Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding is a great gritty urban fantasy that operates under a unique premise: the heroine of the book is dead and resurrected in the body of another woman. The heroine, Evangeline Stone, wakes up cold and stiff on a table in the morgue. She doesn't know how she got there and quickly realizes she is not inside the body she was born. Evy has no memory of how she ended up in this new body or what happened in her old life before she ended up there. After causing the morgue tech to pass out due to shock of finding a living body on her morgue table, Evy finds out her new body is named Chalice. Evy decides to start her investigation of what happened to her, and get some better clothes, at Chalice's apartment. Evy is a Hunter, part of an elite fighting squad known as a Triad, that keeps the dark supernatural world (the dregs) from mixing with the ignorant human population. Each Triad has a handler and Evy's handler is Wyatt, a Gifted human that has some magical abilities. Once Evy returns to Chalice's apartment she runs into Chalice's old roommate which raises some uncomfortable questions of who is her rented body and how did she die. After leaving Chalice's old roommate feeling a little crazy after seeing her back from the dead, Evy hits the streets to track down Wyatt and he shares with her some dark truths. First is that she died a horrible death and now is back to help Wyatt find out why she was killed and what she learned before she died. Second is that she is on borrowed time, she only has 3 days to live. Lastly, she has no memories of the days leading up to her death and what really happened.
As Wyatt and Evy move around the city and try to jog Evy's memory by retracing her steps before she died, Evy has to deal with the strange attraction her body has to Wyatt, a man that should be off limits to her as her handler, and then as her memories return so does understanding of why she has this attraction. As for Wyatt, his feelings for Evy are strong and muddle the reason of why Evy was brought back from the dead. Wyatt is tall, dark, and handsome and lethal when it comes to protecting Evy. Meding did a great job of building the relationship between Wyatt and Evy/Chalice. The relationship was uncomfortable when it began since Evy doesn't remember at first what passed between her and Wyatt before she died and thought her feelings for him where more platonic while the lust she felt was all Chalice. But as the book progresses and Evy/ Chalice merge more into one person and the relationship with Wyatt develops into something more touching and real. Also as Evy spends more time in Chalice's body her old reflexes and fighting ability become stronger. The melding of the two people- Evy and Chalice - was expertly done.
The more Evy learns about her memories, the darker the story becomes. She remembers the death of the her other team members of the Triad who were killed by Halfsies (bitten vampires) and the blame that's laid at her feet for their deaths. She also remembers hunting down rumors of a possible alliance between the Goblins and the Bloods (born vampires) which if true would be devastating to the human race. But the deeper Evy delves into her memories the more she learns about betrayals by people she thinks are friends and that things aren't as they appear. Evy is a tough heroine but as her clock on her borrowed body winds down she begins to wonder whether it is worth it to remember what happened to her and she fears her second death. There were parts in the book where I was cringing and hoping Evy's memories would skip the really horrible parts of her first death but no such luck! But at least she gets to remember her sweet moments with Wyatt as well!
This book is a 4 out of 5 for me, it is a gritty urban fantasy unique premise and a heroine you will cross your fingers for and hope she makes it out alive.
I love all books snarky, sexy, or action-packed! My favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance though I read a little of everything. Please feel free to contact me at darklyreading (at) gmail (dot) com