Jul 12, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #5)

fifthgravepastthelight5 star

Paranormal Mystery
July 9 2013
352 pages
St. Martin’s Press

Kick Ass Chick – Charley Davidson

From Goodreads –
Charley Davidson may not look like your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper, but she has vowed to reap grimness wherever she goes despite this unfortunate fact. Sadly, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. As he is the main suspect in her arson case, she is determined to stay away from him until she can find out the truth. According to her therapist, however, she lacks conviction.

When dead women start appearing in her apartment – lost, confused and terrified beyond reason – Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’s help, especially when it becomes apparent that her own sister Gemma is the serial killer’s next target. With his ability to observe incorporeally, surely he can find out who’s responsible. And even if he can’t, he is the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return: Charley. All of her – body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay…


Fifth Grave Past the Light is the fifth book in Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series.  This is one of my absolute favorite series.  It is smart and fresh and hilarious, yet it’s filled with interesting and lovable characters and gripping mysteries.  Each book has a story of its own but there are ongoing plotlines too.  So you do get a sense of fulfillment at the end of each book but you also want to rip into the next book as soon as you can get your hands on it.

There is quite a bit that happens in this installment.  Charley’s new neighbor is proving to be difficult to ignore, no matter how much she tries.  On top of that, she is dealing with the ghosts of 20 extremely distressed women in her apartment.  Along with that she is handling a PI case involving a possible cheating husband and a serial arsonist case.  So to recap, we have the neighbor, the ghosts, the cheat and the fire dude.  Throw in some little fun revelations here and there and some extra-spicy scenes and you have just a week in the life of Charley Davidson.  You also have a wild and exciting read.  (I’ll touch a bit more on all of the different plot angles found in this book in a short bit.  I think I am going to call this review ‘speaking of which’…)

Charley is as endearing as usual.  She is still dealing emotionally with events from past books but she is dealing with them in her way – with humour and some denial.  But not so much denial that she’s obnoxious.  And not so much denial that she is ignoring what needs to be done.  You can tell that she is affected by things but she isn’t letting it all rule her life.  I love how she is written.  I love how she is spastic yet on the ball all at once.  On the surface she is a mess but scratch a little deeper and you have someone with a huge heart, a quick wit and a very capable mind.  She reminds me a bit of Columbo.  Sort of.  Basically you can’t take her at face value because there is so much more there.  She is so easy to like and once you finish a book, impossible to forget.

Speaking of impossible to forget…

Are you a fan or Reyes?  Are you a fan of Reyes and Charley together?  Then you’re in for a treat.  There is quite a bit of time with just the two of them in this installment. There is also some very sexy time with the two of them.  Very very sexy.  Smokin’ in fact.  These scenes just further demonstrate how strong their chemistry is and how amazing they are together on the page.  There is huge growth when it comes to their relationship in this installment, and I’m not just talking about the growth that happens to Reyes when these two are alone in the bedroom.  (ba-da bing *wink*)  If you were a fan or Reyes before starting this book then get ready because, unfeasible as it is, you will swoon over him even more when you close the cover on this book.

Cookie and Garrett and Ubie are all there of course and are all as entertaining as ever.  I loved the scenes with Amber and Quentin.  They made me smile.  I also loved the scenes with Garrett.  It made me very happy to find out exactly what happened to Garrett after he died.  Let’s just say ‘whoa…’.  Amazing he’s not more screwed up over it really.

Speaking of mysteries…

The serial arsonist mystery that started in the last book is resolved in this book and wow, it’s a doozie.  (I will say that the ‘oh no, but Reyes is probably the arsonist’ chat was starting to get tiring for me…then it stopped so it ended up all good.  Did it stop because yes, Reyes is the man who sets fire to everything or did it stop because the local PD caught the bad guy?  You’ll have to read the book to find out *grin*) The mystery of the 20 ghosts is very well told and how it’s solved is great – as usual.  I always find the ‘Charley must solve the case of the baffling ghost’ that is really the only stand-alone part of these books is always impeccably told.

Speaking of different sorts of mysteries…

Garrett helps uncover some of the mystery that is Reyes and his relationship with his father.  He is also sort of obsessed with the mystery of what exactly is Charley’s role in the world.  Why exactly was Reyes sent in this form when he was and what makes Charley so special as the grim reaper?  Not many full-out answers but many glimpses so by the end of this book, you feel like some of the things we have been wondering about for a while have the beginnings of some answers.  In other words, there is so much going on, so many different things to have you scratching your head, but not once are you feeling overwhelmed or lost.  Darynda really is a master storyteller and is able to take all of these questions and mysteries and characters and plotlines and weave them brilliantly into one cohesive work of fiction.

Not an easy feat but she does it time and time again.

As with many books in this series, this one finished with a cliffhanger.  But it’s not your usual “OMG I want to stalk the author and smack her all at once” sort of cliffhanger.  It’s the sort where you *squee* and jump up and down and think to yourself “no way! Omgomgomg” and *squee* again.  Also known as the perfect sort of cliffhanger.  Loved the way this ended and I can’t wait to find out what you all think of it.

Overall, I think Darynda did it again.  She managed to write a book that keeps you on your toes, makes you cry, makes you laugh, makes you question this and that, makes you laugh again and makes you feel completely satisfied and content by the end of it all.  In other words, she managed to write a knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark book.  Fifth Grave Past the Light is the perfect continuation to the series.  There is nothing like this series.  It’s an absolute must read.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’Don’t worry,’ I said, patting the air to console it.  ‘Cookie is an excellent shot.  None of you were ever in any danger.’

If there was a special place in hell for liars, I was so going there.”


“I closed my eyes, tried to stop the flood of lust that rushed between my legs.  Our relationship was a lot like underwear in a dryer without a static control sheet.  One minute we were floating through life, buoyant and carefree.  The next we were attached at the crotch.”

Books in the Charley Davidson series –
First Grave on the Right
Second Grace on the Left
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fifth Grave Past the Light
Sixth Grave On The Edge (2014)


  1. I’m reading it now..the only thing bugging me so far (Other then he could be the arsonist over and over again) is the name of his boobs and his part…I don’t know why that bugs me, but it does! Enjoying it otherwise

  2. Michele says:

    I finished it earlier this week. You’re right: it was just as fabulous as the other 4 books have been. I only have one small gripe…I’m a little bothered with the huge piece of information she recieved from Rocket that went completely unresolved & Charley’s complete lack of a response to it. It was like this really big moment when she found out and then nothing…and that was too big of news to just pretty much ignore & not address for the rest of the book. Aside from that, the book was about as perfect as you can get!!

  3. I’m waiting for my copy to arrive!!! You’re teasing me with this blog today and I love this series so much!

  4. I want want want it, but will wait for paperback, le sigh

  5. this book was so fun, I can’t wait for the next one! great review julie!

  6. Awesome review Julie! I looved it too. I loved the sexy times in this one 🙂

  7. I am also waiting for the paperback version. Nice to know the fifth book is just as good as the rest.

  8. Colette – Hmm…I wonder why that bothers you lol

    Michele – I know what you mean by the Rocket thing. I am very curious to see if the scene with Garrett is what Rocket meant or if it will play out in the next book(s) ???

    Diane – I hope your copy has arrived by now 🙂

    blodeuedd – You are so strong!

    melliane – So good!

    Lupdilup – Great sexy times!

    aurian – So strong! I have no idea how you can wait lol.

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