A review of Charlaine Harris’s ‘Dead in the Family’ prologue


Righto. New book. And while I’ve called this a ‘prologue’, it’s not really one. It is a thirty six page chapter that’s not a chapter. It’s split into four sections, each titled by a week in March. It’s shaking up the formula a bit but it is a chapter. Don’t be too pretentious about it.

March: the first week

Amelia is moving out. She’s been depressed since the death of Tray Dawson in the last book, and seeing as Ms Harris decided to make her a powerless idiot, she’s not necessary for the books any more. She’s going back to New Orleans, even though she talks about how jumpy Sookie is and how unhappy she is to be alone. You’re a great friend Amelia. They talk a little about Eric and Sookie’s relationship – Sookie has now decided that she loves Eric.

It didn’t take much for me to be in tears these days, and my friend’s departure was just the trigger now. There was so much to weep about.

My sister-in-law, Crystal, had been murdered. My brother’s friend Mel had been executed. Tray and Claudine and Clancy the vampire had been killed in the line of duty. Since both Crystal and Claudine had been pregnant, that added two more deaths to the list.

March: the end of the first week

Claude the fairy comes round to talk about his sister’s death. It’s an awkward situation. They chat and then he walks off into the woods. Okay then.

March: the second week

JB du Rone and Tara (heavily pregnant Tara SQUEE) are doing training with Sookie, as part of some unlicensed physical therapy. After all, because America doesn’t have a free health service, Sookie can’t afford professionally medical help – no matter how badly injured she is. And she’s very badly injured. Sure, because of taking vampire blood, the worst injuries have been ‘filled in’ but it hasn’t seemed to offset the nerve damage. Tara and JB say that Sookie will be an aunt to the baby.

March: the same week

Sookie and Eric have sex and then Eric cries.

“I could feel your fear and your pain that night,” he said, in a choked voice. “But I couldn’t come to you.”

Uh, why? Oh, right, Victor Madden had him chained up with silver. Poor baby. He apparently just plain forgot that the vampire king, Felipe Castro, owed Sookie his protection for saving his life, and also forgot that Sookie and Eric are married/joined/whatever it is in vampire culture. Eric says that it was dreadful because he felt all the pain that Sookie went through – rightfully, she’s rather sceptical of this. And then declares they must kill Victor.

March: the third week

Sookie and Jason are healing their relationship, slowly but surely, becoming far closer than they ever were before. That’s nice. I’m still not overly fond of Jason, but the two Stackhouse siblings have rapidly matured and this makes them both much more enjoyable as characters. I approve.

March: the fourth week

Sookie is at work with Sam. They listen to Jace Everett’s ‘Bad Things’ and I want to rip the page up for how bloody twee that is. Sam tells Sookie to visit Bill Compton. Nothing else happens.

March: the end of the fourth week

Sookie goes over to see Bill Compton and IT IS SO GLORIOUS. He’s been infected with silver and is practically dead. HUZZAH. Finally! I’ve been waiting for him to die for ages. He’s given up the fight to live. The only cure is the blood of his maker (and she’s been dead for a loooong time) or the blood of his vampire sibling. He doesn’t want to find them so he’s going to die probably.

Eric and Sookie then have sex again, and it’s SUPER TOTES AWESOME because she has an orgasm for the first time since being tortured.

“The no-orgasm problem was in my head. Now I’ve self-corrected.”

“You are bullshitting me, Sookie,” he murmured. “But I’ll show you some A-one lovemaking. Because I think you can come again.”

As it turned out, I could.

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