An Ex to Grind in Deadwood is the 5th book in the Deadwood series by Ann Charles. If you’re a fan of the great (gone before its time) TV series Deadwood, don’t bother even consider reading these books, they have nothing but location in common. I fell into this book series because the first two were free and the rest have been cheap…but now? I think I’m done, and let me tell you why.
Typically, I am a sucker for light, breezy book series. It’s like going to your favorite bar and seeing people you know on every stool and they tell you something new that’s going on in their lives. In this book, they told me very little new stuff…it was almost all set up for book six; or to continue my metaphor, it was like being stuck on a barstool hearing the same damn story from your drunk friend whom you once liked but now you’re not so sure. So here’s what did happen:
Violet Parker is a real estate agent who in the past 4 books has been fighting ghosts and weird “albino” monster men with lizard eyes with her convenient ghost whisperer boyfriend (I KNOW, that old story ha ha). She’s not comfortable with this role but she’s starting to realize that there’s something to the idea that we walk amongst both the living and the dead–this is good, because she’s been dealing with it for 4 previous books.
New stuff: Her ex-boyfriend/father of her twins, has come to Deadwood to harass her, even though he relinquished his parental rights before the children were born. His name is Rex and he was painted as the single most douchetastic human being ever that it’s hard to imagine that she couldn’t have seen a hint of that in their previous relationship. Believe me, I have my share of horrendous ex boyfriend choices, but this guy was basically twisting his mustache, and spewing threats behind his oversized mirrored Ray Bans while hopping in his Porsche. (That’s kinda over-douchefying your character). But no matter, his very serious threats have no bearing in this book. No really, none…but he does appear to threaten/proposition her like five times, just so that her boyfriend can come and save our damsel. Uggh.
Another important plot point fail was when Violet learns (in the last 2 pages) why she has been involved in all this crazy paranormal stuff and why the baddies seem so afraid of her. The last two pages!?! We get a name for what she is…but NO explanation. Inconceivable! I read this on my iPad, I considered cracking the screen over my head. I was that annoyed. I have great books to read. Why was I reading this? Arrggh (I’m literally turning into a Cathy comic strip while typing this).
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read what essentially was 350 pages of a grown mother of two, pining for sex from her boyfriend because something else gets in the way. When they do have sex, it’s on the hood of a car and no one’s uncomfortable (where’s the verisimilitude? Not here!). Perhaps you like a book where the author takes a (mostly) strong and independent female character and reduces her to worrying if her boyfriend (of 5 books! Ahhh) will ever marry her (ask him?have a discussion about needs? Nah.) or finally if you like a decent mystery set up but absolutely no rising action, then this is YOUR book! (Hint: don’t bother).