Book Review: Darynda Jones’ Eighth Grave After Dark

Posted July 3, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Darynda Jones’ Eighth Grave After DarkEighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones
This urban fantasy is a hardcover edition was published by St. Martin's Press on May 19, 2015 and has 293 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

four-stars

Other books by this author include First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, "For I Have Sinned", Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Death and the Girl Next Door, Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge, Seventh Grave and No Body, The Dirt on Ninth Grave, The Curse of Tenth Grave, Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

Eighth in the Charley Davidson urban fantasy series revolving around a grim reaper-cum-private detective and her new husband, the son of Satan.

My Take

I swear to god, it’s old home week with everybody who’s ever shown up in the series.

In some ways Charley reminds me of Betsy from MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series. She’s irreverent and quirky with her own take on life around her. She cracks me up with her remarks about “Beep”, and then there is the assortment of ghostly companions who surround her — the usual and the transient. She’d make a great judge too, what with her ability to see everything about a person’s life when they pass through her.

“It’s about time for Beep to move out. Cut her hair. Get a job. I need a flat belly.”

She does drive me a bit crazy with her need to name everything. Her breasts are Danger and Will. Her jeep is Misery. David Beckham is a divan.

There’s more about Charley’s childhood and how nasty Denise was. What kind of woman could do that to a kid? And Gemma. Okay, I get that she wants everyone to make nice, but…geez… Denise suddenly wants to make nice and Charley is supposed to roll over for it?? Especially after what she put Charley through?? No, I don’t think so.

“Now that Denise was open to the idea, Gemma wanted us to bond. To be besties and go shopping together.”

I’m curious to see how that Vatican connection works out, especially after that explanation about the pure ghost god.

I gotta say, that combination of Charley, Reyes, and Daeva certainly gives me a new perspective on souls. Cherry pie, huh? As for that silly trope of being disgusted with one’s origins…oh, boy…

Charley’s gives birth in this one. And, only Charley could get into such a deep situation as this, *laughing* But it all goes to Hell when it comes to Beep’s safety, and Charley explodes in sorrow.

“‘People will stop asking questions if you answer back in interpretive dance.’

– T-shirt”

The Story

Cookie is finally marrying Ubie with Charley as her extremely pregnant matron of honor. And it’ll be on the grounds of the abandoned convent — the only place the hellhounds won’t step.

It’s baby Beep who is truly in danger, for prophecy says she’ll destroy Lucifer.

The Characters

The eight-months pregnant Charley Davidson, a.k.a., the Daughter of Light or Dutch, is a grim reaper by fate and a private detective by day. “Beep” is what Charley calls the baby, a.k.a., the Daughter or Elwyn Alexandra Loehr. Artemis is the ghost of a Rottweiler assigned as her guardian. Detective Robert Davidson, Uncle Bob, a.k.a., Ubie, is with the Albuquerque PD. Gemma is Charley’s sister; Wyatt is her boyfriend. Denise is Charley’s nasty, mean stepmother who appears to have turned over a new leaf since Leland (Charley’s dad) died. Aunt Lillian is a hippie ghost; she died in the 1960s.

Reyes, a.k.a., Rey’aziel, is Charley’s husband now; he’ll always be the son of Satan. Yep, Lucifer is his daddy. Amador, Bianca and their kids, Ashley and Stephen, are friends of Reyes and will be coming for the wedding.

Cookie Kowalski is Charley’s best friend and assistant. Amber is her thirteen-year-old daughter. Lucille is Cookie’s really crazy aunt who is actually clairvoyant. Uncle Tommy, her husband, up and ran off to Alaska. Noah was Amber’s father and Cookie’s second husband.

“A friend will help you if someone knocks you down.
A best friend will pick up a bat and say, ‘Stay down. I got this.'”

Garrett Swopes is a bounty hunter who has worked with Charley before. Zaire is the son he had with Marika. Dr. von Holstein‘s specialty is linguistics.

Osh is a Daeva, a slave demon who escaped Hell and sups on human souls. Quentin Rutherford is the deaf kid Charley and Cookie “adopted” after they got rid of the demon possessing him. Pari is another of Charley’s friends. Sheets is the kitten. Sister Mary Elizabeth hears the angels speaking. Donovan, Eric, and Michael are the bikers who had to light out.

Mr. Wong has moved into the convent with Charley. He’s a ghost who’s been hanging out in a corner of Charley’s living room for years. Angel is Charley’s thirteen-year-old sidekick, lead investigator, and ghost. Rocket is a ghost who died in the 1950s at the asylum in which he grew up. Now he documents the names of every person who has died. Nurse Hobbs had been a nurse at the asylum. Blue is his ghost of a five-year-old sister who is friends with another ghost girl, Strawberry, Officer David Taft‘s sister. Jessica is yet another ghost; she’d been Charley’s BFF in high school who turned traitor.

Special Agent Kit Carson is an FBI agent who’s been working with Charley off and on. Special Agent Jonny Waters, Kit’s ex (she likes to call him her “FedEx”), doesn’t want to consult Charley about Faris Waters, his missing niece. Captain Eckert is Ubie’s boss.

The Twelve are hellhounds bent on Charley. Sheila is a tax attorney. Duff is a stuttering ghost who suddenly seems threatening. Earl Walker was Reyes’ nightmare “father” who bought Reyes from his kidnappers, the Fosters. Walker is now confined to a wheelchair. Except. Colton Ellix is a kidnapper. Olivia Dern was his first.

Katherine is the midwife tending to Charley. Hildie is doing their hair. Mr. Alaniz is a private detective Charley hired. The Loehrs are the parents of Ryan Alexander Loehr who went missing when he was a baby.

Father Glenn tipped Charley off about the Vatican. Howard Berkowitz of the Vatican is stalking Charley. Bee Heedles, a.k.a., Sister Beatrice, and her twin, Mo (Sister Maureen), are victims of a priest.

Charley is the thirteenth god (the last of her kind, the Val-Eeth) and the first pure ghost god, created by the last two ghost gods of her kind: Ran-Eeth-Bijou was her father and Ayn-Eethial her mother. Elle-Ryn-Ahleethia is who Charley really is.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a smoky range of softened blues as the background for the double-banded watch studded with domes and skulls. The yellow title and white author’s name is embossed.

The title refers to the story’s position in the series and Charley’s real job as a grim reaper, and it’s the Eighth Grave After Dark.

four-stars

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