A reivew of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter one

New book today. I’ve been reliably informed that this is a good one – or, at least the villain is better than Little Miss Nikky. It better be, or else I’m after you.

Let’s have a look at the blurb, shall we?

‘The older the zombie, the bigger the death to raise it.’

After a few centuries, the only death ‘big enough’ is a human sacrifice. I know, because I’m an animator. My name is Anita Blake.

Working for Animators, Inc, is just a job – like selling insurance. But all the money in the world wasn’t enough for me to take on the particular job Harold Gaynor was offering.

Somebody else did, though – a rogue animator. Now he’s not just raising the dead… he’s raising hell. And it’s up to me to stop it.

Righto! Sounds very exciting! Can’t wait to start!

Harold Gaynor’s house sat in the middle of intense green lawn and the graceful sweep of trees.


Ok, Ok, bit harsh. It’s the introduction, and Anita’s narration gives us a broad overview into the world in which the book is set – the undead are real and Anita works raising zombies. Her boss Bert has tasked her to a committee which looks at the working conditions of zombies. Anita mocks this as zombies are dead, and don’t need nice working conditions. Bert is coming with her to visit Mr Gaynor, a potential client, and chides her for carrying a gun. Sorry, but after reading the last book I’d say that she most definitely needs a gun. Vampires are assholes.

Gaynor is guarded by several bodyguards. The man himself appears to be confined to a wheelchair. His apparent girlfriend, Cicely, walks into the room and she’s a tall blonde who sort of stands around doing nothing.

‘I want you to raise a two-hundred-and-eighty-three-year-old corpse.’

Get rid of those hyphens. They are unnecessary. Anyway, Anita is the only person who could do this and Gaynor offers her a million dollars to do it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t realise that he needs to kill a human being in order to raise the zombie.

‘Do you really want to talk about murder in front of Cicely?’ I asked.

Gaynor beamed at me, always a bad sign. ‘She can’t understand a word we say. Cicely’s deaf. […] I hate a woman who talks constantly.’

You’re a pig.

Anyway, Gaynor bitches at Anita because she won’t murder another human being for money. She kills vampires for the state, but vampires and humans are different. Although the physiological boundaries are very blurred.

They were treating me like I was a very dangerous person. At five-three I am not imposing. Raise the dead, kill a few vampires, and people start considering you one of the monsters.

YAY good snark is back!

The bodyguards threaten her so Anita bluffs about having a gun and there’s a Mexican stand-off until Gaynor decides murder in the front room is a bad idea. Bert and Anita leave, refusing to take the job.



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