A quick review because I'm spending time with the family this week and they keep interrupting my blogging!!
Charlaine Harris continues the adventures of Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver Lang in the third book of the series, set in Doraville, North Carolina. Harper has been hired to find the bodies of missing teen-aged boys – she soon does – eight young men buried in the same driveway next to an abandoned shack. All Harper wants to do is leave Doraville after this horrific job, but as usual, circumstances prevent it.
Despite this series being shelved in mystery, I think of it as being paranormal mystery because of Harper's ability to find the dead and identify how they died. There are also other reoccurring characters with some psychic ability that sometimes cross Harper's path. I always find these abilities fascinating within the story.
Overall: Every time I read one of these Harper Connelly mysteries, I expect a certain level of writing that will just let me kick back and enjoy – I always end up reading the book really quickly, not wanting to stop. So it wasn't a surprise that I liked this book. I think it's my favorite in the series so far. In the earlier books, especially book 1, I felt annoyed with the way people treated Harper because of her job, like she was a charlatan. It was a relief that in Doraville, Harper is treated much better so I wasn't annoyed by the other characters passing judgement on her. The mystery of who the killer was also kept me guessing, and there was enough of an element of danger to keep me absorbed, turning pages quickly to see what happens next. There's also enough of a cast of small town characters that Harper and Tolliver meet and a couple of old friends that stop by to help out to keep things interesting and the story moving along nicely. The weather also feels timely because as Harper dealt with an ice storm in An Ice Cold Grave, I was living through freezing rain and iced over roads in New York.
But be warned, this book goes to a weird place with Harper's personal life. I'm sure if you've read book 2 you'll have guessed what I'm talking about. Well, even though I expected this book to go there, I was still reeling when I read it. I'm still not quite comfortable either, but I guess I'll get used to it. Anyone else read this? What did you think? Am I right or what? Book 4 should be interesting – I'm still looking forward to reading it.
My past reviews:
Grave Sight (book 1)
Grave Surprise (book 2)
I am totally not comfortable with the turn that the storyline takes with Harper's personal life, and I am not sure why that it is! There is another series which is featuring a similar relationship and I can't wait for that couple to get it on, but Harper's just icks me out a little.
I think the reason for me is that in book 1, Harper kept calling him her brother, and introducing him as such. So my first introduction to him was – "Oh he's her brother". Then later it's "oh they are stepbrother/sister". But if you grew up with someone like that, even if he's a stepbrother, it's .. ew to think of them in a diffferent way. Even in book 1 I was feeling a bit weird about how Harper seemed to be irritated by Tolliver's conquests and paid attention to how other women reacted to him (as a sister I consider my brother to be asexual :P). I really have to get used to this.. And then THIS book, wow, they really got comfortable together faster than I'd expected! Of course I still find these books compulsive reading and want to read book 4. I think I just have to get used to the idea. It's slowly happening, but I think slower than it is for the characters. I'm behind them mentally!