A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter twenty six

There was a knock on the door. It opened without Jean-Claude’s giving permission. Somebody was pushy. Raina stalked in through the door. Pushy was one word for it.


Raina is followed by Gabriel and Kaspar Gunderson. Robert, the vampire doorman, rushes in to apologise for his failings.  He’s covered in claw marks and fresh blood. JC tells him to stay in the room.

“I told you what would happen if you failed me again, Robert. In anything, large or small.” Jean-Claude’s voice was a whisper that filled the room like wind.

Oh, shut up JC.

“Honestly Robert, I’m going to have to flay your skin off. The devil is in the details, and you put sprinkles in my latte before the whipped cream.”

Robert starts begging for forgiveness and JC drags the life out of him, or something. It’s hard to tell because Hamilton’s muddy writing flares up again and I have no idea what’s going on with him. Anita begs JC to leave Robert alone and to be mad at Raina for clawing Robert up.

Raina walked over to Jean-Claude. The spiked heels of her metallic copper pumps made indents in the carpet. A trail of stab wounds.

I really hope that it just means the shoes are copper coloured and not made of copper.

Raina walks forwards and starts talking evilly about how her feelings would have been hurt if she’d been turned away at the door. She steps in front of JC and starts getting her mack on.

She ran her fingers under his shirt, laying her hands on either side of his naked waist. Her lipsticked mouth parted and she leaned into him. She kissed him, and he stood like a statue under her hands. But he didn’t tell her to go to hell.

What the hell was going on?

Don’t ask me, I’m just the humble reviewer. I have no idea what’s going on most of the time.

Raina raised her face enough to speak. “Jean-Claude doesn’t wish to offend Marcus. He needs the pack’s backing to hold the city. Don’t you, love?”

I get it, she’s evil and sexed up and evil. I GET IT.

He put his hands on her slender waist and stepped back. Her hands trailed along his skin until he was completely out of reach. She watched him the way snakes watch small birds. Hungry. You didn’t have to be a vampire to feel her lust. Obvious was putting it kindly.

“Marcus and I have an arrangement,” Jean-Claude said.

“What sort of arrangement?” I asked.

“Why do you care, ma petite? You are going to be seeing Monsieur Zeeman. Am I not allowed to see other people? I have offered you monogamy and you have turned me down.”

Fuck you, you entitled asshole.

What was I supposed to say? That it bothered me to see her hanging all over him? It did. Which bothered me more than her groping him.


This is pointless filler to increase the relationship angst between Anita and JC. Oh, and it reinforces that Raina is EVIL.

JC and Raina make out. Anita says that she thinks less of him for having sex with Raina. Gabriel throws his coat at Anita and then leaps upon her. He jumps on her so that the gun on her belt digs into his crotch. He ‘likes pain’ so this happened because… SHUT UP. DON’T QUESTION IT. Anita promptly shivs him in the stomach. He begs her to push the knife in deeper. She does, until Raina stops shoving her tongue down JC’s throat long enough to say that they need him alive.

This was all about some sort of dominance thing but I have no idea why any of this happened.

Gabriel flops off Anita and Raina leaps on him to lick his stomach wounds. Anita asks why Kaspar is here. She doesn’t ask ‘What the fuck is going on?’ which would be my question; no, she asks a random question that disrupts the flow of the narrative. Kaspar, it turns out, is the sample for the porn films.

“He can shapeshift back and forth as often as he wants to. He doesn’t pass out. We use him to test potential stars of our movie productions. To see how they react to somebody changing shape in the middle of things.”

Because the whole problem with this part of the plot was how on earth do the women that get eaten alive not freak out at the sight of a man turning into an animal. Yeah. That was the only problem.

The porno three are here as JC promised them some vampires for the next flick. Fun. Anita talks JC into letting Robert out of his unjust punishment and this is one of the few times where Anita has done a good and righteous thing. JC then promptly gives Raina Robert. He tries to dress it up as Robert’s choice of punishment but it’s still forcing someone into sexual slavery. And that’s not cool.


Anita walks out the door. This is one of the few chapters where aside from shiving someone in the stomach, she has actually been rather sensible and reasonable about this ridiculous monstrosity that passes for plot.


3 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter twenty six

  1. Wow, so Anita has to find out who did this snuff flick with men turning into animals during sex? And then she finds these obviously eeevil people who make videos where men turn into animals while having sex with girls? COULD THERE BE A CONNECTION?

  2. “I have offered you monogamy and you have turned me down.”

    Uh, no, jackass – you were trying to blackmail her into dating you. While she’s in a relationship. That’s not how ‘monogamy’ works – the idea is that *both* parties are only romantically involved with each other. And even if she decides to break off the engagement (not a bad idea, given how long they’ve been together), that doesn’t mean that Anita’s suddenly going to be single. Don’t try to act you’re somehow the victim here, JC.

    On top of that, that line just sounds so petulant. “Wah, you won’t date me, so I’ll just make-out with this other chick in front of you. That’ll so you.”

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