A teenage girl from a small Ozarks town is missing and feared dead. Hired by local police, Harper locates the girl's body in a nearby forest. But there's more than one corpse in those woods, and the second one raises questions no one wants to ask. Soon Harper and her stepbrother/assistant, Tolliver, are under suspicion. All they want is to get out of town, but they will have to clear their reputations first.
Charlaine Harris writes best-selling mysteries described by Booklist as "gripping and spicy", and praised by the Denver Post for their "goofy charm".
©2005 Charlaine Harris; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"A strong debut that will have readers dying for more." (Booklist)
"Harris delivers a knuckle-gnawing tale populated with well-developed, albeit edgy characters. A nifty puzzle toward the end will challenge the most jaded mystery buffs." (Publishers Weekly)
This was the second in the Harper Connolly series I have "read". I messed up in the order, but it didn't make a ton of difference. Since I so loved the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, I was excited about starting this series. It took be just a bit to get into the story, but the storyline was good,Harper's "gift" is so unusual, the characters well developed and I had a hard time stopping the listen. I basically listened to it non-stop. The narration was the only problem I had as I felt it was too unemotional and made the main character seem very bland. It also made the relationship between Harper and her brother seemed strained, although based on the book that is not the case. The humorous remarks in the story had little emotion due to the narration. All in all, I would recommend this book and the series. It was very enjoyable and I loved the premise!
I like the story behind this series, the woman in the books is a serious young lady that can identify the cause of death for bodies she comes upon. However, I can't stand the narrator. It is a very stern, emotionless voice that is far too "old" sounding for the 20 something character.
This series has an interesting character with an unusual talent. It's a nice change from all the supernatural creature novels. I don't like this series as well as the Sookie Stackhouse series, however, Charlaine Harris still does a good job of entertaining her readers. Good mystery!
This story did not have the spark and sizzle of the other Harris books I’ve read. I think it’s because I’ve come to expect such fearless fortitude of her characters, as she wrote in the Sookie Stackhouse stories. Harper Connelly is a character battered by life, and her trepidation at every obstacle in her path does grate on the nerves. That being said, Charlaine Harris is an excellent writer and can do no wrong in her ability to weave a mystery. I might not have loved this story, but I DID like it. I plan to read the others in the series.
I have read all of Charlaine Harris's series. Harper has a unique twist. I sadly started this series with book two and three not realizing that I wasn't on book one. This book sets up Harper's life and her relationship with Tolliver perfectly. Now I understand more of what I read before.
Though the mystery was a tad predictable it was still a very enjoyable story.
I enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse books as much as anyone, but I chose this book because it sounded interesting - not because of the author. I'm not sure what happened here but this book come across as amateurish -- nothing much happens, there's endless rumination about irrelevant things and we're given lots of pointless details. I found myself wondering if this was one of the author's early attempts at writing and it got published simply because of her success with the Sookie Stackhouse series.
When I read the other reviewers comments about the book being slow I thought I could handle it. I was wrong. And they weren't kidding. I have made it through 6 hours of the 7 hour recording and I have given up. Nothing has happened and I realized I just don't care about the resolution of the mystery. I also agree with the other reviewers that the narrator reads the book in an essential monotone, which doesn't help matters, and that Harper's relationship with her step-brother Tolliver is creepy.
Charlaine Harris is a talented writer; there is no doubt about that. She can create interesting characters and she often comes up with a good plot. I have read all the books in this series, the first seven or eight books in the Sookie series, and a few of her other books as well. But she has one flaw which seems to pervade all her writing and which keeps me from putting her on any list of my favorite authors: Her negativity.
If I had only read this series, I might have thought that the constant negativity was a trait of this book's main character. But this same attitude is present in the Sookie books as well, which leads me to believe that it is a basic way of thought not of any character but of the author herself. Let me explain.
Pretty much every single character in this series except the main character and her brother is bad in some way. Some examples: One woman is sweet but stupid. An otherwise good man is willing to hide evidence that one of his adult offspring has murdered a child. Many people are insincere. Many people are unwilling to be helpful unless there is something in it for them. One man wants Harper and is willing to behave unethically if it will get him what he wants. The majority of people are rude straight out of the box.
The main character, Harper, has a single psychic talent. She uses this talent to earn her living. She points out that she must earn a living. She is not independently wealthy. She can't afford to take a week off from a job at Walmart to travel somewhere and help people out. This fact might seem to be worthwhile to mention once in each book, but it seems to have to be gone over with every new person that Harper meets. I have met some people that believed things that I thought were absurd, but I generally don't say so to the person's face. It wouldn't be polite. But about 90 percent of the people Harper comes in contact with feel compelled to tell her within moments of meeting her that they think she is weird, crazy or evil for taking money for fooling people into believing her. Even the people who have hired her seem to take this attitude, which I find particularly strange because I wouldn't hire a psychic if I didn't believe in her abilities. And then after she performs her job and it is clear that she can do what she says, people seem to hate her even more.... what? I find the behavior of the police in these books particularly offputting. I don't have any real, personal experience with police, but it stands to reason that if they are trying to get someone's cooperation, it wouldn't be a good idea to start out by accusing them of lying, fraud and complicity in murder. And yet time after time that is exactly what every policeman in this series does.
Okay. I've already said that I've read every book in this series. So the good things about Harris's writing outweigh the constant negative onslaught. If you have read and liked the Sookie books, then I think chances are good that you will like this series. If you haven't read the Sookie books, then I recommend that you try the first one in this series. But be aware that the negativity in the rest of the series is about the same in all of them, so if it wears on you, take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to go on.
If you want some recommendations of authors who write in the same genre and whom I like better than Harris, try: Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Patricia Briggs, Tanya Huff, and the early books in Laurel K Hamilton's Anita Blake series.
I liked the story but the narrator distracted me. It sounds like she is sucking on a mint or cough drop. Unfortunate because her expression is good. I just couldn't stand the smacking sound at times.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
The fact that I bought it.
Ok, here is the deal. I bought book 2 in this series and then realized I got the wrong one. So.. I bought book 1 and started there. After the first book I wasn't sure what to think. The topic was interesting, the characters had redeeming points but the execution was very flawed. I have a hard time with authors who can't keep their facts straight.
For crying out loud! Buy a pack of 3x5 cards and write a physical description of the character on the card. From then on out refer to the card when the character says "it matches my ____ eyes." And don't allow their hair to grow 4 inches in a mere 2 weeks.
This part really bugged me.
Next, if a character has such a depressing life, why do I want to live it with them? I read to enjoy, to conquer the world, to feel like the good guy always wins. After listening to book one I thought I would give two a chance. The author improves, a tiny bit, but just not enough to drag me through her depressing and muddy life for another 6-8 hours.
I won't waste another credit.
Very well scripted. I never know where her stories are going to end up other than GREAT!
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