by Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake, book twenty
A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, US Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.
But some monsters are very real. The Harlequin have been the bogeymen of the vampire world for more than a thousand years; they are a secret so dark that even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. Now they are here in America, hunting weretigers…and human police.
The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now she needs a new one, and she’s decided that Anita Blake’s is the body she wants. Edward thinks the serial killings are a trap to lure Anita closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted. The vampires call Edward “Death,” and Anita the “Executioner,” but Mommy Darkest is coming to kill one and possess the other, and she doesn’t care how many others have to die along the way. (description from author's website)
I am hopelessly obsessed with this series. The Anita Blake books are a true guilty pleasure for me. As soon as I know a new one is coming out, I begin to itch to have it in my greedy little hands. *wipes hands on jeans* See they're itching for the next one already, and I've only just relished Hit List!
There are lots of readers out there who love this series. There are also readers out there that hate this series...whether or not they've actually tried to read them. There are readers who loved the beginning of the series, but didn't stick with it... I have read and enjoyed all twenty of the books, though as the series progressed the things I liked about the books varied as the author explored different directions.
One of the things that I've really loved about the last three or four books is that not only has Laurell K. Hamilton kept many of my favorite characters to the forefront in an ever growing cast, but she has returned to what I feel is the core of Anita's character. The necromancy that really fueled the beginning of the series and the hunts that Anita participated in to find killers are back as a focus. This newest volume, especially, involved a really interesting case. The best part, though, is that the necromancy is now combined with the other aspects of metaphysical magic that Anita can tap into. Hamilton is not reverting back to an original formula; Rather she is incorporating it into a whole new writing beast.
I love the new style. I can't wait for the next book!