- Charlaine Harris
Publisher: UK – Gollancz
With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...
I know I’m about a year behind publication on the Sookie books but that’s mostly because I like to wait for the paperback to come out. Like many others I haven’t been overly impressed with recent books (All Together Dead was a series highlight for me that hasn’t been matched since) – there’s only so much enjoyment I get out of hearing the miniature of Sookie’s life – her money worries, her cleaning habits and sunbathing schedule. That said (or written!) there is still enough captivating about the characters that make me want to know what the latest happenings in Bon Temps are.
With that all in mind, I was pleasantly surprised with Dead Reckoning. Maybe I was just in the mood to read about Sookie shaving her legs or getting her haircut, but I was mildly entertained for the duration of the book. Sookie does seem to have changed since we first met her (only two years ago in her time, but over ten years for us!). She is more realistic about what the supernatural world is like, the violence and yes, the blood – but she does have a habit of bursting into tears a lot. I also wasn’t keen on Sookie randomly getting naked – I didn’t really see the point of that!
This isn’t a book that I would recommend people new to the series to start at – most of the plot lines are hold overs from previous books and only a few are resolved here. There is a lot happening here – perhaps too much as individual stories can get lost, are tied up quickly or left unresolved. I guess I miss it when the Sookie books have definite beginning, middles and ends, but as the series has progressed the number of characters and plot elements have grown to unwieldy amounts. On this occasion I felt the vampire, fae and home life stories meshed better with each one having something to say about who Sookie is now.
Overall, it was a pleasant enough read – I do love Eric and Pam so any book where they feature more is a plus for me…although I wasn’t so keen on the reappearance of Bill, or Alcide for that matter. I felt like both these characters have run out of steam a little. However, Sookie literally does need to fight men off sticks it seems…I wonder if I can find out her secret…