A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Blue Moon’ chapter thirty two


The murder scene is out in the middle of the woods, which seems to be at odds with how the trolls have been presented. They seem to prefer a rocky sort of place, but of course it’s not a troll kill anyway, and the plot has been hatched by idiots attempting to make their crime paper thin and entirely obvious.

The state troopers were thick on the ground with some plainclothes state detectives. I didn’t have to be introduced to them to know they were cops. They moved around the scene with little plastic gloves on, squatting on the balls of their feet rather than kneeling on the evidence.

I’d have guessed that they were connected to the police by the fact that they’ll be wearing bio-hazard suits to stop them from contaminating evidence. I thought that LKH knew all about how the police operated from her super-duper cop friends. I’ve just finished reading Red Dragon. That was published in 1981 and the standard duties of evidence in that book are far more relevant and modern than this dreck.

Anita pulls out her license and immediately jumps into the crime scene without waiting to be given permission. Stomp, stomp. Her boots have brought in blood, semen, and mud. She has contaminated the crime scene and has caused several weeks of hassle for the crime scene team working here. Well done Anita. None of the policemen question why she’s jumped the crime scene tape, and thumb her through to the guy in charge. They’re all pretty shaken by whatever the murder scene is like, and this allows Anita to rhapsodise on how tuff the police are and how they don’t get shaken by anything and that whole speech that comes pouring out any and all times the police are mentioned. Anything to bolster up that word count, eh? Or do you think that if you ask LKH about the police, the speech comes out fully prepared anyway?

The female EMT is throwing up and Anita points out that’s a bad sign. I point out that the only woman who isn’t Anita is the one having the bad reaction.

Maiden stops Anita, and points her through to Captain Henderson, the dude in charge.

“Maiden,” I said. I left off the officer on purpose, because as far as I was concerned, he wasn’t an officer. He’d stopped being a cop when he became a bad guy.

I’d prefer ‘officer’ to be in quotation marks for that sentence, but honestly, I’m distracted by that last sentence. ‘He’d stopped being a cop when he became a bad guy’. How old are you? Ten? That sounds like the sentence and reasoning of a child. ‘The bad guys’. Who refers to people like that into adulthood? It is utterly naïve and simplistic to divide the world into ‘bad guys’ and ‘good guys’, seeing as, you know, the world is a touch more complicated than that. Hell, the ‘good guys’ in this book are morally grey up the wazoo! Sentences like that drag me out of the narrative and make it seem that the book is aimed for a much younger demographic. Or it was written by someone with very poor narrative skills.

Your choice.

Henderson then arrives, demands to know what Anita is doing here, and is then told the jolly news that he has to be her babysitter for the next hour or two.

He looked me up and down, not sexual, but as if he was taking my measure. I was used to that, though it was usually a little less blatant.

IF YOU’RE SO USED TO IT, THEN WHY HAVE YOU GOT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT IT WASN’T SEXUAL? WHY MUST EVERYTHING BE RELATED TO SEX? I DON’T CARE ABOUT SEX IN AN URBAN PARANORMAL THRILLER. I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE CRIME. IF YOU WANT TO WRITE A BONK CRAZY ROMANCE NOVEL, THEN WRITE A BONK CRAZY ROMANCE NOVEL. DON’T SKEWER IT INTO YOUR SHIT CRIME STORIES.

I would be less angry if instead she related everything sexual about cheese. My new year’s resolution is to try and make ‘smell my cheese’ a thing every time Anita waffles on about sex.

Anita then laughs at him and says she knows all about the murder scene being bad, and I just want to slap her. She is so painfully insufferably smug. If you want to create an everywoman character – which Anita is, although she is forced into being exactly every woman – smugness is not a good trait to have. Smugness is the trait of the Scarlett O’Hara’s, and while I adore Scarlett as a character, that does not mean I like her. She has the smugness of a well fed cat, and if there is anything that really turns people away from liking a character, it’s by making them a smug little snake.

”So, take me to see the grisly remains. The foreplay is getting tiresome.”

SHUT UP OH GOD SHUT UP

If this book was powered by my imagination (and it should be), Henderson would tell her to get fucked and call up the local RPIT team. Why is he even letting Anita Blake advise him? Surely they’d be a better choice and wouldn’t come with her smug baggage.

Heh, that’s what her butt should be called. Her smug baggage.

I’m allowed to be childish if she’s allowed to be childish. That’s logic.

Anyway, it’s body time.

……

After reading Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, I would give good money for Anita Blake to be checked into therapy under a certain doctor. Very good money.

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5 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Blue Moon’ chapter thirty two

  1. I can enjoy smugness if it’s played for laughs, especially at the expense of the smug one. Some of my most hilariously-written chars have been hilarious in part because of their smugness. But in terms of wanting someone to *agree* with that smugness? yeah, total turn-off

    YES. SO MUCH YES TO THAT CERTAIN DOCTOR.

    • Why do so many authors not understand that there’s a line between being confident and being smug/arrogant? And why do they insist on claiming that a character on the wrong side o that line is likable?

      • Because they want to be the smug ones. LKH so obviously wants to be Anita IRL, it’s…. well, it’s a little bit sad, to be honest. It’s sad to not be confident in yourself and what you can offer to the world.

        As someone who has no confidence in themselves and creates a few characters edging into Sue territory to compensate, I can understand. Not that I would ever try to publish them.

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