Monday, August 03, 2009

Harper Connelly Series by Charlaine Harris

Ms Harris has me hooked. I love her Southern Vampire series and now I am hooked on her Harper Connelly series. what is fascinating is that the series are completely different, not just in theme but also in the author's voice. Harper is not as light hearted as Sookie is, she has a more skeptical view of the world, a bit more darker, which in turn makes the books more solemn but just as delicious!

Grave Sight (B) : The first book took me a bit to get into but after I got to know Harper and her step brother, Tolliver Lang, I was off and running. Harper and Tolliver come from a messed up home. His Father hooked up with Harper's mom and their efforts to keep the so-called family together united them in a cause. Harper's mom was a alcoholic/drug addict and her father was sent to jail for one thing or another. Harper was struck by lightning when she was a teenager and as a side effect of that experience she has the ability to sense the dead. she does not speak to the dead but can sense when death is near by which allows her to easily find dead bodies. She can also determine the cause of the death by getting a glimpse of the final moments of the victims life. This final quirk comes in handy when Harper is brought in to find the body of a teenager who was suppose to be the second half of a murder-suicide. When Harper find the body of the young girl she knows it's murder but when she stands on the boy's grave it's clear to her that he also was murdered and did NOT commit suicide. This opens up a can of worms because now there is an unsolved murder on the books. The Sheriff of the little town has no problems with this since the girl found was his sister in law. His wife also died several years ago, but he suspects foul play in that death as well (which Harper confirms) and is determined to find out who wanted these sister's dead. The murder mystery just wraps itself around this small town and Harper and Tolliver just get sucked into it.

Grave Surprise (B+) : The second book draws you in from the get go. Harper has been invited to do a demonstration of their abilities at Bingham College by identifying bodies and causes of death in a historic Memphis cemetery. What She discovers among the dead is the body of Tabitha Morgenstern, a young girl she failed to find on a case several years ago. Falling under suspicion in the death Harper and Tolliver must stay in the small town attracting all sorts of characters to themselves..

When the professor that originally invited Harper to the college is found dead in the same grave that Harper had found the other body things heat up and she realizes she must unravel the mystery to clear her name if she ever expect to get out of the town in one piece. This is the book that has Harper looking at Tolliver in a not so sisterly manner and makes us re-examine that relationship too.

Ice Cold Grave (A) : At the end of the last book Harper and Tolliver's relationship shifts a bit and I was so happy I had the next book all lined up to read and I didn't miss a beat.
In this third installment Harper deals with one of her most emotional cases when she is hired by a woman to find her missing grandson. It seems that several boys have gone missing in the small town of Doraville, N.C. and although the local police had dismissed them as runaways the new sheriff, Sandra Rockwell suspects something else. She is proven correct when Harper finds, not just the missing grandson, but all the missing boys (plus two) buried in an abandoned farmhouse. They all had been tortured and abused by a serial killer who is still on the lose. Harper is emotionally drained and would do anything to get away from the horrors she sensed in those bodies but she is suddenly attacked and injured causing her and Tolliver to stay in the town that has become a media circus.

In this book we see the return of psychic Xylda Bernardo and her grandson, Manfred whom we met in the previous book. This book also has Tolliver and Harper discovering that there is no brotherly affection between them but something much more precious.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this series. I cannot wait for more Harper and Tolliver. I was greatly relieved that, even with the popularity of her Southern Vampire series, this series is still active.

We will be getting a new installment in October with the release of Grave Secrets!

Thank goodness I don't have to wait too long!


Marg said...

I enjoyed this series, but I struggled a little with the relationship in the later books. Strangely enough, I don't have an issue with a similar relationship in a different series, but in this one, it was a bit icky for me.

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