The Adventures of the Gravedigger: Volume Three by Barry Reese
Charity Grace rose from her own grave, called by the entity that calls itself “The Voice.” She was tasked by the Voice to spend three years as an agent of justice. This wasn’t turning evildoers over to the police. No, most of the bad guys and gals who crossed Charity Grace ended with their heads whacked off by a sword.
Charity Grace was reborn as the Gravedigger, a pitiless sword of justice, shoveling dirt on the graves of the evil and the cruel. She set up headquarters in the home of former Gravedigger Josef Goldstein. She also gathered a group of agents to aide her cause. Among them is black British man Mitchell and lovely Asian-American girl Li Yuchun. Mitchell became Charity’s closest confidant and also her lover.
Over the years Gravedigger encountered a host of lawless persons, often wielding some sort of arcane power. In her first volume, she fought a man known as Thanatos, The Sons or Daughters, a gender-swapping cult and the Headless Horseman and more. Her battle could never be over until her three-year crusade was over.
Along the way, she encountered both the Peregrine and Lazarus Gray. Both shared an adventure with her, but neither really approved of her bloodthirsty crusade. But the Gravedigger could not be contained nor even slowed down. Her battles were fought to the death.
She was still dealing out rough justice, in the Second Volume; a silver skull talisman hidden at Hendry Hall is activated by Sandra Locke. This released the spirit of the deadly woman warrior known as Pandora, who possessed Locke. Pandora is allied with the evil Hiroshi Tamaki, who claims to be Emperor. This was a fight that could have easily ended in Charity’s second and final death. With the victory, she changed her headquarters, moving to Hendry Hall.
Now, in this third volume, she has one last battle before her trial. If she can survive this bloody battle with the strange people of Blood Island, including a man who says he is dead and calls himself the Ghost. He reports to the evil man known as King, along with his Queen and other Chessmen. Her heart will be weighed to determine whether she has redeemed herself or whether she is doomed to the underworld. The deal was that if she passes, she can go on to the afterlife or she can choose to remain on the earth.
In a way, I was sorry to see perhaps character’s final adventure. But the action was pure pulp, and the adventures have been terrific! Who knows, perhaps the world has not seen the last of either Gravedigger or Charity Grace. I also love the new cover! Beautiful!
Barry Reese is excellent at his brand of pulp, creating many characters, some that echo old pulp heroes. But for my money, Charity Grace, as Gravedigger, is the greatest of them all!
I give the book five stars plus! Looking forward to the next Lazarus Gray and other forthcoming gems of pulp from a master of the genre!
Quoth the Raven…
Thanks, Raven! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Charity will appear in a special adventure that teams Lazarus Gray and Nightveil in 2019 and then she’ll have an appearance in Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age, which is set in the Sixties. So you haven’t seen the last of her but there are no plans for any Gravedigger novels in the near future, I’m afraid.