Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is the fourth book in the Charley Davidson series, an urban paranormal fantasy featuring a hilariously cheeky private investigator who also happens to be the Grim Reaper. Always fast paced, these books have Charley rushing against the clock to untangle several problems and mysteries – some in the human realm, some in the realm few can see. Piatkus | Paperback | October, 2012 | 308 pp
It’s two months after Charley’s horrific experience of being bound and tortured by a serial killer, and she’s not over it. In self-enforced exile, Charley has panic attacks just thinking about going outside. She’s become addicted to the Home Shopping Network, is running out of money, and hasn’t showered in far too long. She’s unable to pay the rent for her PI business/office and hasn’t had a paying case in months. Her best friend and sidekick Cookie, who lives across the hall, is determined to get Charley back in the swing of things – if only to get a paycheck again.
During her isolation, she also hasn’t spoken to Reyes, the Son of Satan. She finally decides to brave the great outdoors and pay Reyes a visit in order to hand him an invoice for the help she gave him. A cool one million should suffice – right? She finds him cage fighting and wonders why he would be fighting for a purse when he doesn’t need the money. While she watches from the sidelines, she’s attacked from several sides.
Turns out, she’s being hunted by demons from hell and they’ve found a new way to find her. Possess a gifted person, and they locate her “light” to find and destroy her. As the Grim Reaper, she is the literal portal to heaven, and Satan wants to use her to transport his legions for the final battle over heaven and hell. Reyes was born for this purpose – but he has other plans. He’ll do anything to protect Charley.
Charley also takes a new case. A woman has been terrorized for years by someone and she has no idea who it could be. Her wealthy family doesn’t believe her and nothing had ever been proven. After vanishing for several years, she returned in hopes that her tormentor would be gone. Unfortunately, the terror started as soon as she returned. There are also two new cases the police need Charley’s help with: a serial arsonist and the Gentleman Bank Robbers who never pull a gun.
During the course of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Charley fights off possessed people, saves a young blind boy, gets kidnapped, meets a proper English demon, learns about her colleague’s recent trip to hell and ensuing conversation with Satan, gets more messages from angels by way of nuns, solves a 20-year-old cold case, gets shot at by her dad, and stops a sniper by leaving her body – a totally new trick.
We also finally get a steamy non-dream, non-incorporeal being Reyes scene.
More people in Charley’s inner circle are becoming aware of the magnitude of her abilities. Some know outright that she is the reaper. Others know that she is gifted and different, but they don’t quite know the full truth. With a sudden forced performance, those who didn’t want to believe now know that Charley isn’t quite human.
The melodrama with Charley’s stepmother and father didn’t hit the mark for me. Her father goes about trying to prove a point in the most bizarre fashion – too bizarre considering the rift between them and everything else that is going on. And forcing us to see the evil stepmother is a better light was a little infuriating. I would rather just hate her. I didn’t want to see her humanized. I wanted her to remain a real-life monster.
Aside from that, this series is a blast and I’m completely addicted. I can only hope that this is made into a Netflix series.