As the author of four series, plus two stand alones and one anthology, Harris has been extremely prolific in her writing career. Her writing has progressed from the fairly comfortable with her Aurora Teagarden mystery series, to the slightly edgy Lily Bard mysteries featuring a protagonist who is a domestic violence survivor, on to the world of the undead with Sookie Stackhouse and finally to the paranormal with Harper Connelly. Although the Sookie books are wildly popular, I think the latest of Harris's series featuring Harper Connelly is her best.
To say that Harper Connelly had an unusual childhood is an understatement. Her youth was spent with an ever shifting family made up of her parents, stepfather, sister, step brothers, and half sisters. As is often the case when the adults in a family fall into a lifestyle filled with vices, the older children assumed the roles of the adults in order to hold the family together. Thus Harper and her step brother,Tolliver, bonded in a way most step siblings never do. While this alone would make Harper an interesting protagonist, add to this the fact that she was struck by lightning as a teenager and as a result developed a most unusual talent. She can find dead people and not only that, she is able to to “see” the way they died. It would be easy to paint such books as over the top paranomals, but that would be a serious mistake. These books, featuring Harper Connelly, are well written serious mysteries.
In An Ice Cold Grave, Harper is called to the small community of Doraville, North Carolina to help locate the body of a missing teenager. Though several boys have gone missing over the past few years, the local sheriff assumed that the boys were runaways. When Jeff McGraw disappears, his grandmother puts up the money to have Harper come to help search. What Harper finds though is not just Jeff, but 7 more bodies as well. The question is, were the killings the work of a single person or not? This is Harper's first case involving a serial killer and as she leans on Tolliver for support, their relationship begins to change. An Ice Cold Grave is the third in what will hopefully be a long running series. Grave Sight and Grave Surprise are the first two books featuring Harper Connelly
REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR
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