. I do need more

  2. Woot! Great book and book two is also amazing. Darynda has such a great writing voice! Nice review :)