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by Charlaine Harris
Berkley, October 2005
272 pages
ISBN: 0425205681

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Perhaps GRAVE SIGHT is not the book to start on Halloween, but that is when I did. Harper Connelly was hit by lightning when she was 15. Now in her early 20s, she earns her living by discovering how people died. She can either stand on the grave and see what happened, or find the body itself if unburied and missing.

Harper travels with her stepbrother Tolliver Lang. They are called to Sarne, Arkansas to find the body of Monteen (Teeny) Hopkins. Sybil Teague, a recent widow, was the mother of Dell Teague, who was found shot to death in the woods. Sheriff Harvey Branscom, Sybil's brother, declares Dell's death a suicide. Teeny and Dell, both 17, had been lovers. Monteen was never found.

Harper and Tolliver face the leaders of Sarne, the sheriff, Mrs Teague, Paul Edwards, an attorney and Mayor Terence Vale. They aren't sure if they want to hire Harper. After all, the ability to find dead people is a strange gift.

After Harper provides proof that she can find the dead, and tell what they died of, she is hired to find Teeny's body. Teeny has been shot in the back. Both Dell and Teeny have been murdered.

Harper goes out to the woods with Deputy Hollis Boxleitner, whose dead wife was Teeny's sister. She shows him where Teeny can be found and also proves to him that his wife was murdered. She didn't die accidentally, as had been thought.

GRAVE SIGHT is written by Charlaine Harris, author of several other series, including the Sookie Stackhouse southern vampire series which has been sold to HBO to be made into a series by Alan Ball (of Six Feet Under).

It is the first of a series that is more like the Lily Bard Shakespeare books than Aurora Teagarten or Sookie Stackhouse. There are light moments, but it is generally darker and more intense. The strange relationship between Harper and Tolliver is puzzling, although a back story, making this relationship plausible has been set forth, and Harper's strange profession will make this a series to watch.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, October 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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