Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly #2) by Charlaine Harris
“I love the South, don’t get me wrong; but it does lag behind the times in social developments.”
The second book in a series of four, you must read Grave Sightbefore reading this book. Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver travel the US, using Harper’s ability to find dead bodies and to know how they died as a means of employment. This came about when Harper was struck by lightning when she was a teenager. Harper and Tolliver are called to Memphis for a grave reading in an old cemetery. While there Harper discovers the body of an eleven year old girl that she had searched for before.
Now the mystery begins as it was obvious someone put the body there for her to find, and instead of a random stranger having taken the girl, it’s someone close to home. Tied up in the case, Harper and Tolliver are stuck in Memphis and are further entwined in the case when another body shows up in the same grave, someone they know.
I’m going to say this in the nicest way possible, while I like these books and they’re a wonderful urban fantasy guilty pleasure, I think that Charlaine Harris isn’t a very good writer. I’m sorry! But the way she writes almost excludes feelings, skipping around settings in a sentence where I have to go back and reread them because I missed it it was so quick. In fact, a ghost showed up and I had no clue he was a ghost until she explicitly said so four pages later! I guess what I’m trying to say is she isn’t always very clear with her writing.
“Nothing could stop tragedy from visiting your home. The angel of death would not pass over, leaving you unscathed, no matter how large your house was.”
Now here’s a small spoiler I’m not tagging: I went into this series knowing that a romantic relationship developed between Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver. And while it doesn’t bother me I could see how people would be a little creeped out by it, especially since they refer to each other as brother and sister in the books. But since I knew going in I felt it was fairly obvious what was developing since the beginning, and I’m not really creeped out by it because they aren’t blood related. It was interesting to see Harper’s revelation of her feelings in this book and I really want to see how she’ll handle it in the next book.
As for the mystery, it was slow and came together all too quickly at the end. As all of Ms. Harris’s books do. At this point I’m not reading for the mystery, I’m reading for the character development and the use of Harper’s abilities and how they affect her life. That’s the part I enjoy about these books.
So remember everyone, 3 stars means I liked it! Don’t pity the 3 star rating, I still very much enjoyed! I’ll continue the series as I am intrigued by these characters.