Saturday, October 27, 2007

"An Ice Cold Grave," by Charlaine Harris

An Ice Cold Grave is the third in Harris' Harper Connelly series, and her best to date. Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, have been called by a sheriff in Doraville, N.C., to use Harper's unusual talent for finding dead bodies. When she was just fifteen, Harper was struck by lightning, leaving her with the ability to find corpses and know exactly how they died. She even sees the final seconds of their death.

Doraville has lost six teenage boys over a span of 5 years, and the small community is outraged at the incompetence of police. As usual, after Harper has found the bodies of the missing boys and uncovered the terrible ways in which they died, she and Tolliver are detained and forced to continue helping with the investigation. And as usual, Harper is targeted and attacked by the unknown killer.

If you've managed to slug your way through the first book and found that the second was actually enjoyable, you'll finally be rewarded with An Ice Cold Grave. The writing is sharper, the characters more developed, and the suspense is even more heightened. Harper and Tolliver's relationship, which has always been close but strained by an underlying mutual attraction, finally makes a pivotal turn.

I started reading this book in midafternoon and stayed up until 1:30 a.m. to finish. What can I say? I'm a sucker for spooky thrillers.

4.5 stars