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


Sorry for the late update guys; there’s been a lot of stress currently here at Dottie central so we took a night out to watch Tim Minchin. For those who have never heard of him, please enjoy this enlightening little ditty:

And now onwards with the last chapter of this direfest. Sookie is out of her mind, this being the first time she’s taken ‘an illegal drug’ in her life. Even though if it’s a werewolf thang then I don’t know where the law stands on that.

I was an idiot.

However, I was an increasingly warm and comfortable idiot.

She’s all dreamy and high, which doesn’t seem very clever for deciding the truth of things.

I felt a lot like Alice in Wonderland after she took a bite of the mushroom.

….. growing big?

The potion she drank allows her to see emotions. For example, fear inspired by Alcide as packmaster is a dark yellow. Alcide announces that that Basim’s body was planted on Sookie’s land in an attempt to get her arrested, and that the police came to search for it after they moved it. This is a real shock to a few of the wolves, especially Patrica, a female mentioned in the last book. Sookie is then able to detect loyalty to Alcide, which is in shades of red, violet and pink. Jannalynn is intense crimson, as she adores Alcide, and Annabelle who was apparently his girlfriend is still a ‘watery cerise’ despite her infidelity with Basim.

Green is traitorous, and Sookie seeks it out, finding that Patrica and Ham are those who the greenest out of them all. Ham invited men to camp on Alcide’s land so the pack would be forced to run through Sookie’s woods. They wanted information to force through a werewolf registration bill. Ham murdered Basim because Basim was talking to a fairy about getting Sookie in trouble and a reward was mentioned, so Ham decided he wanted it. He hated Basim anyway for being made enforcer over him. Patrica was cross with Alcide because he didn’t sleep with her.

This would have been much better if it had been developed over the course of several books. I can’t get the sense of disloyalty from Ham’s character because he has never been mentioned before. Oh, he’s a beloved childhood friend of Alcide’s? You can’t make wonders and expect to shit cucumbers, as my friend would say. It is null as a plot and has no tension or drive because the motivations are just presented – plop! – without being built and developed. It is pointless. It is dull.

What about the judgements then?

“I think Annabelle will see tomorrow. Alcide will let Jannalynn persuade him to kill Ham and Patrica,” I said. “His colors tell me so.”

What a dick. I do not like Jannalynn. She has a silly name.

Jason and Sookie get out of there before they witness bloody murder and head on down to Eric’s, because there’s one more useless plot point that has to be hurriedly and poorly resolved. And there’s been bloody murders at Eric’s house, and the Viking vampire has been beaten so badly his ribs are sticking out his chest. Nice.

Bobby the asshole PA is the dismembered body, along with Felicia the bartender who was his lover.

uh no

that’s not right

Felica was described when she was introduced in… uhhhhh Dead as a Doornail I think as a lesbian.

So yet again, Charlaine Harris has felt the need to not bother with continuity in her own work and to hetrosexualise a woman in a homosexual relationship.

I’m sensing a definite prejudice against women in relationships with other women, which I find disgusting. Child molestation? Oh, that’s fine as a plot point. Gay women? THAT MUST BE CHANGED IMMEDIATELY.

This is fucked up.

Anyway, Alexei and Appius have sort of run off. Eric has to sit around and not look for them because Appius commanded him not to. Oh, whatever. This is stupid. Pam is injured and Alexei has been asking for Jason at his house because they have a super special connection or something. He’s on his way to Sookie’s house, so that’s where they have to go.

The security light in my front yard illuminated a strange scene. A pale haired fairy I’d never seen before was standing back-to-back with Claude. The one I didn’t know had a long, thin sword. Claude had two of my longest kitchen knives, one in each hand. Alexei, who appeared to be unarmed, was circling them like a small white killing machine. He was naked and covered in splotches, which were all shades of red. Ocella was lying sprawled on the the gravel. His head was covered in dark blood. That seemed to be the theme of the night.

I’ve given up any chance I might have had of understanding what the fuck is going on. The other fairy is the father of Claudine’s baby, back for revenge. Which might have made an interesting story, if it wasn’t one of many terrible subplots. Alexei tries to kill him, but Sookie ties him up with the silver chain from the very first book (Oh look! Charlaine Harris DOES understand what continuity is! Shame she doesn’t use it) and Eric stakes him. The fairy enemy then kills Appius and the fairy is killed by a mysteriously thrown knife.

“You moved in to protect me,” I said.

“My sister loved you,” Claude said. “Colman was fond of Claudine, and very proud she chose him to father her child.”

That’s…. nice. The knife was thrown by Dermot, and he’s been under a terrible spell for years, so like in a fairy tale Claude and Sookie reach over and give him a kiss to break the spell.

Bollocks.

I think you’ll find in fairy tales, it’s a kiss of true love not familial love. It’s not that difficult.

Eric has a second of sad reflection about the death of his father, before getting transfixed by all the fairy blood. He runs off before he drains Sookie, and then Dermot, Claude and Sookie all snuggle down to sleep together because incest is very fashionable right now.

My final thoughts on Dead in the Family? This is an appalling book. I mean, I’ve had issues with previous books, but overall I found them enjoyably, if a little frustrating at times. In terms of character development, this is one of the best books. In terms of writing, pacing, plotting, research, good ideas… this is by far the worst of the Sookie Stackhouse books. It is lazy and poorly written. It is insulting to fans of the series. There was no effort put into this book, and boy, does it show. This is a very, very bad book, and should be avoided at all costs.

And Bill didn’t fucking die.

Next book tomorrow, and I hope it brings me considerably more joy than this one.

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