Saturday, December 19, 2009

CBR Book#15: Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

Harper Connelly makes her living listening to the dead. She acquired her ability to see the final moments of the deceased when she was fifteen and struck by lightning. Harper was curling her hair in her family's run-down trailer when the lightning coursed through her body and changed her life forever. She now travels with her step-brother turned lover, Tolliver Lang.

This is the fourth novel in the Harper Connelly mysteries and takes place following the events of the previous novel. In every one of the novels, Harper and Tolliver are hired to read a grave by someone and the information that is gained from the deceased puts their lives in danger. This novel is no different. Harris has always filled the readers in on Harper's and Tolliver's home life with her drug-addicted mother and his drug-addicted father. Mark is Tolliver's older brother while Harper had an older sister named Cameron. All of them share two half-sisters: Mariella and Gracie. The kids all bonded because of their gruesome home situation, but none as much as Harper and Tolliver, clearly.

One day, Harper's sister Cameron is late coming home from school. She had stayed late to decorate for the prom. After Cameron failed to show up, Harper went looking for her. All that was left of Cameron was her backpack and a witness who thinks she saw the missing girl get into a blue pick-up truck. The police were called into the situation, revealing the secret of their dysfunctional family. Both parents, Laurel and Matthew, went to jail.

Grave Secret intertwines the seemingly unrelated events of Tolliver's father Matthew being released from prison, Cameron's abduction nearly eight years earlier, and the surprising news that Harper gives to her clients, the Joyces. The ending of the novel is not too hard to figure out, especially if you have read any of the previous novels in the series. Harris does not stray to far from a specific formula, which I won't get into, in the Harper Connelly mysteries. However, she still writes a novel worth reading, especially if you have some time to kill or just want something quick.

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