Thursday, 9 December 2010

Grave Secret Review

Grave Secret (Harper Connelly 4)
– Charlaine Harris
Publisher: UK – Gollancz
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 . . .
I’ve been reading Charlaine Harris books for years (before True Blood TV Series and everyone jumped on the bandwagon!) and really enjoy the way she manages to blend everyday with the strangely wonderful. Harper Connelly is a particular favourite of mine as she is an ordinary heroine. She doesn’t fight or capture bad guys, save the world nor have a snarky temper. She is ordinary – apart from this uncanny ability to locate the dead and tell what they died from. In this book she and her step-brother – and her lover, Tolliver finally find out what happened to her sister Cameron. After hints and suggestion for three books it was nice and heartbreaking to learn more about their past and how that helped strengthen the bond between Harper and Tolliver.
Grave Secret was an easy read and almost what I would call a ‘cosy urban fantasy’. The plot moves along at a brisk and with plenty of revelations and action but at a little more than 300 pages is relatively short. I managed to finish it in two sittings – and it only took two because I wanted to watch something on TV! As ever the characters drew me in and wanted to help them. I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance between Harper and Tolliver in the last book – I found it a little strange even though they aren’t related, but here I came to believe it made sense given how much they care about and rely on each other. This time I found it rather sweet and rooted for them.
This is a great book to enjoy with the snow piling up outside and while away a few hours – as ever Charlaine delivers real characters who you just can’t help but like!
Recommended for fans of Charlaine Harris and Carrie Vaughn. 8 out of 10.


  1. You know... I'll have to look at my bookshelf, but I think i have this on their that got pushed back in the tbr. Glad it's a good one. Sounds like I will enjoy it when I get to it!

  2. I've only ever read The Sookie Stackhouse series. I've been thinking about reading more of her books though. Thank you for posting this great review. Hope you have a great weekend :)
    Caroline @ Bon Bons and Reveries