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Dead Reckoning Cover Picture

Dead Reckoning

Charlaine Harris

Published 2011         325 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie Stackhouse 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.

Caught up once again in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new queen on the board...

The Review

Charlaine Harris comes up trumps again with Dead Reckoning the eleventh book in her bestselling Sookie Stackhouse / True Blood urban fantasy series. After writing so many books lesser authors might be starting to flag but Harris manages to deliver another action-packed instalment of southern vampire fantasy with seeming ease.

By now established fans of the Sookie Stackhouse books should know what they’ll be getting when they slip between the covers of any of these books. It’s a ticket to ride through a world where the mundane rituals of everyday life (such as work, cleaning house, baby showers and family obligations) meet the magical rituals of the fantastic – warring vampires, homicidal shapeshifters, demon lawyers and tricky fairy plots. Dead Reckoning is no different to previous series offerings in that respect and, if you’ve enjoyed the previous stories, I can’t imagine why this book wouldn’t fail to please too.

The storyline of Dead Reckoning kicks off not long from where Dead In The Family left readers. Sookie is blood-bonded and married to Eric (vampire style, rather then a union that humans would recognise as marriage) but she shares her home with her fairy relatives – her cousin Claude and great uncle Dermot. Eric has a new boss, with whom he just can’t get along and Bill is seemingly happy holed up with Judith, an ex-lover and vampire of his bloodline who has been helping him heal from silver poisoning. However, it isn’t long before the delicate peace of Sookie life is shattered. First Merlotte’s is firebombed, then armed hoodlums hold-up the bar looking to kidnap her.

Eric is, as ever, over-protective of Sookie but even he seems distracted. He’s arguing with Pam and won’t tell Sookie what’s wrong. Sookie suspects it has something to do with Victor, Regent of Louisiana, and Eric’s new boss. It’s odd to think of vampires having such mundane problems as hating their boss but since most vampire problems tend to have violent and bloody endings it’s much more thrilling than your typical human workplace drama.

Dead Reckoning is a stand alone story, by that I mean it has a plotline with a start and an end and plenty of excitement between those two points (not that you could read this story without having read the previous books first) but a lot of work has been done to seed big new plotlines in this story. This left me with the satisfaction of having read another good Sookie adventure but also with an eager anticipation of greater things to come in later instalments. The only down-side is the year’s wait to find out where Harris intends to take the story next. Still, I’ve been following this series for ten years now and year-long waits for my favourite books has taught me nothing if not patience…

Fast-paced action, quirky characters and mystery, combined with truly imaginative fantasy, served up with a dash of bloody violence and romance – that’s got to be the recipe for the perfect urban fantasy novel. Recommended reading for vampire fans.

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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