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


Sookie is supposedly a bit depressed because Eric hasn’t phoned her for four days. Woman, get a hold of yourself! You don’t need to feel vindicated by a man. You can stand on your own two feet. You’re an independent woman with a steady job and a future. Eric is not the basis of your happiness.

“You’re doing okay,” I said, looking in the mirror so I’d believe it. “Look at you! Great tan, Sook!”

Sookie has improved so much as a character. She has matured and grown, becoming much smart and confident in herself. It’s just that the author has to hammer in some things where they don’t fit! Or I’m sensitive to women seeming to be dependant on men for their worth in life, ever since Ms Harris wrote that in for Portia Bellefleur. I think it’s a rather outdated and insulting attitude. Anyway, she uses the CD she stole from Bill’s last night – the oft mentioned, crucial to book 3 Vampire Directory. I have no idea where this is going.

I clicked on ‘Louisiana’ and then on ‘Compton’. There he was, in a modern picture taken at his house. I recognised the paint color. Bill was smiling stiffly, and he didn’t look like a party animal, that’s for sure. I wondered how he’d fare with a dating service.

Poorly, once they learnt he’s a rapist.

I began to read his biography. And sure enough, there at the bottom, I read, “Sired by Lorena Ball of Louisiana, 1870.”

But there was no listing for ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’.

Where is this going? OH NO. In the prologue, it was mentioned that Bill could be healed by another vampire made by his maker. OH FUCK NO.

A little gory perhaps, but this is how I genuinely feel.

I do not want Bill to survive. I do not want Bill  to be in these books any more. His existence infuriates me more than it rationally should. I actively detest him.

If you are keeping him in this book series, Ms Harris, purely so that when Eric inevitably fucks up, Sookie and Bill get back together again, we shall have to have words.

Bill’s sister is one Judith Vardamoon, made in 1902 and living in Little Rock. Sookie writes her an email titled ‘Bill’s ill’. It sounds like a picture book for children. I really hope Judith detests Bill as much as I do, and lets him die horribly. I’d enjoy that.

When returning the CD to Bill’s, Sookie runs into Andy Bellefleur in the cemetery. Seeing as how horribly he’s been treated in the novels (I admit, I have a soft spot for Andy), he’s actually given a human moment. They talk about Miss Caroline, and Andy apologises for treating Bill badly.  There’s a sweet moment when he reveals that Miss Caroline’s famous chocolate cake recipe was left to the town, and is going to be published in the paper.

Oh, and when she gets to work she works out that the cook is a government informant. He was sent to Bon Temps to watch over Sookie. This is pointless, adds nothing to the plot, makes no sense and is just in here to centre things firmly on Sookie. Urgh. I hate this constant embellishment of shit that happened before. If it was there, it should have been there already. The clues should have been there, the fingerprints of further developments, so as readers we can be satisfied in seeing the pay-off.

THIS IS LAZY WRITING!

Sookie then chats to Sam about how his family is holding up with the knowledge of their shapeshifter relatives. They seem to be doing fine, and Sam asks Sookie to be his date to his brother’s wedding. He doesn’t want to inflict Jannalynn on them when they’re still sensitive about the whole subject of shapeshifting. And she’s a bit brutal. I wouldn’t want her unleashed at a family occasion.

After work, Sookie sees that Jason has popped round for a visit.

And then, getting his mental signature, I realized that the man sitting on the steps wasn’t Jason. I froze. All I could do was stare at my half-fae great-uncle Dermot and wonder if he had come to kill me.

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