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

Anita and Dolph are on their way to a murder scene in Creve Coeur, which sounds similar enough to ‘Coeur de Coeur’ that I am both happy and intensely sad.

 Anita gets pissy with the silence and demands to know what’s going on.

“You’re always good for a laugh when you’re not killing people, Anita.”

Anita quietens when she realises ‘oh shit, I’m only not in jail because of this guy!’.

Olive is one of my favourite streets. I like the mix of gas stations, Dunkin’ Donuts, custom order jewellery stores, Mercedes-Benz dealerships, and Blockbuster Music and Video. Creve Coeur isn’t like most ritzy areas, at war with the peons. This part of the city has embraced both its money and its commerce, as comfortable buying fine antiques as taking the kiddies through the drive-up line at Mickey-D’s.

Is this a real place? I know I have a commentator from the St. Louis area, so I’m curious to know if this street is real. To me, this place sounds impossible. Outlets like car dealerships and drive-in restaurants generally can’t be in the same area as more boutique shops or chain stores – it’s not a matter of class or wage bracket, but of space. Car dealerships and drive-ins need a lot of space, and are normally out on the outskirts of a city. Same goes with petrol stations, which need room for the forecourt and the shop. You don’t find these things alongside regular shops.

Either LKH or the city of St. Louis knows shit all about city planning.

Dolph breaks the speed limit and drives around some houses, which are described as being ‘very Mediterranean’ and being ranch styled. Dolph demands to know if Anita’s ever been here before, which she hasn’t. They go into the house, which is crawling with police officers doing their jobs. Anita, of course, feels the need to insult everything they’re doing by saying that police officers just loose evidence and damage cases more than they help.


    The cops parted before Dolph, eyes shifting to me. Most of the eyes were male, and after the first glance, almost all of them did the full body look. You know the look. The one that if the face and top match, they just have to see if the legs are as good as the rest. It works in reverse, too. But any man that starts at my feet and ends with my face has lost every brownie point he ever had.

I get it – you’re the most perfectly perfect beautiful woman that ever lived.

Anita walks around and criticises the décor. She reaches a closed door and thinks that this house doesn’t look like much of a crime scene. She asks if there’s kids involved, to which Dolph says no. He then asks if she’s lied to him about anything again and I still don’t care.

Going into the room, Anita sees a suitably gruesome body. A man has been spreadeagled in the midst of a large circle, with a large hole below the ribs.  His heart is missing.

    “If you were going to take his heart out, why not go straight down?”

    “If you wanted him to survive, like heart surgery, you’d have to break the ribs and go down the hard way. But they wanted him dead. If all you want is the heart, going under the ribs is easier.”

um…. many problems.

  •     Did she just imply that people can survive having their hearts ripped out?
  •     I think she did.
  •     Um, no.
  •     Either way these people did it, this guy is going to be rather dead. You do need your heart.
  •     Why couldn’t they break the dead guy’s ribs?
  •     For heart surgery, you just open them up like a rusty gate.
  •     This ‘easy way’ means you have to cut through the stomach, liver, and lungs to get to the heart.
  •     That doesn’t sound easy at all.
  •     I don’t think that LKH understands how the human body works.
  •     My theory is that, along with Tommy Wiseau, she comes from the Spoon Planet.

Anita then asks what Dolph’s deal is. I know! You murdered two people in two days when you’re supposed to work with the police force!

The murder room is a bedroom, which has a rumpled bed covered in blood, and Anita begins to think that she may know the victim.

The red circle was definitely blood. Cabalistic symbols ran round the inside of the circle, traced in blood. I recognized some of them, enough to know that we were dealing with some form of necromancy.

Cabalistic? Oh, so they’re to do with the government of Charles II? Yes, yes, I know that a cabal is a secret group or society, but I don’t think the word is entirely appropriate in this sense. ‘Cult’ or ‘occult’ would have been better. And say it with me guys – necromancy means divination using the dead!

And the dead guy turns out to be Robert, brought back earlier purely to be dispatched. Anita thinks that this was a sacrifice – to who or what we don’t know. Anita steps forward and hits the circle, and suddenly POWER. Because Anita knows nothing about anything she’s supposed to, she can’t tell what the circle is about. She thinks it’s a spell to both contain and keep out the dead and she can’t cross it.

Then a female voice booms out that this means Anita did not make the circle and all I can think is ‘well, duh, she was murdering people tonight!’.


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

  1. There is an Olive Street Road in Creve Coeur and they have some car dealerships there…though I’m not sure that they have more than other major streets around St Louis. There’s a bunch of of them up the street from where I live but that doesn’t make it a street I favor. 😉 and coffee places are all over the dang place. I have a Dunkin donut about 15 minuets from my house and it’s not Creve Coer.

  2. “But any man that starts at my feet and ends with my face has lost every brownie point he ever had.”

    I’m missing something because I don’t understand this. How is toe to head more insulting than head to toe??

  3. That reference to ‘The Room: The Game’ made my night.
    Sometimes I come here and binge-read your reviews. They always make me smile. 💖

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