A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter four

Why had I set the alarm for six? I couldn’t remember. I am not at my best after only three hours of sleep. I lay back down in the still warm nest of sheets. My eyes were fluttering shut when I remembered. Dominga Salvador.

You might not have remembered, but I did. I predict great cultural insensitivity that I won’t be able to comment too brilliantly on. I know very little of hoodoo and voodoo customs and practices; however, if Hamilton does the same level of research for them as she did for ghouls, I imagine myself facepalming a lot.

Anita has a meeting with this priestess at seven, which sounds like a really dumb time to set an appointment for. Well, most people start work at say, nine, so if you wanted to meet with them before work, wouldn’t half-eight be a better time? I’m barely conscious at seven, myself. She throws some clothes on, and I really mean throw on. Seeing as how she’s meeting a very important woman in the paranormal community, you’d think Anita would wear something better than acid wash jeans. (MY GOD don’t they date this book?) You could wear some plain black trousers and a nice shirt. Casual, but smart. Anita wears a comfy pink top that will hide her gun and then bitches because it’s pink.

… you’re meant to be older than me, right? Then why are you acting like a fifteen year old? ‘OH NOOOO IT’S PINK I HATE PINK’. Whining about how much she hates pink does not make a female character tough or cool. It just makes her sound immature.

Anyway, then some guy called Manny Rodriguez shows up at the door and I have no idea who he is. Has he been mentioned before? Because he just breezes in with a real casually friendly air and there’s a comfortable familiarity between him and Anita. I mean, they talk about how everyone worries about how she doesn’t have a boyfriend!

All this angst about how people worry that she doesn’t get a regular hot beef injection is at best, fake angst, substituting effort for real genuine angst. So Anita doesn’t have a boyfriend at twenty four – what difference does it make? She’s a confident woman working at her career. Why must she have a husband and therefore be consigned into a traditional female role? Screw this, I can see through it – we’re meant to be proud of Anita for not having a boyfriend, but also seeing that her life is not entirely fulfilled, and would be better if there was some romance.

Manny is coming with Anita to see Dominga. Yes, a Mexican will be the perfect consult when investigating a case based on Haitian custom. I do not mean to imply that Mexicans cannot become experts in fields outside that of Mexican interests and culture, but seeing as how Manny refers to her as ‘the devil woman’, wouldn’t it be wiser to see Dominga with another voodoo practitioner? Lessen the chances of majorly offending her? Also, isn’t ‘Dominga’ a strange name for a woman coming from a nation with such a strong French element? Haiti was occupied by the Spanish initially, but Haiti was captured by the French and there temperament would appear to lie… of course, this could all be bullshit. I readily admit to knowing little of Caribbean politics and I apologise if I have said anything wrong or really, really stupid.

Manny was Vadun before he was a Christian, which is plausible as people in the Haitian diaspora did move to Mexico. Whether or not Hamilton knew this I can’t tell. Dominga was his priestess  – so she isn’t Haitian then, so ignore all my pseudo-intellectual crap about Haitian-French sensibilities – and also his lover.

Well, this isn’t going to be problematic at all.

Great, just freaking, bloody great. Why was I doing this? The image of Benjamin Reynold’s blood-coated teddy bear flashed into my mind. All right, I knew why I was doing it. If there was even a remote chance the boy could still be alive, I’d go into hell itself – if I stood a chance of coming back out. I didn’t mention this out loud. I did not want to know if hell was a good analogy, too.


5 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter four

  1. Pink is girly, and Anita has to hate all things girly on principle to show how tough and awesome she is, of course! Which begs the question of why she owns it at all.

    It’s ok, she gets like fifteen boyfriends later! Currently in Skin Trade she’s got…I think four or five, plus a regular “friend in bed” and she’s just banged six new dudes, three of which will be becoming regulars. So she’s getting VERY regular, ah, beef injections. Mostly at the expense of plot and advancing it.

    No, Dominga is Mexican. Not that she couldn’t be of Haitian descent or that you have to be Haitian to practice Voodoo, but heads-up, Voodo is presented in this book as being a Mexican thing. No, seriously. I knew nothing about Voodooin high school when I read it besides the movie crap with the dolls and such (which is hoodo, not Vodoo) and I thought for the longest time because of this book that Voodoo came from Mexico. *hangs head in shame*

      • If I’m not remembering wrong…yes. Yes she did, woefully so. She never SAYS that it’s Mexican, to be fair, but it’s very much presented that way *if* my memory serves me and is only shown to be practiced by Mexican people.

  2. If I remember, Manny got a one sentence mention in Guilty Pleasures. Scratch that, according to a quick search of the e-book, he got six mentions. On page 140. And only page 140.

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