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Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – September 26, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Ever since Harper Connelly survived a zap from a lightning bolt, she's been able to find dead people, a skill that makes the protagonist in the first installment of Harris's new series a tad more bizarre than the mind-reading heroine of the author's Sookie Stackhouse books (Dead as a Doornail, etc.). Harper travels to the Ozark town of Sarne, Ark., to find a missing teenage girl's body, accompanied by her stepbrother, Tolliver, who acts as her manager and bodyguard and with whom she shares a thinly disguised physical attraction that they manage to keep at bay by engaging in casual sex with various partners. Finding the body takes no time at all, but leaving town afterward isn't so easy. When Harper's life is threatened and Tolliver ends up in jail on trumped-up charges, it quickly becomes apparent that something sinister is going on in Sarne. Harris delivers a knuckle-gnawing tale populated with well-developed, albeit edgy characters. A nifty puzzle toward the end will challenge the most jaded mystery buffs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Prolific author Harris debuts a series that just might surpass all her others in popularity. Harper Connolly is honest, ethical, loyal, and, in many people's eyes, quite odd. Since being hit by lightning, Harper has a strange gift: she can find dead people and reveal how they died. Harper is so down-to-earth and delivers the story in such a straightforward way that even the most hardened realist eventually will accept the premise. In this first outing, Harper and her manager and stepbrother Tolliver travel to a small town in Arkansas to determine what happened to a local teenager. Once there, they learn that someone is willing go to great lengths--even murder--to bury a secret. While absorbing the usual mixture of awe, revulsion, and fear that her "gift" inspires in the locals, Harper tries to uncover the secret they are trying desperately to hide. Future stories may shed more light on Harper and Tolliver's relationship, which seems curiously close for a sister and stepbrother. A strong debut that will have readers dying for more. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing style is good, told in the first person by Harper. But there was such a lack of attention to detail that I kept getting yanked out of the story. One minute she is limping, favoring her leg that threatens to collapse under her, then she goes running for long distances with no trouble. She gets shot at in one book and a police officer killed protecting her, but the cops just nod there heads and go on with life. No follow up investigation, no questions about who might have killed the officer, so Harper continues her own haphazard investigation. The stories are told with such economy that I kept having trouble following what was happening.
I felt like the characters were so great that these books could have been a major series with a little more effort. I think the author spent all her efforts on her true blood series, which I could never get into. And I guess that makes sense financially. But I'm so disappointed. I loved Harper.
Harper and her brother travel across country using her gift/curse to locate bodies and even determine the cause of death of those who have died. Not everyone appreciates her skill especially after they hire and what she sees opens up the door to covered secrets and disappointment.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next book. Hopefully more character development and more background into Harper's family.
What I didn't care for was Harper's dreary, serious-bordering-on-sour outlook. The character has no sense of humor, and the dialogue often falls flat, weighed down by Harper's earnest narration.
HOWEVER, several others seem to think the second book improves on this, and based on my great admiration of Charlaine Harris, I will try the next book.
Ms. Harris seems to be trying really hard to create an outcast type that isn't totally off the rails. Harper has some issues and may look a bit like an emaciated fairy, but she's got that "professional" vibe. The girl wears turtle neck sweaters and pumps for crying out loud. She's not goth-queen extraordinaire. Thankfully.
I think Ms. Harris does a fantastic job of creating a character who is really struggling with her differences, and is trying to learn to live with the things that make her very peculiar to society. Instead of running and hiding from it, she's embraced it. At the same time she hasn't embraced her odd talent so completely that she's thrown society to the wind either. She's doing her best to be a legitimate business woman using the talent that she didn't ask to have.
You get a really good sense of the struggles that Harper is facing with people who are afraid of her, especially bigoted people who think her power is evil and her relationship with her brother/manager is REALLY suspicious.
Writing style is good. Characters aren't nearly as engaging as the ones in the Sookie universe, but that's not surprising considering this was an earlier series for Harris. Even though I felt like this was a pretty solid 3/5 I went ahead and bumped it up because I like Harper as a character.
A solid mystery. Worth a read on a rainy day. Especially if you like paranormal stuffs.
Harris's writing is first rate, as usual. The mystery is fairly believable and the pacing is excellent. The real problem with this book is the formulaic ending where the bad guy spills his guts about all the whys and wherefores in front of our heroes. That part reads like a bad made-for-TV movie. There is enough good stuff in here to make it worth reading but I really hope the next one ends on a higher note.
Five stars for the first 3/4 of the book. Two stars for the ending. Since I couldn't rate it 3 1/2 I'm rounding up to 4.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm looking for the rest of the series