Series: The Grave Report #1
Genres: urban fantasy, mystery, paranormal
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As far as numbers go, it isn't a great one. Hell, it's not even a good one and Vincent Graves is going to find out just how unlucky of a number it can be. Because someone, or something, is killing people in the Empire state, and whatever it is, it gives people everything they ever desired and more. And it's the more that's the problem! Well...it's one of the problems. Vincent's investigation also seems to have drawn the attention of a relentless FBI agent and then there's the little bit where he has only thirteen hours to solve the case, or he dies. Talk about your literal deadlines... ...No pressure. By the end of this case Vincent will come to understand the meaning of an age old proverb: Be careful what you wish for - because you just might get it!
Meet Vincent Graves. Who is he? He’s not 100% sure himself. All he knows is he died under “strange and mysterious circumstances” awhile back. Now, his soul is bounced back into newly deceased bodies whose previous owners also died under “strange and mysterious circumstances.” He learned real quick that meant the same as “supernatural.” He has bounced in and out of so many people, he’s not even sure who he was anymore, however, he at least gets to retain some of the memories and skills of the people he’s inhabited.
His job is to figure out what killed the person whose body he is now occupying and put an end to it. To aid him in this, he keeps a journal of each thing he encounters. Since he can’t take it with him when he switches bodies, he hands it off to his caretaker. At the beginning of every job, he enters the nearest church, grabs his journal and receives a snazzy countdown tattoo. He has yet to fail in his job, but there’s always a first time for everything.
This go-around, Vincent ends up in the body of Norman Smith, who was once the curator of the American Museum of Natural History. As he goes around trying to figure out what killed Norman, he has a run in with the FBI and meets Special Agent Camilla Ortiz. She turns out to be a rather interesting woman.
Honestly, I don’t want to give anything away. Virdi has a fun style of writing and the entire book was enjoyable from beginning to end. The idea is a great one and he obviously had fun writing Vincent Graves. It has a definite feel of Jim Butcher, reminiscent of the Dresden Files. I will admit I enjoyed this more than the Dresden Files books. Okay, that might be blasphemy to some, but hey! A girl has the right to her opinion. 😉 There might have been a few sneaky bits tucked in from a few TV shows, but I can’t prove that. I found the sense of humor that ran through the entire book great.
Virdi uses some harsh language here and there, but considering what Vincent goes through? It’s understandable. He also has a thing for ellipses (…) and periodically using periods in odd places to emphasize something. For example, “Stop. Moving. Right. Now.” That kind of thing. So if that drives you insane, you’ve been warned. There are a few editing issues here and there, but those can be fixed over time. Personally? I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
EDIT: I will admit I’ve been following this book. So, with each update, I’ve been looking it over and seeing how far it’s come. Most of the errors have been fixed and it’s an enjoyable read for anyone who likes Urban Fantasy. I believe R.R. Virdi belongs with other Urban Fantasy greats like Jim Butcher. The Grave Files is sure to go far and only pick up more fans with each successful novel. I can’t wait to see where R.R. Virdi will take us next.