Monday, 16 May 2011

Dead In The Family Review

Dead In The Family (Sookie Stackhouse 10)
-       Charlaine Harris
Publisher: UK – Gollancz
Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being, who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.
I have to admit to feeling a little territorial over Sookie books as I discovered and loved them long before True Blood and part of me resents having to share these characters...okay, having to share Eric (I never liked Bill!). In this instalment Sookie is recovering from her torture by fairies in the previous book and it was nice that Charlaine doesn’t just gloss over Sookie’s ordeal but shows her struggling to return to a normal life. As ever, Sookie’s life isn’t easy but is complicated here by her relationship with Eric, the vampire head of section five, her distant fairy relatives and her friend of the pack status.
I really enjoyed spending time in Sookie’s company and I really liked how her relationship with her brother Jason grew here – he finally seems to be there for her and steps up as a reliable brother – for once! While the beginning of this book has lots of separate strands going so it feels a little discontinuous with Sookie dealing with vampire politics one minute, her cousin Hadley’s son the next and then dealing with weres before talking to fairies, but most of these strands wind together for a layered finale which solves most of the issues raised in this book. There are still plenty of ongoing issues though that aren’t moved on here – particularly with regards to the vampire politics.
The writing is easy to slip into and familiar if you’ve been following the series so far. Probably not the best book to start with if you’ve not visited Bon Temps so far though as there are a lot references to past events and characters that it assumes you some knowledge of. Like a comfortable pair of pyjamas, you know what to expect by now and Charlaine doesn’t disappoint even if it doesn’t quite hit the highs of All Together Dead.
Recommended for fans of Nicole Peeler and Jeaniene Frost. 7.5 out of 10.


  1. I never liked Bill either. This was my least favourite book of the series. I'm about to start Dead Reckoning, looking forward to that.

  2. Still haven't read this book, I ended it all with book 9 and said I would wait until all are out

  3. You're ahead of me in the series, so I just skimmed this review. But I am one of those people that only discovered it through True Blood :P
    And Bill is better in the TV show, in the books he's a bit of a bastard.

  4. I skimmed it since I'm not quite where you are in the series. You are right about it being different than the show, but I consider them 2 different takes on the same story, so it doesn't bother me that much.

    However, I must correct you on one area. You cannot share Eric. Eric is MINE! You can have Bill tho... (either tv or book... I don't trust him yet in the series still...)

  5. Aaaaa, I really do need to get to this series! :) I always hear wonderful things on it and want to get to it. But one of these days.... ;) Thank you!

  6. Whoa that cover through me for a loop. Fab review.