"Vampires, Shapeshifters, and Maenads, Oh My!"
There are worse things than vampires. That's what the folks
of Bon Temps, a small rural town in northern Louisiana,
found out this summer. Murder had come to their quiet town,
around the same time Bill Compton moved in, however it had
been a human who had committed those crimes.
Sookie Stackhouse, a pretty young cocktail waitress, had
found herself smack in the middle of the investigation,
seeing that both her boyfriend Bill, and her brother Jason
were prime suspects. To top it off, she'd been one of the
intended victims, due to her association with a vampire.
You see Bill is a vampire, but Sookie has a disability of
her own. She reads minds, and it takes a lot of work on her
part to avoid hearing what the folks around her broadcast.
That's part of the reason she loves Bill, she can't read
him at all. That is how she solved the crime and became
beholden to Eric, the proprietor of Fangtasia, a vampire
owned tourist hotspot in nearby Shreveport.
Sookie had gone to Fangtasia, to make inquiries as to the
habits of the murder victims, in order to cast suspicion
away from her loved ones. Eric is intriqued with Sookie
from the start, but when he learns of her disability he
becomes as interested in her mind as he well as he is in
Naturally Bill declares his claim in no uncertain terms,
but as Eric is his elder by many years it's not enough to
hold him back. Bill's solution to that is to become part of
the vampire hierarchy, becoming an investigator for Area 5,
reporting directly to Eric. Eric is now honor bound to
respect Bill's claim. The problem is, Eric isn't
particularly honorable. Sookie is forced to agree to allow
the vampire to exploit her disability whenever he should
call with the stipulation that Bill accompanies her on all
Fall isn't proving to be any more quiet. Sookie discovers
another dead body in a car that had been left at the bar
overnight. This time it is a man, Lafayette, one of the
short order cooks. Lafayette had been a flamboyantly gay
black man rumored to have recently attended a private sex
party. Sookie is stunned by the crime but has no time to
investigate. She and Bill have received a summons -- from
Eric. When Eric calls you jump.
On the way to Shreveport Bill and Sookie get into an
argument over their different outlooks. When Bill's car
experiences difficulty, Sookie jumps out and sprints into
the nearby woods. Bill leaves her alone to cool off and
procure help with the vehicle. This proves to be a mistake.
Sookie is NOT alone. After dealing with vampires, and
learning of the existence of shapeshifters this summer, she
should not be surprised to encounter a creature whom she'd
thought only existed in mythology. Sookie is badly savaged
and told that this is a message for Eric.
When Bill returns all thoughts of their disagreement fade
as the need to get help for Sookie is most urgent.
Bill with the help of Fangtasia management manage to save
her, and she cannot refuse to accept Eric's mission.
The vampires of Area 6 in Texas, have requested their help.
So off to Dallas they go, Sookie by passenger plane, Bill
as cargo . When Sookie goes to claim Bill she is very
She isn't the only one. Upon arriving at Area 6
headquarters, which is of course a bar, she learns that one
of the leader's nest brothers has gone missing. Her
disability points her in the direction of the man she'd
eluded at the airport. She discovers that he is involved
with an organization call The Fellowship of the Sun,
dedicated to exterminating vampires and their human
sympathizers. Sookie now knows where to find the missing
vampire and of course since she is not daylight challenged,
it is she who goes undercover to spring him. As you can
imagine all heck breaks loose. Par for the course for
Sookie these days.
How does this all tie in the murdered short order cook, and
the vicious mythological creature? Well you'll just have to
read the book. LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS is a fitting
sequel to DEAD UNTIL DARK. It is full of the same drama,
mystery, love, and humor that made its predecessor so
enthralling. Ms. Harris throws in a very touching scene at
the end which just warmed the cockles of my heart. For a
brief shining moment she gives Bill back his connection to
humanity. Its wonderfully ironic. I can't wait to find out
what kind of trouble Sookie and her vampire get into next.
Copyright © 2002
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted April 5, 2002
A Southern Vampire Mystery
Here Sookie Stackhouse's paranormal adventures continue with a mystery readers will devour...
Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of bad luck. First her coworker is murdered and no one seems to care. Then she's face-to-face with a beastly creature that gives her a painful - and poisonous - lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it).
Even though Sookie has her own vampire to look out for her - her red-hot, cold-blooded boyfriend, Bill - she has to admit that the bloodsuckers did save her life. So when one of the local undead asks for a favor, she feels like she owes him.
Soon Sookie's in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved. There's just one condition: The vampires must promise to behave - and let the humans go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly...
Genre: Urban Fantasy