I’m pretty sure I’ve found the next “beach read” series I might have to work my way through before he end of the summer (or as much of it as possible). Second Grave to the Left is a fun junky supernatural mystery. Not totally original, especially the sexy stuff, but enough interestingness to keep things going. I was shelf browsing at the local library, found the final installment of the series on the “New Fiction” shelf, decided it looked interesting, so I went to find volume 1, which was not on the shelf. Volume 2 was, and while I will go back to book 1, but this one made good sense without that background.
The premise is one you’ve seen before: a private detective who has some personal issues has a supernatural ability; in this case Charley Davidson is what’s called a Grim Reaper. She doesn’t go around with a scythe, but she can get the souls of the recently passed to the other side. Basically, she’s a gate to the beyond. Sometimes this means she has to help the dead resolve their issues, namely the nature of their death if it was murder or some such. She has connections in the local police department (stop me when you haven’t heard this story before) who call her for strange cases, and she’s involved with a really dangerous, but irresistible guy. That would be Reyes, escaped convict, kinda, who is actually the Son of Satan, possibly an Anti-Christ, who has been living as an incarnated human being. He and Charley have some kind of connection, which gets a bit of a reveal towards the end, but that’s not the important part. He’s one of those super-hot bad guys who really wants to own and control the heroine, and she’s attracted to him. This is practically every paranormal romance/mystery series ever, and I hate how Charley knows that it’s bad how Reyes tries to use coercion, threats, and almost violence to “protect” and control her, but she still really, really wants to sleep with him (again, apparently). The only thing that keeps me from dismissing this whole part of the story is that Reyes does actually have some depth to him as demonstrated by how he treats his former cell-mate. But still, why do all heroines in this kind of story have to like guys like that? It’s irritating.
Anyways, there’s a disappearance that Charley is called to solve by her best gal pal/receptionist, and of course the husband is a suspect, but that naturally means he probably didn’t do it. But then what really happened to Mimi? As it turns out, something out of a bad teen suspense drama along the lines of Pretty Little Liars.
Complaints aside, this is still a fun fast read, and since there’s something like 13 installments to the series, it’ll be a while before I need to find a new kinda trashy supernatural mystery for mindless entertainment.