Saturday, November 7, 2009

grave surprise by Charlaine Harris

From the cover notes:

"When I was fifteen, I was struck by a bolt of lightning throuh an open window of the trailer where we lived...I recovered, mostly. I have a strange spiderwed pattern of red on my torso and right leg, which has episodes of weakness. sometimes my right hand shakes. I have headaches. I have many fears. And I can find dead people. That was the part that interested the professor...

"At the request of anthropology professor Dr. Clyde Nunley, Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver come to Memphis to give a demonstration of Harper's unique talent. And what better place to have that demonstration than in a very old cemetery?

"Dr. Nunley doesn't bother to hide his skepticism, especially when Harper stands atop a grave and senses two bodies beneath her - one of a centuries-dead man and the other of a young girl, recently deceased. When the grave is opened, Harper's claim is proven true. The dead girl is Tabitha Morgenstern, an eleven-year-old abducted from Nashville two years previously..."

From the author of the Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampires) series, comes a series featuring Harper Connelly; a young woman with a gift for finding corpses, and accurately determining the cause of death simply by touching, or being close to, the body. This is actually the second book in the series, which includes grave sight, grave surprise and an ice cold grave. I stumbled upon it while browsing through my local library's online catalogue and thought I'd give it a try.

Harper Connelly is an engaging character, and I'm glad to say is nothing at all like Sookie. (Well, there is the fact that she wound up without parents at a young age, and the fact that she has a supernatural gift. Not that I don't like Sookie - I love her - but I can't stand it when an author is a one trick pony and creates characters that are all alarmingly alike.) Harris has created a likable character with a distinctive voice. Harper doesn't have the same likes and dislikes as Sookie, or the same attitudes. And she doesn't inhabit the same world as Sookie.

This book is a classic who-done-it with a satisfying conclusion. Recommended to all who enjoy a murder mystery every now and then. I'll definitely be reading the other books in the series.


Nina said...

Well I do enjoy a good murder mystery, so I quess I have to put this on my long tbr list. :)
Thank you for your great review.

Fiona said...

I know what you mean! My wish list of books to read is constantly being added to!

Teddyree said...

Great review, I'm up to book 6 in the Sookie Series but I wondered what these were like.