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Book review: Grave Secret

Grave Secret is the fourth and final book of the Harper Connelly series, and brings the continuing story and all of the floating plot threads to a satisfactory close.

And I won't spoil you in this review about whodunit.

Harper Connelly and her stepbrother and business partner Tolliver Lang take a corpse-reading-in-a-cemetery-job in the Texarkana area, which is where they grew up. Afterward, they visit Harper's aunt and uncle, who are raising their mutual young half-sisters. While in the area, Tolliver's father Matthew, newly released from jail, tries to insinuate himself back in their lives. Manfred Bernardo (of Midnight, Texas) again feels, in a psychic sense, that he is needed and he arrives uninvited to help Harper and Tolliver.

Grave Secret isn't a stand-alone mystery like the previous three books in the series. While the results of the initial Texarkana job, which involved Harper "reading" the cause of death of a rich patriarch, reverberate throughout the book, nearly everything that happens is related personally to our main characters, Harper and Tolliver. They must interact a great deal with their difficult extended family, all of whom disapprove of the work they've chosen to do as well as their personal relationship. Tolliver must decide whether or not to take Harper's side in a family conflict with his father and older brother, while Harper must make many critical decisions of her own as she relives much of the family's tangled and unpleasant history.

When someone anonymously reports a sighting of Harper's sister Cameron, who disappeared eight years ago at the age of eighteen, facts about her disappearance are again rehashed and new leads unexpectedly surface. As violence erupts and shootings occur, the truth finally emerges and the circumstances surrounding Cameron's disappearance become known.

The four volume Harper Connelly series began in 2005 and concluded in 2009. Or at least, I assume it has concluded; on Charlaine Harris' official site, she says the series is "on hiatus." Grave Secret does feel like the end, for what it's worth. The resolution is satisfying and there are no unanswered questions or dangling plot threads.

(My reviews of the previous three volumes are here:
1. Grave Sight, 2. Grave Surprise, and 3. An Ice Cold Grave.)

I reread and reviewed the Harper Connelly series because of the new TV series Midnight, Texas, which stars the Harper Connelly continuing character Manfred Bernardo. I'm currently planning to review Charlaine Harris' Midnight, Texas book series, on which the TV series is based. Although I might wait until after the first season has aired.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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