Book Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)

Book Review

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)

Darynda Jones (Link)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Crap. I’m addicted to Darynda Jones. Well, specifically to her Charley Davidson books. I can’t say as I’m addicted to Ms Jones. Not yet anyway. We haven’t met in person and I’ve never licked, inhaled or injected her into my body in any way. Yet. But she could very well be made of heroine. Her books definitely are. Heroine, as in female hero. Though reading them has become as addictive as crack, so maybe they’re laced with drugs too. It would explain why I need the next one in the series so bady.

Third Grave Dead Ahead has multiple plot lines juggled adeptly by Charlotte Davidson, private investigator and grim reaper. First, she needs to track down a missing person a serial killer of a husband probably knocked off. Second, she needs to find out the truth about what really happened to the guy Reyes got sent to prison for killing. Is he actually dead? Did Reyes really kill him? Then there’s the whole romance plot between kick-ass girl and the son of Satan.

What I Hated

I’m going to get this out of the way: the only thing I really hate is Reyes. No, it’s not jealousy because he gets the hot, smart, fun investigator chick and I don’t. Not entirely. It’s who he is. I am totally ok with him being the hottest guy ever with chiseled everything, muscles everywhere, handsome cock, forged in sin and sensuality. Sure, whatever. I’m likewise attracted to girls with bikini model curves and brilliant smiles, so I understand the physical stuff.

What I hate, is his personality. I don’t get women. Why are so many attracted to violent, high-tempered assholes who are angry so much? I remember seeing this same kind of character in 50 Shades and other romance novels. Why is angry attractive or manly in any fashion? Why are girls into angry, violent guys that seem so dangerous? I gotta say, I’ve lost my temper a time or two in front of girls and all it did was scare the living daylights out of them. So I try never to do it, ever. And yet, there seems to be a very common archetype that women want to fantasize about and it’s angry, violent men. Just because he’s hot, a bad temper is ok? Are ‘bad boys’ crack for females? Because they’re just about as healthy and practical.

Reyes is flirty and sexual one minute, mischievous and caring the next, and that’s fine, I am too. But then he’s holding a knife to Charlotte’s throat and threating to kill her or her family or cops or whomever, and she’s ok with that? She still hungers for him and trusts him? I just don’t understand that. One the one hand, I can’t open up social media without a blast in the face from women complaining about how men can’t be trusted, how we live in a ‘rape culture’, how men are scary and violent and can’t control their sexuality, so they must be monsters inside. I fucking hate it because I’m not that way and it’s horrible that an entire gender are being painted so obviously unfairly. Then I turn around and see that female fantasies abound with big, angry, violent, ultra macho, alpha males who break things and smash things and threaten the very women they’re allegedly in love with and portecting. Hulk smash me in the face? Ooh, sexy. One of the biggest genres in erotica fiction is the rape fantasy. Christian Grey in 50 Shades is idolized as hot, but I think he’s an emotionally and physically abusive psycho. Frankly, I think Reyes is too.

I get the primal desire for a man who can be big and violent in order to protect a girl and keep her safe from the lions and all that. Sure, makes genetic sense. But how do you still lust after a guy who had a knife at your throat and threatened the lives of your parents? How do you trust that guy? Dear women, you’re very confusing. Do you hate men for being awful, sexually out of control, dominant beings, or do you crave it? Is anger terrifying or hot? How can you hate us and lust after us for the same things at the same time? It’s entirely contradictory! Pick one!

So, yeah, not a Reyes fan. Or, at least not a fan of his temper. To me, it’s emotionally immature and any girl who still wants a guy who regularly threatens her and holds a knife to her, needs to leave said guy immediately.


What I Loved

Well, everything else about the book, like, duh.

The cover is sexy, yet cute. And the title, a pun, awesome-sauce.

Charley is bad-ass, kick-ass, smart-ass and hot-ass. The best of all asses. She’s just so damned fun. Cookie too. I like how she’s both Charley’s foil, and encouragement. What a great friendship. What the two of them have totally reminds me of the silliness and brililance of some of my own closest guy friendships. Well done!

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I guessed who was going to become her guardian right away and I’m glad it turned out that way. The other way was too teenager and angsty and predictable. Good choice, Darynda!

I think the story is well-paced, consistently hilarious and fun, and keeps us turning the pages. Over the course of the books, we’re definitely building an emotional rapport with characters and I look forward to that paying off later in the series. I’m rooting for Cookie and Uncle Bob. I’d rather see Charlotte with Garrett, but we know that’ll never happen. The family Reyes knows from way back are adorable, just utterly cute and provide a nice change of character from everyone else. I was kinda hoping the little girl with the knife was going to do more, that would have been cool. Rocket was funny.

I love how often I laugh out loud reading these books. First page:

There was a dead clown in my apartment. … Wondering if the dead clown, with his gaze following my every move, had noticed me.

So smart. And it’s on every single page. Sweet. Can’t wait to read the next one. 🙂

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