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Friday, 20 August 2010

Review: An Ice Cold Grave

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!


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

I cannot wait to tackle this series! I am still with Sookie Stackhouse, but your review of this one is very promising. I completely agree with this: "Charlaine Harris really knows how to lay red herrings and create a great unexpected plot without cheating the reader." That's definitely C. Harris. Thanks for sharing!

I Want To Read That said...

I LOVE this series!! I still have the last one to read but don't want to because then there will be no more:( Maybe she will change her mind and write more - at least I'm hoping so. Anyway, great review:)

cj'alhafiz said...

A honest review. Haha... I love the cover. It's great!!

Here's my latest review on Angie Sage's Magyk. Check out!!


Becky said...

Irena, I have only read the first Sookie book but I really enjoyed it. I think Charlaine also has a new series coming out. The Aurora Tea Gardens... I shall find out more!

Sammee, I have read the last book and you won't be disappointed. I am missing the series a lot though.

CJ, Oooh I have read all the Septimus series books so far. I will check out your review.