An Ice Cold Grave is the third book in Charlaine Harris's Harper Connelly series of novels which has been acquired by Syfy to make into a TV series. The heroine of the books, Harper Connelly, has the unique ability of sensing the dead; she can find dead bodies and is also able to tell the cause of death. She developed this ability when she was fifteen and got struck by lightning. Now, she uses it to help people who are looking for loved ones and suspect that they have passed on. She gives them closure, if that's what they need, but, often, she gets embroiled in finding out how exactly the person died and solving the mystery of their death.
Harper's stepbrother, Tolliver, who is not biologically related to her in any way and who didn't grow up with her either, is her manager. Given that Harper's ability is pretty dark, she has a tendency to sink into depression, and Tolliver is there to make sure that her emotions remain level. However, in An Ice Cold Grave: Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 3, this is really difficult to do because the murders are so violent.
Harper and Tolliver are asked to come to Doraville, North Carolina and locate a missing boy. They get there to find that Jeff McGraw, the boy they have been hired to find, is not the only one who has disappeared. Altogether, there have been six missing boys in the past five years. The Sherriff of Doraville just assumed that the boys were runaways, but Harper finds out the truth—that they were tortured, raped and killed before being buried in a cabin. Given the amount of publicity the case gives rise to, Harper and Tolliver are surrounded by reporters, which makes the job of finding the murderer a lot more difficult.
This is the darkest of the Harper Connelly novels, but it's beautifully written, and you really feel for Harper, given her unusual ability. She wants to help people, but at the same time, the facts are so ugly that she'd like to run away from them. For a while, she manages to do so in Tolliver's arms, as the two finally take their relationship beyond the platonic. Eventually, however, it's up to Harper to keep her chin up and get justice for the boys who were abused and murdered.
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Charlaine Harris was born in Tunica, Mississippi and was always interested in writing, even when she was young. At first, she wrote poetry and ghost stories, but when she was in school at Rhodes College, she also started writing plays. A few years later, she turned to novel-writing and has been doing so ever since; her career spans thirty years. She has written the Aurora Teagarden series, featuring a librarian who solves mysteries; the Lily Bard series, also a mystery-themed series featuring a protagonist who was abused; the Sookie Stackhouse series; and the Harper Connelly books, which are currently being made into a TV series. Harris lives in southern Arkansas with her husband and three children.
Hired to find a boy gene missing in Doraville, North Carolina, Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver head there, only to discover that the boy was the only one left of several who had disappeared over the previous five years. All of them teenagers. All unlikely runaways.
All calling for Harper.
Harper soon finds them—eight victims, buried in the half-frozen ground, all come to an unspeakable end. Afterward, what she most wants to do is collect her fee and get out of town ahead of the media storm that’s soon to descend. But when she’s attacked and prevented from leaving, she reluctantly becomes a part of the investigation as she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville—knowledge that makes her the next person likely to rest in an ice-cold grave.
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