Dead in the Family: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
by Charlaine Harris
Cover Artist: Lisa Desimni
Review by Sherin Nicole
Ace Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441018642
Date: 04 May 2010 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Sookie Stackhouse is mad as hell and she doesn’t want to take it anymore. The supernatural world ain’t letting her off the hook. Heck, one or two of them would rather impale her on a meat hook and leave her to dry--another day, another debacle.
Weeks have passed since the Fae War of Dead and Gone left Sookie Stackhouse, her friends and family, scarred and in mourning. The blood of two vampires may have--almost--healed her body but her mind is a long way from healthy. A nasty cocktail of doubt, anger and regret plague her. Doubt in her love for vampire husband, Eric; anger at the mess the Fae’s petty squabbles have made of her life; and regret at the loss of her fairy godmother, Claudine, who'd been pregnant before becoming a sacrifice of war.
Sookie deserves a rest but much like events in the first nine books of the series (Dead Until Dark, Living Dead In Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead As A Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, From Dead to Worse, and Dead and Gone) life with supernatural knowledge never relents. Although the doorway to Faery was sealed after the war, Sookie is soon informed two powerful Fae have been lurking in the woods near her home. This news is delivered by the werewolf pack of which she's an honorary member. (Alcide returns.) The pack and a vampire scout, soon after, make troubling but separate discoveries. There are two dead bodies buried on Sookie's land--one she knows all about and another she's completely blindsided by.
Her connection to Eric brings another set of difficulties. Eric is under close scrutiny by the new King of Louisiana and the vampire-king may or may not want to keep him around. However, one entity has great affection for Eric: his maker--Roman badass--Appius Livius Ocella. Sookie wants Ocella dead, with finality, but she's also intrigued by Eric's young blood-brother and the teen's ties to a historic Russian tragedy.
Emotionally our heroine is 'all shook-up' as the famous vampire, Bubba, would say. Her ex-boyfriend Bill is ailing and although he betrayed her in the past, his condition is yet another problem she takes responsibility for. She'll help Bill anyway she can. Also, hinted at but not fully explored are her unresolved feelings for her boss, Sam. While Sookie struggles within this love-square things begin to heat up in other facets of her life. The werewolves draw her into pack politics and demand she use her powers in surprising new ways. Meanwhile, gangbanger bodies start piling up and Sookie has a good guess as to the identity of the killer. Wouldn't you know it, it's someone she, Eric and the frightening Ocella all fear. Unfortunately, the killer is probably not one of the mysterious Fae stalking her, although they may be equally deadly.
This girl just can't catch a break--unless you’re counting bones and hearts.
Dead In the Family moves at a much slower pace than previous Southern Vampire novels. Much of the tension derives from Sookie's internal struggles and the uncertainty of whom she’ll choose to spend her life with. This is a book for fans. New readers should start much earlier in the series, if not at the beginning with Dead Until Dark than definitely with book four, Dead to the World. Have no fear, faithful Fangbangers, if you’re one of Charlaine Harris' readers you will not be disappointed. Old friends abound, characters deepen and you'll hope the next book is not too far away. This series is very much alive and kicking despite all the death in the titles.