“IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD”
I learned long ago that when someone tells you that they have done, or are doing, something “for your own good,” they are really doing something for their own good. And somehow, mentally or physically, you yourself are going to be hurt. Right up there with “because I said so” and “this will hurt me more than it will hurt you,” it is a fairly common tactic used by parents on their young children. But when used against an adult, that tactic can have permanent, far-reaching and quite unforeseen consequences. If you thought what Charley Davidson’s father did to her in “Second Grave on the Left” was appalling, your ire and righteous indignation will go straight through the roof by the end of the this novel.
But that ire and indignation is going to compete with, and be made so much more legitimate, by the bone-chilling horror that you will feel as you read what comes prior. Chapter 24 is not for the feint of heart and it is definitely not suitable for late-night reading. In this chapter, Darynda Jones describes a physical and emotional torture inflicted upon Charley in a very graphic, detailed and exacting manner. The humor and sarcasm with which Jones peppers her story is gone and the descriptive prose gets straight to the point, literally.
How we arrive at this place is fairly simple and is set up early on. First, Reyes Farrow is incensed that Charley bound his incorporeal spirit to his corporeal body and refuses her visits in prison. Secondly, Reyes’ incorporeal spirit keeps showing up every time Charley falls asleep, invading both her mind and body. Supposedly, a bound spirit should not be able to do this and Reyes is angry about being somehow compelled to comply. Thirdly, Charley, who has been fighting to stay awake for the last 13 days, is investigating the disappearance of a prominent doctor’s wife.
More importantly, Reyes learns that his father, the man he was convicted of murdering, is still alive. Calling Charley to the prison, he manipulates her into using her PI skills to find the man. And finally, Charley’s father demands that she quit the PI business. And he implies “or else.”
This urban fantasy entry is full of witty sarcasm, hilarious chapter titles and quasi-slap stick. Until it isn’t. The tale is filled with the normal adventures and the tense moments associated with the solving of Charley’s paid case. Until it isn’t. And when it isn’t, when you reach Chapter 24, Darynda Jones will flip the humor switch, the sexual innuendo switch and the grim reaper switch completely off. With the turn of a door handle, Jones will dump Charley – and you – into a triple-dipped hell-on-earth of torture, betrayal and death. From that moment, you will not be able to stop the read until you reach the last word on the last page.
We know that this is a series and we know that Charley still has business to finish with the demons and with Reyes. So we know, even while reading the horrific torture scene, that she will survive physically. The question for the next book is how will she survive mentally? For both Reyes and her father, sometimes saying “I’m sorry” isn’t good enough and sometimes there can be no “do over.”
Cover Art from Goodreads