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Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
Review by Gayle Surrette
Berkley Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0425212033
Date: 26 September, 2006 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The characters are lovely, three-dimensional, fully developed people. There's depth to Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver. There's history and background that feeds into their behavior and actions. As a reader you can believe them because their actions and thoughts are consistent with what we'd do in similar circumstances, filtered through our own belief system and background. Knowing them, you can understand their taking money for their services. People seem to think they should do it for free and somehow manage to live on air and good wishes. Everyone, even minor characters have a solidity to them borne of them speaking of what we know and acting how we know people believe and act.

The central mystery of how Tabitha Morgenstern came to be in that cemetery when she was kidnapped miles away is what drives all the characters. That Harper was involved when she first disappeared two years ago and is now the person to find her seems to go beyond coincidence -- for the police, the FBI, and for Harper and Tolliver. The Morgensterns who are expecting a child are just relieved that the worry and wondering and hoping are now over. The family members around the Morgensterns however, seem to be a bit intense and off-kilter.

Harper and Tolliver are continually pulled back into the family problems. A psychic friend, Xylda Bernado, gives strange and ambiguous advice. FBI agent Seth Koenig is a believer in Harper's gift but has to work within the system. With all this confusion, some of the focus on the murder is lost but not by Harper who needs to know who killed Tabitha.

It's a book you won't want to put down. I'm looking forward to another Harper Connelly story.

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