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Dead In The Family Cover Picture

Dead In The Family

Charlaine Harris

Published 2010         311 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

A Fae War has left the supernatural community of Bon Temps, Louisiana, in chaos – and waitress Sookie Stackhouse mentally and physically drained. And still. The peace and quiet she so desperately craves is hard to come by….

Even with the blood of two vampires in her system, Sookie is having trouble healing from the terrible torture she endured at the hands of her great-grandfather’s enemies during the brief but deadly Fae War. Worse are the emotional wounds – especially over the loss of her own personal fairy godmother and the near death of her first love.

Sookie is hurt and she’s mad. Just about the only bright spot in her life – besides the fact that she is, after all, alive – is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman, who is under scrutiny by the new vampire king because of their relationship.

As the political implications of the shifters’ coming-out are beginning to be felt, Sookie’s connection to one particular Were draws her into the dangerous debate. And, unknown to her, though the doors to Faery have been closed, there are still some fae on the human side – and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry.

The Review

Dead In The Family is the tenth book in the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series by Charlaine Harris. While each book in the series works as a self-contained adventure for Sookie there are many long running plotlines that span previous books so new readers would be best advised to read the books in series order starting with Dead Until Dark rather than jumping into the series here. Fans of the True Blood, the HBO TV show based on these books, would also be advised to do the same for maximum reading pleasure due to the differences between events and characters in the TV show and the books.

Charlaine Harris is perhaps one of the most consistent series authors that I’ve reviewed for LoveVampires. In some ways this makes writing the review difficult because I’m supposed to find new things to say about each book but after writing the reviews for all the previous books in this series I feel like I’ve already said most of it before.

So for those of you in a hurry the condensed version of this review reads thus: Yes, Dead In The Family is a good book and if you’ve enjoyed the previous Sookie Stackhouse books there is absolutely no reason why you won’t enjoy this book. It’s well worth its hardback cover price.

For those of you looking for a little more detail here’s what you can expect from Dead In The Family…

While it’s sometimes hard to find new things to say about the latest offering in a consistently good fantasy series, I don’t mean to imply that it’s because every book is exactly the same as the one before it. Charlaine Harris writes consistently good books because she lets her characters and plotlines grow and develop with each new instalment – neatly avoiding the trap of selling readers the same old story over and over again.

Dead In The Family sees a very subdued Sookie coming to terms with the brutal torture and near death that she faced at the end of Dead and Gone, the previous book in this series. She’s struggling to recover her physical strength but the biggest changes seem to be in her personality. She’s understandably quieter, more nervous and ill at ease. Eventually she regains some of her normal perkiness but when faced with a threat to her and Eric’s happiness her first thoughts are that it would be better if person threatening them just died – and she’s not too bothered about how. After all she reasons, “It’s not that I approve of murder – but some people just beg to be killed, don’t they?”

This new harder-edged Sookie is a change, although it’s hard to say whether the change was brought about by her horrific torture or by the fact that she has been hanging out with supernaturals for so long. Most of the supernaturals in these books usually solve their problems with death and violence, so it might just be that this attitude has finally rubbed-off on Sookie.

Eric fans (who are legion!) will be delighted by how much page time Eric has in this book. He and Sookie are quite the happy couple until his ancient vampire maker pays him a visit at which point even the irrepressible Eric seems to become… well, repressed.

The mystery part of the plotline gets off to a slow start and involves persons unknown trying to frame Sookie for murder by leaving a mystery dead body in the woods on her property. Charlaine Harris was a mystery author before she turned her hand to fantasy so the mystery elements of these books are usually well plotted, obfuscated and complex. My only gripe with Dead In The Family is that at the story’s big reveal, the part of the book where the mystery is solved, the whole plot seemed overly contrived and a touch unrealistic.

Dead In The Family makes another good addition to the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series. Mixing up romance, mystery, imaginative fantasy and horror while driving the series forward, this book is everything that Sookie Stackhouse fans have come to expect from the talented pen of Charlaine Harris.

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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