Grave Sight (by Charlaine Harris) 2005.

Summary: Harper Connelly has a gift, granted after being struck by lightning: she can sense the final resting place of the dead, and share their final moments. With her step-brother Tolliver’s help, she has turned this into a career of sorts. When she is hired to find the final resting place of a teenaged girl in the Ozarks town of Sarne, the case seems much like any other. Dark secrets in the town, however, soon have Harper and Tolliver fighting to survive.

Review: Many readers are no doubt familiar with HarrisTrue Blood series, of HBO fame. This is the first book in her ‘other’ series, and it does read a bit like something churned out with too little time. Harper and Tolliver are engaging, as is the premise, but the execution is imperfect. The author repeatedly trips up Harper with silly complications to prevent her supernatural gift from solving the mystery early; the net result is that by mid-book, our hero and heroine are reduced to traditional gumshoe detection with Harper’s skill a complete non-factor. Harris is a skilled enough writer to make her premise work, and I hope that in further installations she does so.

Read-a-likes: There are currently 4 books in the Harper Connelly series available. Readers of the author’s Sookie Stackhouse novels should enjoy these, though the emphasis is more on the suspense than the romance, which is a flip. Fans of Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas novels might want to take a look, though reader beware: at least at the get go, this series doesn’t have the same quality execution.

Availability: This title is available at the Lake Bluff Public Library as a  book. Click here to check on the availability.

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