When she was 15, Harper Connelly was struck by a bolt of lightning, which left her with a spiderweb of red over her body, headaches, and episodes of weakness. Sometimes her right hand shakes. And she can find dead people.
It's taken a while, but at last Harper's pretty happy with her life: she's making a living, using her unique talent to help people, and she's got a lover - her stepbrother Tolliver. That creeps some people out, but though they grew up together, and got each other through the real bad times - their parents' drug-use, the abuse, the disappearance of Harper's elder sister Cameron - they're not blood relatives.
Then Tolliver's dad arrives on the scene, seeking forgiveness for the sins of their youth, and the police get a tip-off that after all these years, Cameron's been spotted in a mall. With all this going on Harper realises life is getting a little complicated, but she doesn't expect those complications to include Tolliver getting shot, or watching a cop die taking a bullet for her.
Harper can find dead people, but now it's clear someone wants her dead ...
In bestseller Harris's solid fourth Harper Connelly mystery (after 2007's An Ice Cold Grave), Harper, who can not only locate bodies but also deduce the cause of death, and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, are summoned to Texas by members of the wealthy Joyce family, who are looking for answers behind the death of their patriarch, Rich. But when an act of violence threatens the pair, Harper realizes that the circumstances behind Rich's death may have ties to her own troubled childhood in nearby Texarkana. Further complicating matters, Tolliver and his drug addict father, who's recently been paroled, have an uneasy reunion that stirs up long-buried memories about the unsolved disappearance eight years earlier of Harper's older sister, Cameron. Harper and Tolliver's relationship, which blossomed into romance in Ice Cold, is the beating heart of the story and helps smooth over the somewhat rushed and questionably coincidental plot.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not Sookie and not trying to be
First off I am a fan of the Stackhouse novels. The way I have commented here is based on the assumption that many will, as I did, come to look at these books as a result of loving Sookie's stories. Harper's tales are not the True Blood formula and that is interesting - to find an author than can write outside of her successful formula and has the guts to do so. The Harper book series is much quieter. These are real people in a real world rather than the larger than life grotesques of the True Blood series. There is a paranormal element, but the central characters are accepting to the point of resigned about it and more often than not hold their tongues rather than jump in guns blazing as Sookie and her cohorts would do.
Romance and physical contact is present in these novels but (so far in the series at least) not the eroticism Sookie lovers may expect. If you have certain passages of book four of Sookie's story marked, spine broken or very dog-eared then you may be disappointed. What will not disappoint is the more measured approach, the gentle character development and interactions. It takes more than one book to appreciate this. The narratives are crime based due to the nature of Harper's condition, but thought through and not as easy to guess 'whodunnit' as some out there. This book, the 4th in the series relies heavily on a huge co-incidence but then that worked fine of each and every one of Dickens' works. Dickens fans please note I am NOT comparing Ms Harris to Charlie boy.
I would, and have, recommended this series to others but try to proceed without preconceptions or you will be disappointed and would be missing out on a worthwhile read.