Sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans.
I mentioned this in a review of book three, but I'm perplexed that the scatty mythology that Jones has set up is changed when a plot-line needs it to. I found this quote infuriating:
'...I'm supposed to remember a message given to me by a departed when I was in the low single digits? What the bloody hell?' Pg140Why can Charley, the woman who can recollect everything, who can remember being born, not remember this message? Is it because it's not about Charley and therefore can be considered memory trash? Or that Jones can't remember her own characters powers?
Jones has been banging on about Charley's capabilities for FOUR books now, and where's the pay off for regular readers? I know as much about Charley as I did in book one. Oh apart from that I now know that she can project her soul elsewhere and that Dutch means Seeker. WOOP. DE. DOO. For a series to work well there needs to be a balance between an overall arc and cases of the week. If you can't even do that then pick one and stick to it, and make it good. While I'm on the topic of 'Case of The Week', if you're going to have a step-sister and step-brother be in love don't, for crying out loud, name her HARPER! It screams that your are ripping off Charlaine Harris.
Then what do I come across on pages 163-167? An evil British meat suit demon. Sooo original. For crying out loud why do all high up demons have to have a British accent? Plus it wasn't even described as a localised British accent. We don't all speak with plums in our mouths, so should I have imagined the guy speaking like a Geordie?
However, the core problem I have with this series, the one that makes my blood boil, is Charley's attitude towards men. In the last book, Charley was used as bait by Reyes in order to lure out Earl Walker, his abusive father figure. Charley was tortured in her own living room, not to mention that Amber, her best friend's teenage daughter, was put in danger, too. You'd think you'd have some problems with this guy who put you in mortal danger....but no. She refers to the whole episode as an 'accident' which suggests that no-one is at fault. Then on P.83 Reyes offers an apology, "I'm sorry, Dutch. I never thought he'd come after you.". So, what was the plan then Reyes? Because she sure looked like bait to me. Don't even get me started on Charley's dad. He got a little bit more of a cold shoulder, but then she can't sleep with him, can she?
Just what is with the characterisation of Charley? Surely after being tortured by a man she would have at least small issues with men groping her all the time? But no, she loves it. Charley's PTSD was non existent and ,of course, could be cured by having some cheese-tastic sex with the person who got her in that situation in the first place. Said sex scene reminded me of the kind of writing Ms Perky was going for in 10 Things I Hate About You. I thought it was cringe worthy, and the line, 'until I milked him' has to have been the highlight of the whole section for me.
But, I'm in the minority according to goodreads, etc. Even my own mother thought it was good (but then this coming from the woman who hates most female characters on t.v for absolutely no reason apart from they're female.) When I raised my rage points, I got told that I was getting on my high horse and that it's just fluff. But it's not. It's masquerading as fluff with some really horrible messages that men can do whatever they want with you, even get you killed, and it's okay as long as they're smoking hot and touch you up every now and again. I apologise for having a brain.