A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Killing Dance’ chapter six


Anita and Richard arrive at his house and we get an entire page of describing it. In summary – it is a ranch house with a garden. No one lives next door. Richard is able to not only keep his vintage Mustang on a teacher’s salary, but a big fancy 4×4, a large house with garage and extensive garden. The average wage for a high school teacher in the US is about $50,000, give or take a few thousand, but would have been less in the mid nineties when this was written (inflation, and all that).

I’d like to know how he can afford all this. My mother is a headteacher and makes about, oh, maybe ten grand more than Richard does. She does not have enough for a big house and two expensive gas guzzling cars. Especially a classic car, which takes proper serious restoration work and care to look after. There’s no way Richard has enough money for all this, not unless he’s selling drugs on the side. (Is he?)

Moving into his house, it’s full of nice art, all the kitchen equipment anyone could ask for, a huge large screen TV, a massive sound system, and an entire closet full of videos and CDs.

This is certainly very conspicuous consumption. Again, I’m left wondering how he can afford all of this. This is the mid 90s – this top of the line stuff would be hugely expensive back then. My family couldn’t afford a dishwasher until I was in my teens, and yet Richard lives this perfect electronic life.

oh and he has a fuck ton of antiques he is in the mob right

Anita has a moment where she thinks ‘huh, i don’t actually have anything or any interests or any hobbies’ but then WHAM hug to break up the character moment

Richard came up and hugged me from behind, arms wrapping around my shoulders. “I think this is where I’m supposed to ask what’s wrong, but I know the answer already. I’m sorry the bad guys invaded your house.”

I turned in his arms, and he loosened them so I could do it. I hugged him around the waist. “How did you know exactly what was bothering me?”

Because a hitman broke into your home and tried to kill you? I mean, it’s pretty fucking obvious why she might be a bit shaken. Richard isn’t some wonder of human compassion and insight because he loves you – it’s because he was there when a guy tried to murder you.

Anita phones up Edward, but he’s not answering. He phones back sharpish though and he tells her that someone wants her dead, real quick.

Your powers of deduction are simply fantastic.

Anyway, the vague enemies of doom are offering anyone five hundred thousand dollars for someone to kill Anita within twenty four hours. Edward says that they want her out of the the way for something, something Anita could stop, and that she already knows about. Edward will come round tomorrow to help figure out this little puzzle some more.

Richard is very confused about all this.

“Anita, don’t take this wrong. To me you’re worth any amount of money, but why would somebody pay half a million dollars to kill you?”

For someone who knew nothing about assassins, he’d grasped the big question quite nicely.

I don’t know anything about assassins but I can see why the price for her hit is half a million dollars.

  1. The hit has to be done in a small time frame
  2. Anita has already killed a hit man
  3. Anita kills a lot of people – she’s a difficult target
  4. Her connections to law enforcement means she may have some powerful legal protection
  5. Her connections to the Master of the City and the vampire he keeps to change the cat box means she has some pretty powerful supernatural protection
  6. This big event is really important and must be protected, at any cost.

I think the big question is ‘who is trying to kill me and how do I stop it’.

Anita tries to think what she may know when Richard realises there are messages on his answering machine. Stephen, the werewolf who’s been a minor character since Circus of the Damned, is being forced into doing pornography with that evil Raina.

Not this again! I thought we’d got rid of that bullshit in The Lunatic Cafe! I don’t want to have to deal with Raina and her stupid sexist crap again.

Anita deduces this is a trap. Marcus, the current pack leader, can’t kill Richard outside of the challenge circle without the rest of the pack turning on him. However, if anyone else kills him, then Marcus is off the hook.

If Raina is so desperate to kill Richard she sets up a complicated trap involving pornography, why doesn’t she just stab him in his sleep? She’s obviously evil enough to do it, so why has she got to act like a crappy villain in a horror movie? Well, she IS a crappy villain, but you get what I mean. Making her evil and sexualised doesn’t increase how threatening she is. It lessens it.

Richard is going to save Stephen, but he won’t kill anyone. Even though any of the wolves can kill him to stop the problems in the pack. Anita says fuck that and fuck being assassinated, and decides to come with – and with lots of guns.

She goes on about how amazing guns are and how amazing they feel in her hand and I feel a bit sick. I don’t like guns at all. I do not like weapon fetishisation. I find it intensely distasteful. Anita also glorifies in how illegal her weaponry is, as if that’s something to be proud of, when she could actually just get permits for the guns. But no, that wouldn’t be thrilling enough. Anita has to break the law and glorify gun violence after all.

Anita pads out the door, dripping with weapons, and thinks about how clever Richard is.

Richard’s way, we’d rescue Stephen, survive, escape, and Raina would still be alive.

You just said it was a trap. You JUST SAID IT WAS A TRAP.

Ugh.

Richard knows where the filming is because Raina made him watch, thinking he would join in. I remember this from The Lunatic Cafe but Anita is all surprised and demands to know that he didn’t take part.

You went over this before, Anita. Just because the author forgets what happens between books means that I will.

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4 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Killing Dance’ chapter six

  1. Lucille has a gun fetish thing going but she’s supposed to have a deeply fucked-up, violent personality with no regard for human life and a sadistic streak a mile wide. It’s supposed to be creepy, not cool like how I think we’re supposed to see it with Anita.

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