Harper Connelly had a lucky escape when she was hit by lightning: she didn't die. But sometimes she wishes she had died, because the lightning strike left her with an unusual talent: she can find dead people - and that's not always comfortable. Everyone wants to know how she does it: it's a little like hearing a bee droning inside her head, or maybe the pop of a Geiger counter, a persistent, irregular noise that increases in strength as she gets closer. It's almost electric: a buzzing all through her body, and the fresher the corpse, the more intense the buzz.
Harper and her brother Tolliver make their living from finding the dead, for desperate parents, worried friends ... and police departments who have nowhere else to look. They may not believe in her abilities, but sometimes the proof is just too much for even the most sceptical of police chiefs to deny.
But it's not always easy for someone like Harper, for the dead *want* to be found - and too often, finding the body doesn't bring closure; it opens a whole new can of worms.
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.
Another great female lead from Harris
Charlaine Harris has a wonderful ability to write strong female leads. Like Aurora Teagarten, Lily Bard and Sookie Stackhouse, Harper Connely is witty, interesting and also flawed.
Harris's leads are good reads and like all the other series' you reach the end of this book wanting to read a bit more about the next Harper adventure.
Anyone who's read Harris before will enjoy this series starter.