If you are jumping into the Charley Davidson series with Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, you should know that here are spoilers for previous books in this review. Proceed at your own risk.
Charley Davidson's big case in Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is just the kind of mystery I like to read about. A young woman, Harper, hires Charley to find out who trying to kill her. Harper's family swears she is imagining things. That only makes the case more interesting to Charley. And to the listener. This case plays out with a surprising twist. I like surprises!
While she is investigating Harper's case, Charley is also being hunted by demons. Unfortunately, they have a way to find her. Their method is hazardous not only to Charley's health, but also to the health of the innocents they use to get to her. Charley needs to find a way to neutralize the demons fast. Reyes might be able to help out, but he and Charley are not exactly on friendly terms after the events of Third Grave Dead Ahead. When I reviewed Third Grave, I said “Reyes is an ass.” My opinion has not changed. He has a long way to go to redeem himself. Of course, not everyone agrees with me. You will have to form your own opinion.
Also going on in Fourth Grave: Lately, there has been a rash of bank robberies. When Charley checks out the video, something about the thieves look familiar. So add bank robbery to the list of cases Charley plans to investigate. In typical Charley Davidson formula, Charley is the poster child for multi-tasking.
Charley also has a police department case that she is helping Uncle Bob with. There is an arsonist in the city. This case does not get resolved in Fourth Grave, so you will have to read Fifth Grave Past the Light to see it solved. Up until now, I would have said the books don't have be read starting with book one, but now I think that if you have not read book three before Fourth Grave, you will have missed some important events. And obviously, events in book four will carry over into book five.
Charley went through a traumatic attack in Third Grave. In Fourth Grave, she has barely recovered. Her vulnerability is quite evident. Self-confidence is lacking and her normally sparkly, snarky, hilarious wit is, well, still there but a little less. We keep hearing that Charley needs to figure out exactly what she can do. I hope that happens soon. Charley could use a some confidence boosting abilities in her repertoire.
At the end of Third Grave, Garret Swopes was dead. In fact, he visits Charley in post-death form. That is to say he is a ghost. He is most certainly dead. He can even see Mr. Wong in the corner of Charley's apartment. If that is not dead, I don't know what is. In Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Swopes is chauffering Charley around. Not a ghost anymore. Okay, I admit the tendency to zone out a bit from time to time while listening to audiobooks. But Swopes' resurrection is pretty critical. So I went back and listened to the end of Third Grave and then part of Fourth Grve. I even asked my Goodreads friend Mel for help and she patiently and graciously explained everything. Okay. I'm caught up. My theory: fan outcry regarding the death of a favorite character had the magical side affect of resurrection. I have not decided if I like it or not. But I had just come to terms with Swopes death, so it was very disconcerting to me. Besides, I thought Garrett would make a great ghost partner, along with Angel.
And what happened to the Third Grave aiding and abetting charges that were made against Charley, compliments of dear old dad (another character with work to do in the redemption department)? I expected to hear something about that, since it really pissed Charley off. I guess Uncle Bob took care of everything. UB is such a great guy!
So there were a couple of things from book 3 that got magically resolved before book 4 even started. I can't say I am fond of that strategy.
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is not my favorite in the series. I'm hoping it is the calm before the storm and that things get lively soon! Nevertheless, I love the humor and I still love Charley. And, as usual, Lorelei King, as the narrator, does an amazing job with another Charley Davidson story!