Sunday, July 29, 2007

An Ice Cold Grave-Charlaine Harris

An Ice Cold Grave
Charlaine Harris
Berkley, Oct 2007, $23.95
ISBN 9780425217290

The residents of Doraville, North Carolina fear the worst as the number of runaway boys seems improbable. The townsfolk believe a serial killer is living amidst them murdering their male offspring. Against the opinion of Sheriff Sandra Rockwell, psychic detective Harper Connelly and her manager stepbrother Tolliver Lang come to the town to find the missing boys. To the horror of both women and Tolliver, Harper earns her fee when she uncovers eight corpses.

Not long afterward, someone assaults an already weary Harper. Worn out to her bone marrow and fearful of further attacks, Harper wants to go home to heal from her injuries; not all being physical. However, a less skeptical Sandra pleads with her and the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation demands she continue to work on the case. The media, learning of the deadly find and psychic link, turns the inquiry into a circus while Harper’s psychic friends try to assist her as they begin to find more horrific remains.

The third grave Connelly psychic mystery (see GRAVE SIGHT and GRAVE SURPRISE) is a tense thriller that grips the audience from the moment the heroine finds the grisly remains of eight bodies and never slows down until the final confrontation. The cast enhances the tale either by bringing local flavor to the plot or assistance/deterrence to Harper. Although there is a binge of serial killers in literature of late, the fast-paced story line deftly uses the paranormal to make it seem normal as the heroine confronts an abnormal psychopathic killer in an entertaining regional whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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