Genres: Horror, Urban Fantasy
Published by Berkley Hardcover on November 1, 2005
Also by this author: Lunatic Café, A Lick of Frost, Killing Dance, Dead Ice, Crimson Death, Serpentine, "Wounded"
When Branson, Missouri, is hit with a death wave-four unsolved murders-it doesn't take an expert to realize that all is not well. But luckily for the locals, Anita is an expert-in just the kinds of preternatural goings-on that have everyone spooked. And she's got an "in" with just the kind of creature who can make sense of the slayings: a sexy master vampire known as Jean Claude.
Fifth in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter horror series based in St. Louis, Missouri, although most of it takes place in or near Branson, and revolves around a young animator who raises the dead for a living.
It’s greed, pure greed for power that drives this story. It does not lack for action, but it’s not one of my favorites, primarily because it’s so sad, the bad guys are too strong, and too many of the innocents die. One in particular just made me cry and cry… It doesn’t help that Seraphina has incredible mind tricks she uses to entice Anita, bringing up memories, dreams, hopes…
It’s a number of things that go wrong in this one, things for which Anita will blame herself for not doing or thinking of. Things which Jean-Claude took for granted. Issues of timing and diplomacy that have to be considered, that drag at both Anita and Larry. Then everything starts to go wrong. Yeah, it was bad before, and it just gets worse.
I’ll give Jean-Claude points for persistence. I suppose being alive for several hundred years helps you take the long view. It’s interesting that Jean-Claude doesn’t have the power he has later in the series. It’s also interesting going back, re-reading and discovering where the various pivotal moments occur. Such as Anita finally giving into her desire to touch Jean-Claude. Our first encounter with the rotting corpse effect…ick!
We do find out why Anita is afraid to fly. We also learn more about Jean-Claude’s human history. Ooh, boy. Theoretically, I’ve known that Richard is a junior high science teacher. But when Anita goes to the school to tell him she can’t make their date this weekend for this out-of-town job, it really sinks in when Hamilton describes Richard’s interactions with his students. I do like the respect Dolph has for Anita’s abilities and the support he gives her.
Larry certainly grows up with all the action going down between the child murders (he’s got some nice reactions), the encounter with Serephina and the fairy boogey, Rags and Bloody Bones, about which I am curious, pullin’ in a bit of the old sod and mixing it in with native beliefs…whoa… Sure, our parents (the royal “our”) told us that if we didn’t behave… But I don’t recall hearing about this one. Could be interesting to explore this.
We learn more about the character of Jason’s wolf and his laissez-faire approach to life. I can definitely see the benefits of being a beta as it takes the hard choices away.
Background info: If Anita wants Richard to stay alive, she has to give Jean-Claude equal time to date her, and the proximity is definitely helping Jean-Claude’s case as Anita wants to touch even though she keeps telling herself she doesn’t want Jean-Claude. Is this the start of the slippery slope?
There is also talk about making vampire executioners into federal marshals, and they’re talking about Senator Brewster’s Law.
Excellent as always. It blows my mind how Hamilton manages to pack so very much into only one book!
Anita goes out of town to raise an entire cemetery of Bouviers only to run afoul of a vicious-, power-hungry Master who challenges Jean-Claude. A Master with too many other Masters serving in the circle, and they all want revenge on Jean-Claude.
Worse, the ultimate Master has a craving for true immortality and will go to tremendous lengths to achieve it.
Making things more difficult are the Quinlans who are threatening to sue, and everyone is running for cover.
Anita Blake is an animator, well, more of a necromancer, dating the Master of the City of St. Louis and a werewolf. Not exactly how she saw the white picket fence and 2.5 children coming about. Bert Vaughn is her greedy, conscience-less boss at Animators, Inc. Larry Kirkland is a sort of an apprentice animator, working weekends.
Jean-Claude is the Master of the City of St. Louis and will do most anything to be with Anita. Jason Schuyler is his current wolf pet and snack.
Beadle, Beadle, Stirling, and Lowenstein is a law firm that wants to hire Anita to determine who is buried in a particular cemetery. Lionel Bayard is a junior partner who likes the sound of his own voice. Raymond Stirling. Oops, sorry, Mr. Raymond Stirling is one of the partners and practically bludgeons Anita with his need for her to “find” the way he wants it to go. Ms. Harrison is his seemingly cowed secretary. Beau is the construction foreman who finally realizes which side he needs to be on.
Magnus Bouvier is an Unseelie half-breed fairy with a love of power, which he flashes in his and his sister, Dorrie’s, roadhouse, Bloody Bones, for the Friday night lover’s night. Llyn Bouvier is their ancestor, the first European in the area way back when. Rawhead and Bloody Bones is a fey boogeyman who eats naughty children.
Detective Sergeant Rudolf Storr is head of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team (RPIT) in St. Louis. Sergeant Freemont with the Missouri State Highway Patrol is eager to garner all the credit. Sheriff David St. John and his wife, Beth, are trying to comfort the Quinlans. Deputy Zack Coltrain is local; Officers Granger and Wallace are staties. Special Agents Bradshaw and Elwood show up since it’s now a vampire serial killer case. Even though Bradshaw has attended Storr’s lectures at Quantico, he behaves poorly with Anita.
Ellie Quinlan bought the spiel and then the farm. Raven is the Quinlans’ protective dog. Jeffrey and Sally are the parents; Jeff, Junior, is the younger brother. Andy was Ellie’s boyfriend.
Richard Zeeman, the werewolf, works as a teacher at Seckman Junior High School.
Xavier has a taste for young male meat; Seraphina is the Master who can call ghosts; Kissa is well-known to Jean-Claude; Ivy is one of her people with a stupid, mean streak; Bruce; Janos is an old foe of Jean-Claude’s and is one of the rotting vampires along with Pallas and Bettina.
Lisa and a braver, somewhat smarter woman are a couple of young women who get caught up in it all, simply because they wanted a good time.
The cover is horrific with its overall green cast, a Celtic cross standing for a gravestone, and bones beneath a naked Anita with her decaying legs crossed and pulled up against her body, her decaying arms holding her thighs in tight. Such metaphors for events in this horrible tale.
The title warns us of a bad, bad fae, for its Bloody Bones who’s out to get us.