Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book #5 picks up a few days after book #4 leaves off. This time Charley is juggling a case involving a cheating husband; her suspicions that her boyfriend, Reyes, might be a serial arsonist; concerns over her sister's nervous new client; and a couple dozen terrified dead blonde women who have taken over her apartment but don't seem to want to communicate with her or cross over. Her friend Garrett is being frustratingly closed-mouthed regarding his time in Hell and his subsequent investigation of all things Reyes. And now Uncle Bob's boss, the chief, has become suspicious about how she solves so many cases so quickly and is snooping around, turning up where he is least expected and most unwanted. What's a grim reaper to do?!
I love these books so much! It's nearly impossible to put them down, and this one is no exception. I craved reading it like Charley craves coffee, and that is saying something. It's very fast-paced, which is great, except then I finished it too quickly and now have to wait (impatiently) for the next one.
I finally figured out who Charley reminds me of: a combination of Janet Evanovich's heroine, Stephanie Plum, and the character of U.S. Marshall Mary Shannon, played by the actress Mary McCormack on the TV show "In Plain Sight." Charley is brash and often crass, independent and yet endearingly vulnerable and empathetic. She gets herself into all sorts of messes because she barges full speed ahead in pursuit of justice and in defense of the defenseless. It's a really good thing that she has supernatural healing abilities and can sometimes stop time or leave her body to act in times of life-and-death emergency--qualities both Ms. Plum and Agent Shannon lack.
For readers' advisors: story doorway is primary, and I definitely would not suggest this series to anyone looking for "clean reads," as the language and sex scenes are not tame.
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