Third Grave Dead Ahead
Charley Davidson, Book #3
By Darynda Jones
ISBN# 0749956143
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Warning:  Spoilers Galore!!

Third Grave Dead Ahead is the third installment of Darynda Jones’s witty Charley Davidson series about our favorite grim reaper!  It picks up shortly after Second Grave on the Left ended.  Charley has bound Reyes (aka the Son of Satan) to his human body, making it impossible for him to visit her in his incorporeal form.  He was also taken back to prison and has been refusing to see Charley.

Now Charley has been plagued with dreams of Reyes whenever she falls asleep.  They’re sex dreams like they were before except that Reyes is very angry and rough with her.  The only way Charley can avoid the dreams and Reyes is to stay awake so she’s been up for the past two weeks, her vision a little blurry and her driving a bit erratic, but awake nonetheless.

Then, Charley gets a call from the warden at the prison, telling her that Reyes wants to see her.  She goes not knowing what to expect.  Reyes begs her to unbind him, but she doesn’t know how and she has tried numerous times already.  He tells her that she has to trust him for it to work.  When Reyes’s anger spikes the warden puts an end to the visit and Reyes leaves telling Charley that she has left him no choice, but doesn’t elaborate any further.

Meanwhile, Charley’s father has had enough of his little girl being injured and wants her to quit the PI business, but Charley can’t imagine doing anything else.  So she ignores his wishes and starts working a missing person case where Charley is sure the husband has done something to his wife.  And, Charley gets busted by the biker gang when she breaks into the asylum to visit Rocket to find out if the missing wife is still a member of the living.  The head of the bikers, Donovan,  wants Charley to return to talk to Rocket for them sometime.  But more urgently, someone has poisoned their dogs and they want to hire her to find out who it is.

Later, Charley receives a text from her sister, Gemma.  Her vehicle broke down and she needs to be picked up.  So as the dutiful sister she goes to get her, but when she arrives Gemma is nowhere in sight, but Reyes jumps into her jeep.  He has broken out of jail and takes Charley hostage.  He informs her that he has been in jail for the past ten years for killing a man that is still alive.   He leaves Charley handcuffed to a bed in a hotel for the cops to find and takes off, expecting her to find this walking dead man, Earl Walker.

So now Charley has plenty to keep her awake between finding the man who abused Reyes all those years, her missing woman, and a dog killer.  Oh and did I mention she has to do all of this with a tail on her?  Uncle Bob doesn’t want to take any chances on missing his opportunity to recapture Reyes so Garrett is on the job.

This book completely blew me away.  I really didn’t know what to expect between Reyes and Charley in this installment after she bound him to his body in the last book, clipping his wings so to speak.  You knew he’d be angry and I just couldn’t figure out how they could come back from that.  So imagine my surprise when the tables were turned and this book ends with Charley angry and hurt at Reyes!  I felt bad for her, but I do hope that she and Reyes will eventually work things out.  Although I hated the way he was treating her, when he kidnapped her…especially him hitting her, even if it was necessary. In the meantime, I have no problem with Charley biding her time with Donovan and making Reyes jealous.  Based on the last scene between her and Donovan I think I could really like him and feel a little love triangle coming on!!

I thought for sure Garrett was going to be Charley’s guardian once she lost him during the incident with the biker gang so I was pleasantly surprised with that little twist at the end….besides it would be really awkward for Garrett to have to watch her have sex with other men!  I’m glad Garrett is OK, I am curious if he will still be able to leave his body during the remainder of the series.

This book had a lot of emotion in it from Charley being tortured, to her being betrayed by Reyes (although I felt bad for the guy knowing he thought he could protect her fully and had no intention of her getting hurt…he has waited his whole existence for her after all) and her father, to her thinking she killed Garrett.  Then, we get the sweet little scene with her and Donovan and her meeting her guardian.  I enjoyed the emotional roller-coaster immensely and felt myself tearing up a few times right along with her.

There was definitely a lot going on in this book.  I wasn’t all that interested in the missing person case Charley was working, but it was never boring.  I just found the Reyes case more interesting…and the bikers as well.  This is a great book;  it grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go until the final word and leaves you begging for more.  I may go insane waiting for the fourth installment, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, which is due out at the end of October.

I feel that this series is definitely a breath of fresh air and the genre could really benefit from more books like it.

And drumroll please…my favorite T-shirt quote of this book was….

“Time to make today my bitch.”