Charlaine Harris is the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books, now the Emmy Award-winning TV series True Blood, as well as many other mystery novels. She lives in southern Arkansas with her family.
In bestseller Harris's solid fourth Harper Connelly mystery (after 2007's An Ice Cold Grave), Harper, who can not only locate bodies but also deduce the cause of death, and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, are summoned to Texas by members of the wealthy Joyce family, who are looking for answers behind the death of their patriarch, Rich. But when an act of violence threatens the pair, Harper realizes that the circumstances behind Rich's death may have ties to her own troubled childhood in nearby Texarkana. Further complicating matters, Tolliver and his drug addict father, who's recently been paroled, have an uneasy reunion that stirs up long-buried memories about the unsolved disappearance eight years earlier of Harper's older sister, Cameron. Harper and Tolliver's relationship, which blossomed into romance in Ice Cold, is the beating heart of the story and helps smooth over the somewhat rushed and questionably coincidental plot. (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Thanks to being struck by lightning, Harper Connelly can see dead people. In her fourth outing (after An Ice Cold Grave), Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver are back in Texas, meeting with clients and visiting their baby stepsisters. Tolliver's father, Matthew, reappears, too, this time clean of drugs. As if family tensions aren't tough enough, they must dodge mysterious bullets. Could the shooting be related to Harper's Texas clients? Verdict While Harris's tightly paced mystery is a good series entry, newbies should read the first three books because the story line and characters develop chronologically. Some readers may also be offended by the romantic relationship between stepsiblings Harper and Tolliver. This title will be most appreciated by Harris fans and readers who enjoy paranormal mysteries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 7/09.]-Crystal Renfro, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib., Atlanta Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.