An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris

The basics

Title: An Ice Cold Grave


Series: Harper Connelly #3

- Grave Sight (2005)
- Grave Surprise (2006)
- An Ice Cold Grave (2007)
- Grave Secret (2009)

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Goodreads Summary:

Hired to find a boy gone missing in Doraville, North Carolina, Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver head there, only to discover that the boy was the only one left of several who had disappeared over the previous five years. All of them teenagers. All unlikely runaways.

All calling for Harper.

Harper soon finds them—eight victims, buried in the half-frozen ground, all come to an unspeakable end. Afterward, what she most wants to do is collect her fee and get out of town ahead of the media storm that's soon to descend. But when she's attacked and prevented from leaving, she reluctantly becomes a part of the investigation as she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville—knowledge that makes her the next person likely to rest in an ice-cold grave.

Read a full summary of An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris below. If you can’t remember what happened in An Ice Cold Grave and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

what happened in An Ice Cold Grave?

  • Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver are in North Carolina. They’ve been called to a town by a rich lady called Twyla because the town has had lots of teenage boys go missing over the last two years or so. Twyla’s grandson is one of them.
  • Harper finds eight bodies buried further up the mountain, near a really old run down house. Six of them are the missing boys from the town, including Twyla’s grandson, and two others are from elsewhere. Law enforcement start investigating.
  • Harper and Tolliver head to their motel room. Harper is currently feeling feelings for Tolliver, and feels like she shouldn’t because they kind of grew up together.
  • Harper gets hit over the head. She’s taken to hospital and is told she has a fractured arm. Tolliver is very angry. Harper and Tolliver go to stay somewhere else, at a nice lodge near a lake.
  • Manfred and his psychic nan Xylda are in town too. They’re trying to help with the investigation. Xylda has been unwell recently but she wants to use her psychic powers to help out. Manfred reveals that he has a bit of a gift too but he’s not as psychic as his grandmother.
  • One of the teenage boys from town, Chuck, has been torturing animals. Not good.
  • Harper and Tolliver spend the night together, finally, at the cabin. Manfred calls and says his nan is possibly dying, so Harper and Tolliver head to the hospital to see her.
  • Xylda dies. Harper goes to see her body and discovers someone was watching over her while she died.
  • Harper and Tolliver go to the barn where the animals were buried. Chuck sees them there and starts to tell them something. His dad, Tom, arrives, and Chuck punches Harper. He quietly tells her to find him later.
  • Harper thinks something is seriously wrong and goes back to find Chuck. At the barn, Tom is threatening Manfred. The Sheriff shoots Tom in the arm.
  • They find a trap door under the barn, and they find Chuck’s body. He has killed himself, possibly in the hope that Harper will find his body and realise what’s been happening. There’s another boy tied up down there, but he’s alive.
  • Tom has been behind the killings. Harper wonders if there’s a second killer, and initially suspects the Pastor. Turns out though that it’s the local hospital administrator, Barney Simpson.
  • Barney kidnaps Harper but she escapes around the lake. She ends up at the Hamiltons’ lake house and they protect her. Ted Hamilton gets shot, but Barney gets taken out. Turns out he and Tom had been working together to kidnap teenage boys.

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