The Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane is one of my favorite urban fantasy series. I never expected to like this series; in fact, if I was to meet some of these characters on the streets at night I would instinctively head in the opposite direction. I don’t approve of the lifestyle choices of the main character – she’s a pill popping addict. Somehow, I have the urge to both smack her and hug her and then cart her off to rehab. This is a testament to just how well these characters are written. City of Ghosts is the third book in the Downside Ghosts series. For those unfamiliar with the series, the basic premise is that sometime in the future the ghosts have become extremely dangerous and the “Church” has a staff specially trained to protect the population from said ghosts. City of Ghosts finds the main character Chess Putnam undergoing some serious moments of self-doubt, self-loathing, and moments of paranoia. Chess does not allow herself to be happy; she does not see herself worthy of a relationship. Chess’ on again/off again relationship with mob enforcer Terrible is damaged and possibly irreparable. Chess continues to surprise me. The very fact that she manages to do her job quite well despite her addiction never ceases to amaze me. It’s her personal life that keeps getting messed up.Terrible. Let’s take a moment to talk about Terrible. Terrible is an interesting character. He’s huge, not that great looking, and extremely good at persuasion using his fists. There is another side to him. He has a good heart and he is capable of love. Terrible is one of those fictional characters that you fall in love with even though in real life, he would be scary. I found myself echoing Chess’ feelings for Terrible. When he wasn’t in a scene, I would miss him. If Terrible was in a scene, my heart would skip a beat and I felt happy. When he calls her Chessiebomb, I melted. On the ghost front, Chess is working with the Black Squad to solve a case of grisly murders. The action is fast paced. There are excellent fight scenes, lots of blood and mayhem, and the sex is hot, dirty, and angry. My only criticism of this book would be that there was a little too much detail on the preparation of Chess’ spells. That part read a little like a recipe, but was interesting nonetheless. City of Ghosts was an emotional ride. While this series is not for everyone, fans of dark urban fantasy should enjoy it.Highly recommended.Favorite quote:“You know, caffeine can mess with your energy,” Lauren said. “It’s best to stay away from artificial stimulants.”It was probably the funniest thing anyone had said to her in weeks.