Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11)I waited quite a while for this one to show up at the library. I believe I was 63rd on the request list. As always, Sookie is just trying to get along with everyone, working at Merlotte's bar, when someone decides to throw a Molotov cocktail through the window. She suspects it's a were of some sort, from observing the speed with which the missile was thrown, but no clues are readily available, and it goes into the hopper of mysteries to be solved.

Business has been slow at her friend, Sam's bar, and eventually we find out that a major cause of this is a new bar that's been opened up by Eric's nemesis, Victor, not too far away. Victor has also opened up a bar to compete with Fangtasia, and Eric's business is also feeling the pinch. Pam has a human lover who is dying of leukemia, and Victor, as regent of Louisiana is denying her permission to bring the woman over, so she won't die the final death. There's also some nasty little secret that Pam knows about Eric, and he is forcing her to remain silent about it with Sookie.

Sookie's faerie roommates, Claude and Dermot, are up to capers of their own, as well, which they aren't particularly forthcoming. Sookie discovers a letter from her grandmother in a secret compartment of an antique desk which reveals some secrets about her faerie blood. The remaining Van Pelt sister, who has a vendetta against Sookie, has gotten out of jail, and probably wants to kill her.

There's a ton of little threads here that Harris manages to tie together pretty well by the end, but there's really nothing all that exciting in this 11th installment. You might say that Sookie is "growing up", and geting a little more calloused to the violence going on around her, but I feel like the author has let her drift a little out of character, perhaps.

There's one scene where, after a bloody battle between the forces of good and evil, Eric is feeling, shall we say, "invigorated" by the bloodshed, and decides he wants to suck on Sookie's neck. Sookie is disgusted by the carnage, and tells him "No", but he grabs her and says "I will drink", and slurps away to his heart's content. This seems like a form of rape, to me, and I would think she should be more indignant about the whole deal, but she just lets it go. Even in a consensual bloodsucking relationship, doesn't No mean No?

Not top-notch, unfortunately.

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