Jan. 4th, 2017

chez_jae: (Books)
I started reading Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris late yesterday, and I stayed up until almost 2am to finish it. Yes, it was that good! The book is the first in the author's "Harper Connelly" mystery series.

As a teen, Harper was struck by lightning. Ever since, she has been able to sense dead bodies. She has turned her misfortune into a career. People call Harper in to locate the dead, and she charges for her service. In addition to being able to find dead bodies, Harper can also tell how they passed. She suffers from anxiety; therefore, her stepbrother Tolliver travels with her and acts as her agent.

When Harper is summoned to the small southern town of Sarne, she is asked to search for the body of a teen girl who has been missing for several months. The girl's boyfriend was found, dead, in a wooded area, and it's believed he killed Teenie and then himself. Harper locates Teenie's remains in a matter of hours and says she was shot twice in the back. However, Harper doesn't believe that the boyfriend, Dell, committed suicide; she is convinced that both teens were murdered.

Eager to cash their check and get out of town, Harper and Tolliver are delayed when Teenie's mother asks to speak to them. They stop in to talk to Helen, and Harper tells her what she knows of Teenie's death. She and Tolliver then move on to their next gig. Not long after, they are asked to return to Sarne, because someone murdered Helen.

Harper and Tolliver reluctantly return and are drawn into a murder investigation. In the meantime, police officer Hollis takes Harper to his wife's grave. Harper is able to tell him that Sally's death wasn't accidental; she was murdered...just like her mother Helen and her sister Teenie.

The people in town are suspicious of Harper and wary of her abilities. She is threatened by a group of teens, shot at, and accosted in her motel room. Tolliver gets arrested and jailed on trumped up charges, leaving Harper without her anchor. She is not, however, without resources.

This was an utterly fascinating and engrossing story. I liked that Harper was plucky and vulnerable, both. The author provided enough backstory to let the reader see what motivated Harper and why she was riddled with anxiety. Other characters were well-drawn, even those who were on the periphery. I did figure some things out early, including the murderer, but there were still plot twists that kept me guessing right up to the surprising end.

Favorite lines:
"Instead, all she has to blame is her stupid cat."
OMG, story of my own life!
♦ "...he wanted to know how I managed to stay around you, since surely you were marked by the devil."
"Oh yeah? And I thought I'd showered real well."
"You probably missed some Satan behind the ears."

Not a funny or fluffy story by any means, but fast-paced and riveting. Very highly recommended! Five stars!



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