A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter forty one

Anita and Lawrence rock up to some house that’s still a bit on fire. Anita flashes her badge outside the crime scene and talks a bit about how she’s going to be a federal marshal. Normally, I would mock this like crazy but I know she is going to be a fed at some point. This makes me sad.

The cop on the perimeter dares to ask permission to let her inside the crime scene tape. The crime scene she has no jurisdiction over. Anita is fine with this because she is so mellow now. Lawrence questions this, so Anita throws it in his face that he is (shock, horror!) dating Detective Tammy Reynolds, the witch that showed up for one chapter in the last book and didn’t do very much.

Anita doesn’t like Tammy. What a surprise.

Reynolds frowned because I was seldom glad to see her. She was a witch and the first police detective ever with preternatural abilities beyond psychic gifts. But she was young, bright, shiny, and tried just a little too hard to be my friend.

oh no the wicked crime of wanting to be friends with someone

She was just sooo fascinated with the fact that I raised the dead. She wanted to know all about it. I’d never had a witch make me feel like such a damned freak. Most witches were nice understanding souls.

Anita, you hate witches. You have repeatedly said that you hate witches. If witches are nice understanding souls, then why do they get death sentences?

Perhaps it was the fact that Reynolds was a Christian witch, a member of the Followers of the Way. A sect going back to the Gnostics, who embraced almost all magical ability.

I don’t think you know anything about Gnosticism.

They were all but wiped out during the Inquisition –

I don’t think you know anything about the Inquisition either.

– due to the fact that their beliefs don’t allow them to hide their light under a bushel, but they survived. Fanatics have a way of doing that.

Of course. Reynolds can’t be made into a unlikeable character any other way, so she’s turned into a religious fanatic.

LKH then describes Reynolds, and look at this bullshit.

Cats have green eyes. Most people don’t.

What does that exactly mean? That a cat is secretly living inside Reynolds’s head? That cats are evil and therefore Reynolds is evil? That there was no editor and LKH cannot write?

It’s nonsense anyway, as Reynolds has hazel eyes within four paragraphs. Anita mocks Reynolds for being a Christian and for caring about Lawrence. The three of them try to get inside but Lawrence can’t move as, you know, stake in the back. Reynolds has no idea what is wrong, and Anita runs away rather than listen to the inevitable fight.

She goes to bother Dolph and Pete McKinnon. Her and Pete are going inside the house, and walk past firemen recovering from fighting the fire. Anita is confused by the fact they are drinking. They meet two fire inspectors inside the house, one of which is a woman.

I smiled. “Nice not to be the only woman on the scene for a change.”

  • You are very rarely the only woman.
  • There is another woman. Reynolds.
  • You are never pleased to see other women, don’t lie Anita.

The male inspector calls her ‘miss’ and is insulted when she corrects him and takes the piss by calling her ‘Mssssss Blake’ over and over. God, why is everyone so fucking aggressive in these books? Anyway, the basement of the house is full of sleeping vampires. The floor might collapse at any minute, and they’re all going to die unless they can work out a way to get them out. I fail to see how Anita can help with this, but whatever.

Anita questions the firefighters on everything, because she can’t stand someone else being an expert in something in front of her. She then goes onto a moralising rant about how she sees the monsters as being people and I start to wonder why they don’t tell her to go away. She then points out if they don’t do anything, the vampires in the basement are going to rise and start on a murderous rampage. She is surprised that everyone else appears afraid of this.

The male fire inspector has an especially bad reaction so Anita grabs him and demands to know what he lost. He stammers out that vampires murdered his wife and daughter. Anita and Lawrence say that ‘life’s a bitch and then you die’ which is not an appropriate reaction to forcing a man to recount the deaths of his wife and child.

What is wrong with having a nice main character?


8 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Burnt Offerings’ chapter forty one

  1. Why does Anita think that everyone else’s personal trauma is her business? Unless this is LKH saying ‘look! My secondary characters have backstories! Aren’t I such a good writer?’ Only she can’t think of another way to let the reader know other than to have every single person we have contact with randomly reveal their personal tragic past, which is never permitted to be as tragic as the dead mother Anita barely remembers.

    • There was no need to have her badger the man. He was afraid of a large group of vampires going rouge and killing a lot of people – something you would be afraid of in a world with vampires.

  2. Why does Anita think that not a lot of humans have green eyes? I have green eyes, my dad has green eyes, half the people I know have green eyes. GREEN EYES ARE VERY COMMON. WE ARE NOT ALL CAT PEOPLE.

    • Admit it – you are just an evil cat person!!!!

      But, seriously, it’s such a bizarre description. I mean, you could say ‘she had brown eyes. Bread is brown’ or ‘she had blue eyes. The sea is blue’ and they are entirely interchangeable. LKH is an author – is she not aware of the impact of words?

  3. So…so Reynolds is bad because…because…she wants to be Anita’s friend and she has green eyes? … … … … Sure.

    And can I just say I love the irony of Anita ranting about treating the vampires like people, immediately before revealing they go on a deadly rampage if woken up the wrong way.

    • Green eyes are a sign of pure evil. It’s a way for the Wicked Witch inside to look out at the world.

      ‘How dare you be scared of the group of creatures that are going to rise up and attack you!’

      • ‘Only racists fear the undead horrors who go on a bloody massacre if their alarm clock goes off early! Not like Anita, who knows them for the pure and gentle amoral raping murderers they are.’

  4. So, does LKH even read back what she’s written? Because that would explain why she so desperately needs someone else to edit for her. I mean, she makes a big deal about Reynolds having green eyes, and then suddenly she has grey eyes (because I am not calling them “hazel”. That’s a tree, dammit, not a color). If ever a writer needed an editor, it’s her.

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