A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter thirty one


The chapter opens up with Bernardo and Olaf squabbling over the fact that one isn’t allowed to sleep with women while the other isn’t allowed to murder them.

I don’t really have much patience left with this bullshit.

The gang draw up to a ranch in the middle of nowhere that is surrounded by police cars, ambulances, and fire engines. There are horses running around which Anita thinks is unnatural, presumably because she thinks horses hover a inch or so above the ground. The police keep them waiting outside for a while and then Marks shows up.

“Who are the men in the back?”

“Otto Jefferies, and Bernardo Spotted-Horse.” I notices that Olaf had to use an alias, but Bernardo got to keep his real name. Guess who was wanted for crimes elsewhere.

And you could tell the police that. Right now. Have him arrested. But you’re just going to sit back and not do a thing, aren’t you?

Edward gives some patter about Bernardo being a bounty hunter and Olaf working for the government, but Marks isn’t having any of it – gotta love him – and makes them stay in the car. Olaf then does a magical scary look that freaks Marks out.

923032_10151975833081963_570393603_n

Marks then glares at Anita. Edward and Anita are shown into the house, which is full of plainclothes officers, so Anita complains about how the feds always spoil her fun. Those mean people who make me obey the law, I hate them! She then spends a whole page talking about all the ‘flavours’ of police men standing outside the house, how Marks hates her so much, and then mentions a police officer is getting his hand bandaged. Anita then goes on about how awful it is that she can lie with her eyes.

I want to hear about the injured police officer. I want to hear about the crime. I want to read about the investigation and mystery you’re supposed to be solving!

The officer was bitten by one of the surviving victims. There are two survivors, one dead, and three people unaccounted for. Anita goes into the house and immediately starts freaking out about the fact there’s a dead body. You’d think that she’d be over that in the ninth book.

The smell of fresh death is like a cross between an outhouse and a slaughterhouse.

Whatever.

It was like drowning in the scent of raw hamburger.

… either the place stinks of shit or it smells like meat, make up your mind.

The smell freaks Anita out so much she debates running away and going back to St. Louis. Anita, how many crime scenes have you been at by now? You’re not very tuff if you still panic and freak out at them.

Special Agent Bradley from Bloody Bones is here, as he apparently is in charge of the brand new preternatural division of the FBI, because of course the FBI were behind the times in regards to solving crimes committed by supernatural people, what wonderful world building.

The FBI tries to avoid sensational buzzwords like serial killer or preternatural or monster. But call it what you like, a spade’s a spade.

If preternatural is too sensational to be used officially, then why is RIPT called that? Shouldn’t it be R – special research – t? But then, that wouldn’t make a clever acronym, would it. Bradley is happy to see Anita, and introduces her to another agent, Franklin.

“Let’s say I’m sceptical of civilians with no special training coming into a crime scene.”

I raised eyebrows at the “no special training”. Edward and I exchanged glances. The Ted face was slipping, letting some of his own natural cynicism leak into those blue eyes, that nearly boyish face.

  • You know how to kill vampires. That is no help at all at this crime scene.
  • You know how to kill all things. That is no help at all at this crime scene.
  • You are both civilians.
  • Neither of you have any investigative skills.
  • Neither of you have any forensic skills.
  • Edward appears to be willing to murder a FBI agent for being honest. What a guy.

Anita and Edward laugh at Franklin, who is easily dismissed by Bradford. Yes, LKH managed to forget what Bradley was called. Over the space of a single page. Anita then drags her feet about going to look at the body, and takes a page of coaxing and waffle to get there.

We are practically half way through this book and there is no progress on the investigation. There’s nothing. This book is swollen with bullshit. It should really be half the length, but that would require an editor who doesn’t respect how this is all such pure gold.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ chapter thirty one

  1. Saying that he’s skeptical of civilians with no special training is incredibly diplomatic. I would be tempted to phrase it more along the lines of ‘you are a vampire executioner and there are no vampires to kill. You are an animator and there are no corpses that need to be raised. You have taken a degree in a subject that may be mildly relevant, but if it becomes necessary we can call in your professors, who will have a greater degree of knowledge. You have nothing to add to this investigation and no right to be here. Allow me to escort you off the property.’ And now I want to spitefic that.

    Why does it never even occur to Anita that she should turn Olaf over to the police? Why does she seem to see the police as some awful obstacle she needs to work around? Why can’t she show some respect for people who are risking their lives trying to take down a serial killing monster without any plot armour?

    • She can’t turn Olaf over to the police because LKH thinks he is far too awesome. *rolls eyes*

      Franklin is the king of artful diplomacy. I think we need to make him like a Vetinari type figure of some urban fantasy thriller.

      • I loathe how everyone just ignores the silent victims that Olaf is certainly murdering, because as long as they don’t have to look at it, it’s fine. This is one of the parts of these books that disgusts me the most.

  2. Uh, the FBI coined the term serial killer in the first place. iirc it was Robert Ressler, in an essay or something? back in the seventies? (this is all off the top of my head but I could certainly delve in to my crime library and find out for sure if anyone wants.

    “It was like drowning in the scent of raw hamburger” That…makes no sense. Raw hamburger smells like food, and either smells very fresh or slightly aged. Nothing like a corpse.

    • I kind of want to know what raw hamburger precisely smells like know, but I’m unwilling to go around sniffing raw meat. Guess I’ll never be a best-selling author!

  3. “Guess who was wanted for crimes elsewhere.”

    Thanks for explaining that, Hamilton. I guess the fact that he’s using an alias wasn’t enough of a clue.

    “Anita complains about how the feds always spoil her fun.”

    Probably because they spend more time on catching criminals and enforcing the law than telling Anita how awesome she is.

    “She then spends a whole page talking about all the ‘flavours’ of police men standing outside the house”

    There’s that word again. I’m really starting to wonder if Anita/Hamilton has synesthesia or something.

    “The officer was bitten by one of the surviving victims. There are two survivors, one dead, and three people unaccounted for.”

    This? This right here? This is what interests me – not Anita being horny, or her bashing Donna, or how “tuff” Anita is. So why is it we’re only getting this now?

    “I raised eyebrows at the “no special training”

    Uh, as far as this case goes, Anita? You don’t have any “special training” – yes, you know how to kill things, but you have no real investigative abilities (because your author drops the solutions in your lap), nor do have any real expertise with regards to what might be behind this (assuming it it a “what” and not a “who”). So as far as this investigation goes, you’re just in the way and potentially contaminating a crime scene.

    • I want to know about the mystery too! A monster that goes around skinning people – that’s interesting! If a bit like Buffalo Bill but more ‘ethnic’.

      But nope, we get to see the world through Anita’s eyes instead of a competent and interesting human being.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s