Anita Blake, the tough, sexy vampire executioner, zombie animator, and police consultant for preternatural crimes in St. Louis, hunts monsters in New Mexico in the ninth book of Laurell K. Hamilton’s excellent series. Edward, Anita’s mentor in slaying, asks Anita to return the favor that she has owed him since she killed a backup he brought in to protect her. He needs Anita’s preternatural expertise as well as her firepower. Something is skinning and mutilating a few of its chosen victims, and dismembering others. Edward has no idea what creature could be responsible for such heinous crimes.
Summoning Anita has its downside for Edward, since it means letting her onto his turf. Anita is surprised to find that this normally aggressive man has a personal life, and shocked by his ability to be entirely different from the stone cold killer she’s known. She also has problems with the cop in charge in Albuquerque, who believes her powers must be evil, and with the other backups Edward has brought in. Most of all, she has to deal with her own vulnerability–she’s tried to shut down her ties to her vampire and werewolf lovers and go it alone, but it turns out to be harder than she thought.
Anita’s usual supporting cast is missing, and she’s taking time out from her complex love life, but there’s plenty of bloody action, vampires, werewolves, and Aztec ritual. Plus a lot more about Edward. Fans will find this installment similar to the earlier books in the series, particularly The Laughing Corpse. –Nona Vero
Anita never can just take a casual trip anywhere can she? Well no of course not because she is Anita Blake and while I admit I missed Jean Claude in this one, I did not miss some of the boyfriend drama that crops up when him and Richard are involved. Without that secondary boy drama around Anita was able to get down to the business of being ass deep in alligators. Yes she still has moments when she thinks of them and complains about what a Monster she is becoming but that is Anita you just accept it after a while, it does not keep her from kicking some butt and taking names.
Personally I also love the fact that we get to know Edward more. The mysterious assassin for hire has always been a curious note for me and one that I enjoyed. So Anita getting to spend some quality time with a man who didn’t want to get into her pants and letting us the reader get to know him better gets a thumbs up from me. Overall this was a solid installment in the series and I would recommend it to fans in a heart beat.
My Gemstone Rating: