My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’d say that wraps it up for this series. No, I won’t tell you why I’m saying that, or it’ll ruin the book for you.
The Harper Connelly series hasn’t ever been as strong as the Southern Vampire series, in my opinion, but it wasn’t too bad in comparison to some of her earlier work, like the Aurora Teagarden and Shakespeare mysteries. She seemed to be experimenting with something darker this time around. I haven’t looked at the Amazon rank or any other figures for the series, but it’s my gut feeling that they never took off in comparison to the Sookie Stackhouse series, especially since True Blood has gotten so much attention. I have to wonder what that feels like for Ms. Harris, as this really was a decent concept with some promise, and it doesn’t seem to have been given that much of a chance to blossom.
In any case, Harper and her brother are prickly characters and not very easy to relate to, and they don’t get any easier in this book. They are back in their hometown, and we get to know a lot more about their origins this time around. We finally get the whole story about their missing sister, and we meet the two little sisters who live with an aunt and uncle.
The portrayal of the devout blue-collar people with their working man’s faith is absolutely smack-on. I came from those people, and I could taste the sweet tea and see the linoleum and the absolutely clean Formica dinette, feel the cracked chairs the characters sat on and look around at the carefully kept house. Harris did a great job with that town and those people, so much so that I’m sure she either came from a similar place or has spent plenty of time in one.
There isn’t as much new magic/plot stuff as there are answers this time. The sexy gypsy boy-almost-man is back, to my delight. Harper’s love interest is still a bit of a squick, but I suppose it makes sense for the characters. I have to wonder how many authors would stick with that kind of decision, knowing the backlash they’d get from their readers?
If you’ve read the other Harper Connelly books, read this one for closure. If you haven’t, this isn’t the place to start!