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


Righto my lovelies. Today’s the day where the police try to flush out the marauding murderous zombie at dusk, when the zombie is at its most active and dangerous, instead of in the day when they could trap it easily and subdue it. You smart people, you!

The neighbourhood has been completely evacuated, which is a smart precaution that will unfortunately make just about everyone panic. This isn’t a criticism of the lack of common sense for once, but an acknowledgement that in any situation, no matter how delicately handled, everyone is going to freak out.

Modern architecture is full of perks that are just for show; balcony railings without a balcony, peaked roofs that make it look like you have an extra room that you don’t have, porches so narrow that only Santa’s elves could sit on them. It made me nostalgic for Victorian architecture. It might have been overdone, but everything worked.

You have managed to massively miss the point of Victorian architecture. Victorian building styles were centred around impressing people with the things you have just outlined as being negative about modern architecture! Behold a comparison!

Victorian home

Modern home

Unless I am mistaken, the Victorian building is covered in balcony railings with no balcony and peaked roofs. The modern building is much more minimalistic and functional. The Victorian building is a lot more fussy and ornate – exactly what you were complaining about!

Anita then moves on to whine that they haven’t found anything yet. Maybe if you’d searched during the day when you could safely assume that the zombie wouldn’t be able to wander about happy as Larry you might have found something. Dolph let John Burke tag along because apparently the real Dolph has his mind devoured by Anita and is under some permanent form of hypnotic mind control. It’s the only way I can explain how fucking stupid he is as a policeman. As they talk about how they haven’t found anything, Anita has a sudden brain-wave – TRASH CANS!

So…. a bunch of trained policemen told to search anywhere dark and undisturbed saw all the trash cans of every house in the neighbourhood (as it’s bin day so they’re waiting to be collected) and all of them went ‘Eh, it can’t be in there’. I’m beginning to see why St.Louis has such a crime problem in these books; the police are made up entirely of idiots who can’t find their arses with their hands.

Dolph immediately pronounces this a most excellent idea and the police all realise that they are useless compared to the mental clarity of the Great and Powerful Anita Blake.

They search rubbish bins for a while (BECAUSE SUCK IT AMERICAN SLANG IT’S ‘RUBBISH’) and then off in the distance, they hear the sounds of screaming. The police all drop what they’re doing and run towards the noise but Anita laments that ‘it was too late’.  Well, maybe if you’d been searching in the day, the zombie would have been easier to overcome. Especially as when they reach where the scream came from and no one is able to see anything because it’s pitch black.

Well done Anita. You’ve gotten two people killed by sheer fucking stupidity.

Anita then runs off after it by herself and of course, runs right into the zombie. She can barely see it in the dark (your own damn fault, lady) and then it lumbers at her. The zombie talks, apparently, like a gentleman and asks her to put him back in his grave. It then smacks her around – I LOVE YOU MURDEROUS ZOMBIE – and leaves her alive. When it killed everyone else it ran into. What makes you so special, Anita, other than the plot needs you to survive?

A bright light then blinds Anita; the cops have caught up and are using great big fuck-off floodlights to see just what they’re doing. Anita bitches at them for blinding her, even though it was HER STUPID IDEA IN THE FIRST PLACE TO SEARCH FOR THE ZOMBIE AT NIGHT WHEN IT WAS STRONGER AND ABLE TO MOVE AROUND UNDETECTED.

fucking dickhead.

Anita knows that the zombie was a voodoo something in life which is why Peter Burke couldn’t control it.

‘You think like a cop, Anita.’ It was a great compliment from Dolph, and I took it as one.

If the police think like Anita Blake, I worry for us all.

Dolph and Anita grab their guns and go running off into the dark after the zombie, which Anita just knows was an animator or voodoo practitioner. I’d like to know how she knows but VAGUE ANIMATOR POWERS PLOT CONVENIENCE. The zombie leaps on them from a tree and is unfazed by Anita shooting at it. Considering how the last time you were fending off zombies shooting them did no good at all, I would have thought Anita might have learnt something. But no, she just fires at it.

The zombie then says that it didn’t know what it was doing and tried not to kill. Anita shoots it in the throat, an action I whole-heartedly approve of. Look, it might have a consciousness, but a zombie is a dead body animated by magic. It’s not really alive.

The exterminators then try to set it on fire, but the zombie doesn’t die. Anita knows that the zombies of animators don’t die because…. reasons, but she doesn’t think to tell anyone this for …. reasons. And then it does die, proving that Anita is full of BS and the editors did a shitty as hell job checking the continuity of a page.

Well, the zombie-murder plotline was wrapped up poorly.

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