Author: Charlaine Harris
Release date: UK 2008
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Target audience: Adult (**sexual content)
Books in the Harper Connelly series:
Book 1 Grave Sight - review
Book 2 Grave Surprise - review
Summary from Amazon:
Harper Connelly was struck by lightning as a teenager, and now she can find the dead. In her third case, Harper and Tolliver, her stepbrother, are hired to find a missing grandson. But the truth is far worse than a single dead child, for numerous teenage boys, all unlikely runaways, have disappeared from Doraville, North Carolina. Harper soon finds the eight bodies, buried in the half-frozen ground, but then, still reeling from coming into contact with her first serial killer, she is attacked and injured. Now she and Tolliver have no choice but to stay in Doraville while she recovers, and as she reluctantly becomes part of the investigation, she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of the town: knowledge that makes her the most likely person to be next to end up in an ice-cold grave.
Review Book 3 An Ice Cold Grave:
An Ice Cold Grave sees Harper Connelly and her non-biological brother Tolliver travel to South Carolina for a new case. This time Harper has been hired by Sherriff Rockwell on behalf of several families who would like her to locate the bodies of their sons. Boys have been disappearing from the town of Doraville for five years. The previous Sheriff Abe Madden believed that the boys had run away. But now six boys have disappeared and not a trace of them has been found. Jeff McGraw has been missing for three months and his grandmother Twyla Cotton has been integral in raising the money to pay for Harper’s services. She is a firm believer in Harper’s ability.
This is the darkest novel of the series so far. Harper who usually regards her line of work very professionally and clinically becomes emotionally involved as she learns what the missing boys have been through. She soon locates the site of the graves and is overwhelmed by the imprint of fear and suffering that each boy leaves behind. An Ice Cold Grave is a most appropriate title for this book as it left me chilled to the bone after reading it. I was actually quite disturbed by the depth of the evil that Harper uncovers. It is the crime that only your most frightening nightmares can produce.
The author does work in a lighter element to the story through the changing connection between Harper and Tolliver. Their bond finds a new and welcome dimension in this book. It had me smiling.
Charlaine Harris really knows how to lay red herrings and create a great unexpected plot without cheating the reader. The identity of the murderer is so wrapped up in twists and turns that I had no idea who it was. Overall, this book has cemented my love for this series. I am quite sad that I only have one more instalment to go. Great characterisation, intriguing and well-established back story, chilling plot, all make this book unputdownable!