Lightening-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface...
To make matters worse, Tolliver learns from his older brother that their father is out of jail and trying to reestablish contact with other family members. Tolliver wants nothing to do with the man-- but he may not have a choice in the matter.
Soon, family secrets ensnare them both, as Harper finally discovers what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, so many years before.
And what she finds out will change her world forever...
Title: Grave Secret
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Harper Connelly, Book 4
Start & Finished: 1/15/10- 1/16/10
Published: October 27, 2009
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
It’s been two years since Charlaine Harris; the bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse (aka True Blood) series has published a full-length book that didn’t feature her telepathic barmaid… until now. Ms. Harris has finally concluded her Harper Connelly mystery series with the fourth story Grave Secret. These books are about a woman with an unusual “gift” of being able to find corpses and know how they died caused by being struck by lightening when she was 15. From the very first book Grave Sight, there was a mystery established that Harper had a sister who went missing several years ago and with the final story, everything is finally revealed.
Despite the fact that Harper has an ability that could be considered supernatural, you certainly won’t find any werewolves or vampires within these pages! The Harper books are more like a grittier version of Charlaine Harris’ earlier books such as her Aurora Teagarden series with just as dash of mysticism thrown in. Its Harper’s ability that has always drawn me back to this series though: “I walked to the next one, rested for a moment until the buzzing impelled me: that was the call of the bones, the remains. They wanted me to know about them, what had killed them, what their final moments had been like.”
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have devoured the series regardless though since I’ve been a fan of this author for about five years now. However, I have a few issues with the main character that I’ve never encountered in any other Harris book or short story. The main problem I have is Harper’s relationship with her stepbrother Tolliver and ever the author said, “’I will be the first to admit: it's kind of icky," Harris says of Harper's "love affair". On the other hand, "they're not related to each other. They are just dependent . . . Every now and then someone gets totally squeaked out about it but that's OK." Most people, she says, accept it and are happy for them. ” Sorry, four books later and it still squicks me out. Even Harper still thinks “of him as my brother, though I was trying to catch myself when I called him that out loud. [Since they have] a much different relationship now.”
Maybe because since it’s been so long between books but I just wasn’t quite as pulled in by these characters as I remember being with the previous books. Several times, I felt like Grave Secret was being pulled in too many directions with too much filler thrown in. True, there were two mysteries simultaneously going on; each connected to the past, and I was pleased and a little shocked with how they both turned out, it was the journey getting there that felt too drawn out. All in all, though I enjoyed the story and felt like it was a fitting end to a truly unique series.
1. Grave Sight (2005)
2. Grave Surprise (2006)
3. An Ice Cold Grave (2007)
4. Grave Secret (2009)
First Paragraph: "All right," said the straw-haired woman in the denim jacket. "Do your thing." Her accent made the words sound more like "Dew yore thang." Her hawklike face was eager, the anticipatory look of someone who is ready to taste an unknown food.
Sydney Morning Herald
Shot Window: Several people get shot in Grave Secret
Culvert: Harper finds a body in one of these
Roller Skating: Tolliver & Harper take their sisters skating