It was awful. Larry had managed to stagger from the crime scene before he threw up.
I guess that Lawrence is going to make a very easy to catch serial killer then.
The nearest body to Anita is that of a blond man with a number one cut. There is a large – and I mean huge – puncture wound underneath his jaw. Whatever was thrust through his jaw left an exit wound on the top of the man’s head. The man has both his legs missing.
Why take the legs? A trophy? Maybe. Serial killers took trophies, clothing, personal items, a body part. Maybe a trophy?
Legs are a bit excessive for a trophy, aren’t they?
The other two bodies are young boys, and they’re all sliced up. One has just slices, the other has his face ripped off.
I would describe this more, but the first few pages are just descriptions of the crime scene and how Anita is stroking the wounds. You’re not missing much. She thinks it may have been vampires, but on no real solid basis.
As a general rule, only people who love you will cut up your face. It implies passion that you can’t get from strangers. One exception is serial killers.
You’d sound like you knew something if you didn’t immediately contradict yourself. And yes, stabs to the face are normally emotionally motivated – but strong emotions are not exclusive to those who know each other, and these two had their faces ripped off. That’s a bit more than just cutting up someone’s face.
Anita has a breakdown when she thinks that Man With Ripped Off Face may be a child. It doesn’t last long. Sergeant Freemont asks if she’s going to be sick.
We were the only two women at the crime scene, which meant we were playing with the big boys. You had to be tougher than the men, stronger, better, or they held it against you. Or they treated you like a girl.
‘They held it against you’? Oh, I’m sorry male officers than I was born with ovaries? Well, however they judge Freemont, it’s not going to be as bad as how Anita judges her.
Deep smile lines put her on the far side of forty.
And forty rounds up to old. I get it – she didn’t seem impressed by you, so you dislike her immediately.
Lawrence comes over and Anita decides to say how his face clashes with his hair. The guy has just been sick after seeing bodies in bits. Be a little nicer, eh?
Freemont asks Anita to conjure up a little magic and make the bodies tell them what happened. Anita says she can’t; the zombies will be unable to say anything due to the trauma of the murder.
I stared up at her. “I don’t tell you how to do your job. Don’t tell me how to do mine.”
“You haven’t done a damn thing yet. Except for your assistant throwing up in the bushes.”
It is so refreshing to hear someone talk back to Anita. It’s so nice that there’s a character who thinks the same as I do.
Anita sulks that ‘we don’t need this shit’ and walks off, dragging Lawrence. Freemont says if there’s any word of this in the media, she’ll know who to blame, making me want to marry her. Anita turns around saying that there’s an unknown preternatural creature using a sword, whizzing around faster than a vampire and killing people at will. She has no evidence for any of this, but she’s the centre of this universe so, of course, people will accept what she says.
Freemont admits there have been previous murders. A teenage couple died in a similar way and they suspected the girl’s ex-boyfriend, who had a collection of American civil war swords. The girl had her hand missing, the one with the ex-boyfriend’s ring. However, none of his swords matched the wounds.
“I think you’ve got a vampire on your hands, Sergeant Freemont.”
No, I really mean it. What evidence is there of vampire involvement? The crimes are extreme, yes, but fully within the spectrum of human capability. You only have to look up serial killer cases on Wikipedia, and you know that these murders could be done by humans.
“Look at the body parts that are missing. The legs of the one boy were cut off after he died. The femoral artery is in the thigh near the groin. I’ve seen vamps take blood from that in preference to the neck. Cut off the legs, and no fang marks.”
Rip off the face and remove the fang marks? That theory makes some sense, but not complete sense. Why wouldn’t the vamps just destroy the bodies? Why would they leave them out in the open for the authorities to find? Vampires know they will be killed if they are found guilty of a crime – destroy all the evidence, and there’s too much reasonable doubt.
Freemont points out the brain of one of them is missing.
“What better way to throw us off the track than to take something a vamp wouldn’t be interested in?”
Hmm. I have another suspect.
Freemont is still making a reasonable argument for a human serial killer. Anita ignores her and says that vampires were humans and still count. Anita, listen to the woman who investigates homicides for a living. You just get paid to raise the dead and dabble in crime solving.
Anita then railroads Freemont until she gives up having independent thought.
*whacks Anita Blake with my copy of Stripping of the Altars, much apology to Mr Duffy for sullying his excellent work but as I was revising with it earlier it was the closest large book to hand*
Anita talks very loftily about how she always knows it’s a monster and how she gets to ignore a lot of theories in her position. I really hate her. She even acts high and mighty about how dangerous and awful it is to kill a vampire, compared to Freemont having shot a man. Freemont says she won’t be getting back in contact with her and Anita has the nerve to talk about how she’s a good little girl for holding her tongue.
I will kill her one day. Until then, feel free to ship me and Freemont. We’d be a better couple than anyone in these books.