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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fitting conclusion if this is the end....
As always this book is in a series and it will really only make the best of sense if you've read all of them. So go and do that please. If you have read all of them then you should know what you're getting into. Harper was struck by lightening as a teenager which left her with a whole load of problems - the main one being that she can sense dead bodies. As in find...
Published on 3 Feb 2010 by Read Me

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ended with a bang and a whimper (spoiler!)
Dammit. Harper Connolly was probably one of my avourite charachters of Charlaine Harris. After being struck by lightning she can sense the dead and how they died. Pretty unique premise, isn't it? The first three books didn't disappoint - we learn of Harper's background with her abusive and drug addicted parents, her sister's disappearance and her eventual love affair with...
Published on 22 Mar 2010 by Mooji


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fitting conclusion if this is the end...., 3 Feb 2010
By 
Read Me (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
As always this book is in a series and it will really only make the best of sense if you've read all of them. So go and do that please. If you have read all of them then you should know what you're getting into. Harper was struck by lightening as a teenager which left her with a whole load of problems - the main one being that she can sense dead bodies. As in find them, tell you how they died and reveal their secrets. She and her stepbrother Tolliver make a decent living from telling people what they usually don't want to hear, the case in this book is no different. The Joyce family bring Harper in to confirm how their Grandfather died but pretty soon things get murderous and secrets that people thought were well hidden are suddenly out in the open. Making Harper a target for a murderer.

The relationship between Harper and Tolliver changed in the previous novel, so yes in this novel you get more details of that and more sex scenes. Their fast changing relationship also adds another level to all of the family issues that are raised in Grave Secret. Harper's missing sister Cameron has been a focus for her since the start of the series, as has the wellbeing of her two younger sisters. Harper is the narrator of this series and she often takes time to pause and think about things before she says them. This is a quirk of her character, some readers may think this stilts the reading of the novel, I happen to think it shows Harper's state of mind better. So while we see everything from Harper's point of view, we also get her perceptions of her family and its changing dynamics and problems.

If this is the last novel in the series (which I think is a shame) then it certainly concludes all of the open storylines. Everything is resolved and the twists at the end of the novel were well done. Personally I like Harper's character and think its been a great series. Admittedly its probably not as popular as Sookie Stackhouse but then Sookie has had longer to settle into her books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable series, 26 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed the 4 books that make up this series and think that Grave Secret brings the story of Harper and Tolliver to a clean, loose end free, finish. I hope Charlaine does not take this pair any further as, for me, this enjoyable tale has properly run its course.
All readers of supernatural thrillers should find this book a satisfying read. Whilst it is enjoyable in its own right,to fully understand the background to the story it tells it is obligatory to have read the 3 that precede it. Otherwise it is rather like skipping to the last pages of a well written novel without reading all that has gone before. Start with Grave Sight and move sequentially forward. I am sure you will find the experience rewarding.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant books, 26 Feb 2011
By 
Lisa (Lower Kingswood, Surrey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grave Secret: 4 (Harper Connelly series) (Paperback)
I love this series of books. I have read the True Blood series and wondered what else Chrlaine Harris had written and these are absolutely great. Great characters, good story, a gripping read but do get the whole series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grave Secret, 20 Feb 2010
This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
The main theme of this final book of the series is family. The story starts off with Harper doing a job for the Joyce family, on route to her visit to her half sisters in Dallas. With the change in the relationship between her and her stepbrother Tolliver, she has a lot of issues to sort out.

Tension is raised when Tolliver's dad Mathew, Harper's stepfather, who recently got out of jail, turns up at the scene to ask Tolliver for his forgiveness. It gets even more complicated when Harper hears another sighting of her sister Cameron after years of search and Tolliver is shot. Manfred comes to offer his help and Harper has to face her dark past and find the attacker/killer. In the end, they find out the truth behind Cameron's disappearance.
For those who enjoyed the action and detective work that Harper did in previous books, you may get a bit disappointed. This book is more about Harper and her family, different from the `finding the killer' activity in previous books.

From the beginning of the series, we've been haunted by the disappearance of Cameron and we also know about the tough upbringing of Harper and Tolliver. In this last book, we get to find out Harper's dark past and what happened to Cameron, which is a perfect ending to the series. The tension between the step siblings Harper and Tolliver and their progression into a couple could freak some people out and it may sound a bit morally wrong. However, this final book gives us all the answers we are looking for. Though it sounds strange, under the circumstances that they were in, I can fully understand why. Their situation may sound a bit extreme to some people (step siblings and half-siblings) but that does not mean it may not happen in real life.
On the other hand, Harper has become stronger under the pressure which is good to see. It's also interesting to see Manfred doing his "psychic thing" and the twist in the end really took me by surprise.

Overall, I think Charlaine has created a good series and I am sorry that this is the end of it. She has definitely captured the tension, emotion and dynamics of dysfunctional families. Although in this final book, she has tied all the lose ends and our main characters have a happy ending, I still love to read more of Harper's adventure. This series have a very different feel to the Sookie one, a very different take on the supernatural theme and death. I also like the way Harper feel about her new ability. It seems she has this mission of finding the dead as they "want to be found". I cannot wait for any new books from Charlaine.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gravely concerned, 24 Mar 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
If this book isn't the end of the Harper Connelly series, it certainly feels like it.

"Grave Secret" is a pretty solid conclusion to Charlaine Harris' short but sweet series about a woman able to sense the dearly departed. Mysteries are solved, plot threads are wrapped up, relatives are dealt with, and dirty little secrets are unveiled -- and while one pivotal secret is rather far-fetched, it handles all the loose threads deftly while keeping the door open for more possible stories about Harper and Tolliver.

After doing a job for the wealthy Joyce family, Harper and Tolliver face their toughest challenge yet: telling super-rigid Aunt Iona, Uncle Hank and their younger half-sisters that they're a couple. It doesn't help that this town is also where they lived as the abused blended family of neglectful junkies, and where Harper's beloved sister Cameron mysteriously vanished. As if their family relations weren't strained enough, Tolliver's creepy dad Matthew appears in town, claiming he wants to mend fences.

At the same time, Harper has been hired by the Joyces to find a missing baby that may be their grandfather's secret love child -- but someone is determined to keep her from finding it. People around her are getting injured, kidnapped and murdered -- even Tolliver has been shot. And as Harper tries to unravel the mysteries from years ago, she realizes that the Joyce family has a long-ago link to her own...

It's fairly obvious in "Grave Secret" that Charlaine Harris is ending the Harper Connelly series, although she leaves the door open for future adventures (if and when she ever wants to continue). She wraps up overhanging mysteries (Cameron's murder), deals with the rifts within the Lang/Connelly family, and puts the finishing polish on Harper and Tolliver's romantic subplot. It's a satisfying finale, if a somewhat bittersweet one.

And as in the previous books, Harris' down-to-earth prose remains warm and slightly humorous, but there's a darker, gruesome edge -- long-ago deaths, gory killings (some of them Harper's friends), and the overhanging, spooky presence of the dead. The biggest flaw is that a few of the plot twists is a bit on the far-fetched side (seriously, NOBODY noticed that except one lone person?), but otherwise it's a clever tangle of interconnected clues and lies.

Harper and Tolliver are already lovers, but Harris goes out of her way to smooth out whatever wrinkles are still left between them -- including the grossed-out reaction that almost everybody has when they hear that the stepsiblings are dating. Well, it is a little weird. They also get some nice emotional closure relating to their scummy parents and more "normal" siblings (both living and dead), and Harris reveals a lot more about their hellish childhood.

And Harris does a good job sketching out seemingly cliched characters like Aunt Iona and Uncle Hank, who initially act like sour hyper-religious party-poopers, but who eventually are shown to have good hearts. The flipside is the creepy Matthew, who spouts a lot of "rehab therapy" jargon but still obviously has a lot of hatred.

"Grave Secret" is a solid ending to Charlaine Harris's supernatural mystery series, and it ties together the various plot threads pretty neatly. Enjoyable if a bit far-fetched at times.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ended with a bang and a whimper (spoiler!), 22 Mar 2010
This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
Dammit. Harper Connolly was probably one of my avourite charachters of Charlaine Harris. After being struck by lightning she can sense the dead and how they died. Pretty unique premise, isn't it? The first three books didn't disappoint - we learn of Harper's background with her abusive and drug addicted parents, her sister's disappearance and her eventual love affair with step brother Tolliver.
Each book was great - original concepts, the relationship between Harper and Tolliver deepening and the introduction of great characters like Manfred. There were some great stories and I was anticipating the final book of the series - Grave Secret.
What a let down.
It was lazy. Lazy in it's writing, lazy in it's development and lazy in it's conclusion. Did all the focus on Vampire Bill mean that Grave Secret hardly got a look in? To end a series with a conclusion from a previous book IN THE SAME SERIES is a shocker. The whirlwind ending wasn't as conclusive as I thought but seemed to end with, well, a whimper.
It's a shame, as the first three books rocked, and I like everything else Miss Harris has done, but honestly? If you don't have the time to do your characters justice then delay the novel - don't just rush out something like this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great novel, 31 Jan 2010
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
Charlaine really has something novel with this series and it has been one that I've really enjoyed since its first release. So it's with a great shame that we bid it farewell (or at least for now) but get the answer to a mystery that's haunted us from its very beginning. As usual with Charlaine you get great characterisation, top notch story arc and beautifully interwoven with mystery alongside suspense as you're gripped by her telling to each page. A great story and one that I truly loved. I really do hope that this isn't the end for it and that Charlaine will continue to enthuse the readers with further adventures.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Its Ok with an abrupt ending, 6 April 2010
This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
I struggled to read this book, it seemed dull in comparison to the first 3. It seemed Charlaine Harris had her mind elsewhere whilst writing. Harpur and Tollivers relationship seemed a little grubby in this book with all the references to people who didn't agree with their relationship. The plot line was a good idea but more could have been added and i wish she would develope Manfred's character more. The biggest let down was the abrupt ending. I did love this series the idea of a girl struck by lightning but after this book i feel very let down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I think this is the end of the series, but does anyone else think that Harper has changed and was almost unpleasant in it?, 25 Mar 2010
By 
Roroblu's Mum "ROROBLU'S MUM" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Grave Secret (Hardcover)
I'd been waiting for this book for a while, but did not want to buy it in hardback due to the cost, and also as the author has IMO been going off the boil a tad with her Sookie series, so I was glad to get it at the library. I am even gladder that I did not pay for it.

It felt as if it was the last book in the series, as we find out what really happened to Cameron, and Harper and Tolliver's relationship develops and ends in a HEA (well, for now at least - I didn't get that warm happy feeling that it was a true HEA), but I felt that Harper's character came across as much more selfish than in previous books, that she used her gift far less in this book (her psychic punk-friend uses his to more effect, and is in fact the catalyst here) and that at times, she even came across as unlikeable and a bit nasty. She was a bit off with Tolliver at times, even when he'd been shot and was recuperating in a hotel room, rather than at home, and so was irritable and in pain. She felt cold and a touch uncaring, and even more so, I felt, with her little sisters, as she showed her impatience with the elder one on more than one occasion.

I liked, but not loved, the other books in the series and that Harper and Tolliver seemed to be getting a HEA after years of misery and heartache, but in this, it felt as if their relationship felt a touch soiled, as the book goes into exactly how much so many people that know them disapprove of them being lovers, given that they WERE actually raised as step-siblings, living in the same house together. Laws must be different in the US, as here in the UK, I believe that step-siblings raised in the same household cannot legally marry?

After I read it, I passed it on to my hubby, who loves all things to do with the spirit world and mediumship, and who had also read the previous books, but it seemed to spend very little time in his hands and most of the time lying around on the rug. When I asked him this morning if he had finished it, so that I could take it back to the library, he said that he hadn't, but that I could take it back as it was the most boring book ever...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfactory ending for me., 12 Mar 2011
By 
Beanie Luck Spud (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grave Secret: 4 (Harper Connelly series) (Paperback)
I was eagerly looking forward to reading the conclusion of Harper and Tolliver's story and the book started off well enough.

Story was simple, they got a call, they read some bones, they had an investigation etc etc, all exactly the same as in the previous 4 books which is where it was good, consistently well written, fast paced and enjoyable.

However.

The underlying story of these 5 books was Harpers search for her missing sister, and this was finally bought to a conclusion in 4 pages. Yes, 4 pages and that includes; finding out out what happened, who did it and where she was, and that, really thoroughly disappointed me a lot.

I thought Cameron needed a better ending after all the pages of build up.

That for me let the whole book down.

Sorry Charlaine..
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Grave Secret: 4 (Harper Connelly series)
Grave Secret: 4 (Harper Connelly series) by Charlaine Harris (Paperback - 4 Nov 2010)
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