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Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Mysteries,…

Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 4) (edition 2010)

by Charlaine Harris

Series: Harper Connelly (4)

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1,610737,792 (3.71)54
Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver search for answers to the disappearance of Harper's older sister.
Title:Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 4)
Authors:Charlaine Harris
Info:Berkley (2010), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:50 Book Challenge 2012

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Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris



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Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
"Grave Secret", concludes the Harper Connelly series of four books.

Harper Connelly's struggle to come to terms with her past, make the best of her strange talent and find a place for herself in the future holds these four books together.

As the books progress, the balance between focusing on the death Harper Connelly is involved with (she has a talent for being able to find the bodies of the dead and then see their final moments) and her personal history (abusive, drug addicted parents, abducted elder sister, relationship with the man she grew up thinking of as her brother but to whom she is not related) shifts in favour of resolving Harper's own conflicts.

The final book has a good who-dunnit plot that gets side-lined by what-happened-to-Harper-and-what-is-she-going-to-do-about-it. I think this was a brave and good decision by Charlaine Harris. Harper's character is what makes these books memorable and sets them apart from other paranormal detective stories.

I won't give away the plot, but by the end of the series, I had understood that Charlaine Harris is showing us that real bravery is making the most of the hand your are dealt and real love is about being willing to give everything you have for someone else.

I keep going back to the lightning bolt that struck Harper in her teens. This gave her her strange power. It created a bond between her and her not-brother. It set her apart, linking her more intimately to the dead than the living. It weakened her physically and drained her emotionally. At one level, that lightning bolt is a metaphor for all the traumatic events that push young girls into being adults before their time. Harper's story is the story of all those damaged women who choose not to let their circumstances define them, who struggle for dignity and honesty, who crave love but not at any price and who have to come to terms with their past in order to be free to have a future.

Throughout the books, Harper has a fantasy of a normal life where she has a house and a garden and doesn't spend her time on the road. This is a life she has never led and one she does not really understood. It reminds me of the Prozorov sisters endlessly dream of going to Moscow to escape the monotony of provincial life in Chekov's "Three Sisters". It is an escape from reality, not an engagement with it.

By the fourth book it is clear that what Harper really wants is to be whole. She wants to know what happened to her sister, to know how to be with her not-brother, to be at peace with herself and her family.

I think the strength of the Harper Connelly books comes from Harris' decision to write in the first person. We see this world only through Harper's eyes and her vision changes and matures book by book. Harris has a gift for dialogue and she has given Harper a distinct and memorable voice.

I recommend all four books. Here's the sequence to read them in: "Grave Sight", "Grave Surprise", "An Ice Cold Grave", "Grave Secret". ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Disappointing. It lacked the intrigue and pace of the previous books, and felt like Ms. Harris was just trying to finish the series off. She even reused a plot point from an earlier book in the series. Overall, not a stellar effort from a writer I expect more from, and usually enjoy. ( )
  Gewurz | Dec 16, 2019 |
A Satisfying Conclusion - though I wish there would be more.

Harris ties up the mysteries of Harper's life, though it's too much to hope she might develop this series more. Harris seems happy to build interesting characters and settings, and tie them up and move on. She does it well, but sometimes it would be nice to go on a bit longer..... ( )
  mrklingon | Apr 22, 2019 |
Mostly quick moving with a pretty high body count, if you consider the deaths that take place 8 yrs before the main action, one of which Harper has been called to testify on. Harris characters are, as usual, more 3-D than is too common in paranormal fiction. ( )
  quondame | Nov 24, 2018 |
Grave Secret is an interesting book, yet it feels as if the reader comes into the story after it starts. There are also issues regarding the switching between present and future tense during the story. The good thing of this book is that the action scenes are really good, yet seem rushed. ( )
  Preston.Kringle | Nov 23, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charlaine Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my son Patrick, simply because I think he's great.
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"All right," said the straw-haired woman in the denim jacket.
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Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver search for answers to the disappearance of Harper's older sister.

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