The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #9
Published by St. Martin's Press
Published on: January 12, 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depo | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | GoodReads
In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.
The pacing of this series has been gaining speed with every new installment, so although I did find myself wishing that Darynda Jones would just get on with it already, overall I enjoyed the breather that THE DIRT ON NINTH GRADE provided. Also, what reader hasn’t wished for the power to turn back the clock, and re-discover their favourite characters all over again? This book allowed fans to do exactly that, well until the ending catapulted us into an oh-shit free fall that is.
One thing became evident in this novel; Charley’s memories aren’t what define her. She’s still the quick-witted, trouble magnet that we’ve come to adore, even though she now goes by Janey Doerr. I loved that her oddball personality was able to come through in spite of her retrograde amnesia. The theories that she came up with whenever one of her powers manifested itself were priceless as well from Davidson thinking she’s a genius for knowing multiple languages, to being a time traveler.
Bobert, Cookie, Osh, Garrett and Agent Carson’s attempts to keep Charley in the dark were an absolute blast because of the heroine’s ability to detect lies, and feel people’s emotions. It made deceiving her next to impossible, so most of them kept their distance except for her BFF. *queue awesome Cookie antics* Reyes’ frustration at being estranged from his soul mate was palpable, but the heart wants what the heart wants, even when the brain forgets!
This installment was rather tame in comparison to Jones’ customary CHARLEY DAVIDSON stories. There was still a throng of plot threads what with Mr. Vandenberg’s conundrum, Erin’s baby woes, and the otherworldly intrigue that surfaced in the closing chapters. However, they were slow moving, and the recap didn’t show up until the conclusion was well underway which made finding my way after an eight month break more of a hurdle than it should have been.
I liked THE DIRT ON NINTH GRAVE almost as much as Charley loves coffee!