A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter nineteen


The second scene was in Chesterfield, which had been a hot address for the up-and-comers before most of the money moved even farther out to Wildwood and beyond. The neighbourhood that Jason drove us through was a sharp contrast to the big isolated houses we’d just seen. This was middle class, middle America, backbone of the nation kind of neighbourhood. There are thousands of subdivisions exactly like it. Except in this one, not all the houses were identical. They were still too close together and had a sameness about them, as if a hive mind had designed them all, but some were two-story, some only one, some brick, some not.

There were medium-sized trees in the yards, which meant the area was over ten years old. It takes time to grow trees.

What exactly did any of this add to the plot.

Anita and Jason draw up to the crime scene and Anita starts to freak because the press are here. Ah, yes, no doubt they will be very interested in why you’re bringing a untrained exotic dancer to a crime scene.

There were two local news vans and a handful of print media. You can always tell print, because they have the still cameras and no microphones. Though they will shove tape recorders in your face.

Wow, Anita’s so clever she can work out that the people without video cameras and a filming team aren’t involved with TV! Plus, print reporters don’t shove tape recorders in your face. They only do that in bad TV shows and films.

Jason doesn’t understand how or why the news is here (I see why you’re keeping him around) and Anita sighs about how much of a celebrity she is. For someone so ‘famous’, you’d think an investigative reporter might have taken an interest in her. Jason then helps her down the street and to the crime scene which…. um, if you’re so famous, don’t you think someone is going to question, ask, wonder why the fuck this random guy who isn’t affiliated with any law enforcement agency is strolling to a crime scene? She worries about her gun pointlessly.

I was feeling better if I could be worrying this much over my gun. Good to know. Feeling bad sucks, and nausea is one of the great evils of the universe.

Yeah, I mean genocide, poverty, the derogatory treatment of women, the 57 million children forbidden from education, disease outbreaks… none of them compare to feeling slightly sick.

Anita and Jason make their way through the… scrum of journalists, despite the fact that it was stated there were only a few there. They start bombarding Anita with questions on the crime scene and rather than just ignore them, she actually answers them. Then whines when they start to ask her whether Jason is her boyfriend.

Just don’t engage. Walk on through. But, nope, this is a ‘I’m FAMOUSSSSSS’ wank fantasy.

I did not understand why my personal life was more interesting, or even as interesting, as a murder. It made no sense to me.

Sorry, Anita, your creator has made you the centre of the universe. Sense doesn’t enter into it. Anita just whines on and on about how the press always misconstrue what she says and changes it so why for the love of God do you even say anything? She complains about how often she’s in the newspapers or on the news and I’m just like, lol, whatevs. If she’s in the news this much, someone would have investigated her life by now. There’s nothing news media likes more than tearing someone down.

Anita gets to the door. There’s a cop she knows on the door but he calls her ‘Ms Blake’ instead of Marshal and that sets off a fresh load of whining.

The uniform opened the door for us because he was wearing rubber gloves. I’d left my crime scene kit at home.

WHY??????????????

A member of a law enforcement agency – be they FBI agent, crime scene investigator, or just a beat cop making sure no one runs into a crime scene – never knows when they might be called in. You might be in the middle of your shopping. You might be sleeping. Crime don’t give a shit if you need to go and get milk. Surely, Anita, if you’re such a OMGSUPERAWESOMEMARSHAL shouldn’t you have several crime scene kits? Kept in different places in case you’re urgently called in?

She also lets Jason into the crime scene.

I see LKH has given up actually writing anything realistic or compelling. Congrats.

Anita walks around the house and complains that she can’t see the colour scheme. A ‘Detective Merlioni’ arrives and Anita knows something is up because his tie is crooked and he hasn’t been sexist towards her yet. He asks who Jason is.

“Dolph knew I was too shaky to drive, so he gave me permission to bring a driver with me.”

Yeah, a DRIVER. He didn’t say to bring him into an active crime scene! She excuses her travesty by saying ‘Oh, I couldn’t leave him outside with the press, despite there being loads of police officers’. Merlioni and Jason make a big deal about introducing themselves. Merlioni then decides to allow Jason inside the crime scene.

I’d take a picture of my agonised face at this bullshit but my face is very puffy today and you don’t need to see that shit.

Anita and Jason are left alone in the crime scene and they start to smell blood because of mystic werewolf powers. I call bullshit again because blood is quite a strong smell, especially if someone has been murdered, and I can always smell it, even in minute amounts.

Blood smells sort of sweet and metallic like old pennies, or nickels, but a lot of blood smells like hamburger. You know, it’s going to be bad, really bad, when a human being is reduced to the smell of so much ground meat.

I’ve always found that large amounts of blood smells sort of… it’s hard to describe, really. Like, metallic and sour and sort of rotten? It’s sharp and pungent, definitely not sweet. Raw beef smells sweet.

Jason and Anita talk about how freaked out they are. Anita needs him for some reason. They get rubber gloves and Anita thinks that a lot of people have been here. She wants to know where Dolph is.

I want to know where the hell the editor has been. So much of this should have just been cut. Nineteen chapters, and we haven’t even hit the secondary plot yet!

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6 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Cerulean Sins’ chapter nineteen

  1. Secondary plot? We have a primary plot? Was the the vampire who stabbed Asher? Yeah, we need a secondary plot here desperately.

  2. “I did not understand why my personal life was more interesting, or even as interesting, as a murder. It made no sense to me.”

    Reeeeaaaaalllllly? How interesting, considering that your author seems to feel the exact opposite.

    “A member of a law enforcement agency – be they FBI agent, crime scene investigator, or just a beat cop making sure no one runs into a crime scene – never knows when they might be called in. You might be in the middle of your shopping. You might be sleeping. Crime don’t give a shit if you need to go and get milk. Surely, Anita, if you’re such a OMGSUPERAWESOMEMARSHAL shouldn’t you have several crime scene kits? Kept in different places in case you’re urgently called in?”

    There’s a fundamental flaw in your reasoning, Dottie – you’re assuming the agent in question cares enough to put solving a crime ahead of their own need, and Anita just can’t/won’t do that. Remember, this is the woman who ignored the first call from Dolph because she was too busy getting laid again.

    • Anita can’t *want* to be famous. Then she won’t be humble, then she won’t be ‘likeable’. But she’s still famous for the sake of the fantasy.

      There is so much I hate in these books.

  3. “the smell of so much ground meat”

    LKH uses “so much” like this a lot, and it bugs me because it’s unnecessary and doesn’t make sense. “The smell of ground meat” would work just fine here, why add “so much”? What does that even mean?

    Is it unusual for houses in the suburbs to not be identical? Because I live in the suburbs (well I did until a few weeks ago when I finally moved out of my parents house, whoo!) and the houses don’t all look alike, they’re like…well, like she said, different, if roughly all the same size. Also the prose in that paragraph is so weird in general. LKH has such a distinct awkwardness.

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