Narrator – Alyssa Bresnahan

Grave Surprise audio book cover
Grave Surprise Written by Charlaine Harris

Read by Alyssa Bresnahan

This is not my first Charlaine Harris novel, and as I have come to expect, the writing is superb.

This is the story of Harper Connelly.  At age 15 she was struck by lightning while getting ready for a date.

It forever changed her life.  

Along with scars, headaches, muscle weakness, phobias, and other health issues making it almost impossible to get health insurance coverage, she found she could locate dead people and see how they died.

Similar to how a dog follows a person’s trail by scent, Harper feels a vibration that gets stronger the closer she is to a body.  Once she is close enough, she can see the last moments of their life, and experience some of their last thoughts and emotions.

Now in her 20’s, she and her step-brother Tolliver make a living traveling the country and using her gift to help others find peace and some resolution. 

I have to say that this book was a good reminder to me that I have MY moments when I make assumptions without even attempting to educate myself first.

And I found many interesting issues in this story to ponder.  

For instance, how often lightning survivors share similar, life altering side effects.  I never knew that!

How some people will never believe in what they cannot prove, no matter how convincing the evidence to the contrary.  Now that…I did know.

How perceptions can be misleading, and expectations wrong.  Quite often true.

How the decisions we make, don’t always get the results we anticipate.  In other words, ‘you don’t always get your way’.

And how there are people who will do just about anything, to get what they want, no matter the consequences or the people who are hurt in the process.  Can we say ‘selfish’ here?

At the end of the story I wasn’t surprised at who committed the murders, but I was surprised at the ‘why’.

And ultimately, whenever reading or listening to a mystery, it is of course nice to be surprised.  So I have to say that I was pleased on SO many levels with this story.  

And that doesn’t even count the wonderful narration by Alyssa Bresnahan.  This is my first book with this narrator, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Her portrayal is right on point of Harper’s patient resignation at the scepticism that she has to contend with each time she is successful.

The knowledge that her gift will always make her and Tolliver suspects in any crime related to the bodies they find.

How they constantly have to prove the validity of Harper’s gift, too often to people missing the capacity to accept what’s right before their eyes.

Sometimes I believe my biggest shortcoming is that I think entirely too much.  Sometimes I also believe that a lot of people don’t take the time these days to stop and think enough.

We live in a rushing world.  

Rushing to take care of our needs.

Rushing to be the first…to get our share…to not be left out.

Rushing to blame and criticise others when we don’t know the whole story.

 We all do at some point, it’s part of being human.  Not necessarily the BEST part of being human.  Yet we as humans also have the capacity to rise above our base instincts. 

Well, I loved the writing, I loved the narration, I loved the characters and the story line, and I loved being reminded to try to be a better person by not making rushed decisions.  

Whether you are looking for just a good mystery, or if you would like to read something that might make you think a little, this book could be right for you.

Happy Listening!!