Charlaine Harris– Dead In The Family, Sookie Stackhouse #10
Synopsis: Sookie Stackhouse has finally settled into a relationship with the Viking vampire Eric, and her errant brother Jason seems to have his life in order, too. But all the other people in Sookie’s life – Eric himself, her former lover Bill, her friend and boss Sam – are having family problems. Eric’s maker shows up with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow, the ailing Bill can only be healed by a blood sibling, and Sam’s brother’s marriage is about to take place… or will it? The furor raised by the coming out of the two-natured has yet to settle; some people are just not ready to sit down to dinner with a man who turns into a dog. And Sookie herself is still recovering from her last ordeal. She’s definitely improving, physically and mentally, but she’s always going to have some dark moments now. The werewolves tell her that there have been strange and ominous passers-by in the Stackhouse woods; now Sookie is about to come face-to-face with one of her more distant relatives…
Review: I have loved the Sookie Stackhouse series (and I am now a converted True Blood Fan) but I have never taken this long to read a Sookie novel before!
The story carries on from the aftermath of the fairy war and it was surprising that Claude, Sookie’s attractive but arrogant fairy cousin turns up on her doorstep due to loneliness and asks to move in with Sook for awhile and she reluctantly agrees. Alcide and his wolfpack are back on the scene as they camp out on Sookie’s land during the full moon night prowl. It was nice to have him back on the scene and I would have liked for there to be a bit more happening between the two of them. When a body turns up in Sookie’s backyard it’s not just a question of who is responsible- fae, vamp or were but why they were trying to set up Sookie to get the blame. On top of all this she has law enforcement watching over her every move trying to catch her out. It was nice to see Sookie’s little cousin Hunter back on the scene but his presence didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose to the storyline. While Eric is struggling to bring his division under control, his maker (the one who turned him) and new sire turns up at Sookie’s the tension rises as they try to figure out what they want.
To be honest Dead in the Family was a little slow. Sookie (understandably) wasn’t her usual feisty self until much later in the book and so most of the story is a little solemn. I couldn’t really remember much of what happened in the last novel as it has been about a year since I’ve read it but I’m certain that Sookie’s relationship with vampire Eric was a lot more passionate and exciting than this time around. It’s almost like they have fallen into a usual couple routine characterised with a bit of post war misery and leaving me a little underwhelmed. It’s just not the style of a Sookie novel. Fair enough she has
been through a lot of crap over the past 9 books but it didn’t make for interesting reading. Nevertheless, my feelings about what was happening was probably how Sookie was feeling; a bit over it all and just wanting to move on.
What was helpful was that this book goes into a lot of the back stories of some of
peripheral characters such as Claude and even Bill and how he was turned to a vamp. But again some of the background story didn’t really lead onto much in this story. I wonder if this book was a bit of a filler to catch up on all the holes and to set up the next novel? Anyway, it was good to see Sookie come to life again in the second half of the novel and in the next installment Dead Reckoning #11 I would love to see more of Sam, Bill and Alcide.