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Sometimes, Harper Connolly dreams of buying a house and settling down. But mostly she just gets on with cris-crossing the States with her stepbrother Tolliver, travelling from one job to another. Because since a bolt of lightning zapped her on the head, she has an extra talent -- Harper can find dead people. Some people find Harper's gift useful, but she's getting used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. So she concentrates on getting the job done, getting paid and getting out, fast.
However, when they travel to Ozarks to find a missing teenager, things don't go according to plan. And while Tolliver is locked up on trumped-up charges, Harper finds herself fighting for her life...
If you like this sub-genre, then this series is a joy. The character of Harper is delightfully complex -- she is often morose, with a disturbed past and the world through her eyes is tautly described. I relaxed and enjoyed the ride -- for Harris is no slouch when concocting a murder plot. There is a host of likely candidates with a suitably creepy backdrop. And the denouement -- always crucial in these books -- is satisfyingly dramatic, with a surprising twist.
The relationship between Tolliver and Harper is another strength in this book. It is multi-layered and beautifully depicted with not an ounce of sentimentality. I suppose this is the Romance that allows Gollancz to shoehorn the Harper Connolly series under this imprint. But don't go looking for languishing looks and steamy sex. There isn't any. This series is so much better than that...
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