The creator of telepathic Sookie Stackhouse (Dead as a Doornail, May 2005) and other paranormals sets her latest heroine the unenviable task of finding undiscovered corpses.
Arkansas socialite Sybil Teague and her lawyer, Paul Edwards, hire Harper Connolly because of her unique talent for finding dead bodies—a skill Harper’s had ever since she was struck by lightning at age 15. But once she locates Teenie Hopkins, who vanished with Sybil’s son Dell, and confirms that both teenagers were murdered, her employers join the rest of two-bit Sarne, Ark., in regarding her gift with revulsion—and Harper wants nothing more than to get into her stepbrother Tolliver Lang’s Subaru and drive far, far away. Even a budding romance with deputy Hollis Boxleitner, who uses Harper’s powers to learn that the drowning of his wife Sally, Teenie’s sister, was no accident, can’t convince her to stick around. But after the beating death of Helen Hopkins, Sally and Teenie’s recovering-alcoholic mom, Sarne Sheriff Harvey Branscom forces the siblings to stay put, despite minor harassment by Vernon McCluskey, owner of the motel where they’re stuck for the duration, and more serious persecution from highschooler Scot Briscoe, who’s irked by the crush Dell’s sister Mary Nell develops on Tolliver. Branscom’s so busy busting Tolliver for a broken taillight that solving the case themselves might be the beleaguered pair’s only ticket out of town.
Despite her nifty gimmick, Harris’s whodunit is unlikely to raise the dead.