In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: January 12th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
Four and a half stars: A book that takes everything you know and turns it upside down.
Janey likes her job at the diner. She has made some terrific new friends, and she loves her regulars. The only problem is that Janey cannot remember anything about her past. She can't even recall her name. Janey has accepted that she can see things that others can't such as ghosts and demons and another reality, and every once in awhile she will have an anxiety attack. What happened to her that made her forget everything, and what is causing her anxiety? Can her new friends and the strange, dark brooding stranger, Reyes help Janey remember who she is?
What I Liked:
- For long time fans of the Charley Davidson series, this book is a reset book. It features Charley as Janey, an amnesiac, who is desperately trying to remember who she is. Janey doesn't know that she is surrounded by her friends, family and protectors, she thinks they are just regular customers and coworkers, when in reality they are Cookie, Reyes, Uncle Bob, Garret and Osh. I loved seeing this new side of Charley, and I thought it was hilarious seeing her long time friends and family pretend to not know her. I especially enjoyed watching her rediscover Reyes and rekindle their romance. This book was very different and fun.
- I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the diner setting in Sleepy Hollow. It was quiet, cozy and comfortable. I loved that Janey (Charley) had no idea that she was completely surrounded and protected by those who loved her most. This was comfort reading, perfect for winter.
- Amnesia Charley was interesting and fun. I liked that Charley was toned down, and quieter. She still had snark and spunk, and she couldn't resist jumping into danger in order to help others, but there was something a bit softer and more vulnerable about her that I really enjoyed. Charley is still funny, but she is different. I was eager to see what would happen when she did recover her memories, and I was most curious as to what would trigger it.
- I liked watching Charley and Reyes go back to square one, if you will, and fall in love all over again. It was sweet, fun and nice. Loved it.
- This book took a step back from the main story arc for most of the story. Charley and the gang get a reprieve from the demons and those who mean to destroy the world. Instead this one is on a smaller scale, and the main focus is on Charley recovering her memories. There are also a couple of interesting side stories that Charley entangles herself in that I enjoyed. The ending packs a punch with some more big revelations and hints for the future that once again tie the reader and the story back into the overall story arc.
- This one ends neatly without a jaw dropping cliffhanger. That was a relief. However, after some of the developments at the end, I am more than eager for the next book.
And The Not So Much:
- I liked the secondary story lines in this one, but I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in that all of them wrapped up rather hurriedly. I wanted more regarding the kidnapped family, and the thread regarding the ghost haunting one of Charley's co workers. The side story regarding one of Charley's regulars who had a demon inside of him was ended very abruptly. I found myself invested in all of those subplots and I wished that there had been a bit more time exploring these side stories in depth.
- I didn't like the whole thing with Charley's stalker. I felt like I was missing some information. I needed more of the back story.
- This is me being picky, but I was super excited when I discovered that this book was set in Sleepy Hollow. I found myself wishing for more detail regarding the town. There is very little on the town. Yes, there is at least a reference to the headless horseman, but I wanted more. You would think with a setting like Sleepy Hollow that it would be ripe with old ghosts and legend and lore.
- The ending was chaotic and it threw a lot of information at the reader. A lot happens, and there is a lot to absorb. It felt a bit jarring compared to the slower pace of the book. At least there wasn't a cliffhanger!
The Dirt on Ninth Grave was a terrific, fun, comfort read that resets Charley. I enjoyed the small town setting, the cozy diner, and watching Charley and Reyes fall in love all over again. This was a quieter, more subdued book in the series, but one that was so much fun. I loved this book. I am more than eager for the next book in the series!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the books in this series: