Grave Surprise

Harper Connelly is back in Grave Surprise, the second in a series written by Charlaine Harris about the lightning-strike-survivor who finds corpses through a strange sixth sense. This time, Harper and her step-brother Tolliver are traveling to Memphis for what's supposedly just a college class demonstration -- though they assume (correctly) that the professor is out to prove they're frauds. They all get a bit more than they bargained for when Harper not only correctly explains the cause of death for every person buried in the small college cemetery (take that, professor), but finds that one additional body has been buried there. The body is that of a little girl who went missing two years prior from Nashville... and the twist comes with the fact that Harper had been hired to find the girl, but met with no success at the time (without a hint as to the body's location, she could never find the girl in the places they searched). Now, nearly two years later, she meets success... in the town where the bereaved family has relocated to try and make a fresh start. While the family can finally have peace, no one thinks these facts add up to a coincidence.

Harper and Tolliver are drawn in to the case, though obviously her peculiar talents are somewhat limited in terms of finding out the who's of things... which makes it helpful when bodies keep showing up as a means of providing clues. The tie here is almost more emotional and it's unsurprising that little things keep popping up to keep Harper in town... not the least of which is yet another fresh body, this time that of the professor originally calling her to Memphis.

I wasn't as thrilled with Grave Surprise as I was with Grave Sight, mostly because I feel it was a transition novel, getting us to a point with character development so that the next book could get interesting (aka the relationship between Tolliver and Harper being weird). You probably should read Grave Sight first before this one, even though I feel like we were treated to a lot of repetition as far as their backgrounds were concerned. The mystery itself was intriguing, but also somewhat predictable in the end, which was a disappointment. Still, it was an amusing enough quick read and if you liked the first, you'll likely still enjoy the second to some degree.

No comments: