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


Dolph found us in the kitchen while I was helping Jason with the gloves. There’s an art to putting them on, and it was Jason’s first time, so he was like a small child with his first set of gloves, too few fingers and too many holes.

Fuck this! *puts on editor’s hat*.

Dolph came into the kitchen when I was helping Jason with his gloves. There’s a fine art to putting them on. It was Jason’s first time, so he was like a small child with his first set of gloves – too few fingers and too many holes.

Now, my grammar is not the best, but that last sentence really hurt. Plus, he can’t put on a pair of surgical gloves? Come on, dude, they’re not that difficult.

Dolph came in through the dining room the same way we’d come, though he almost filled the doorway, whereas Jason and I had walked though together with plenty of room to spare.

….

…. how big is that doorway? Fuck it, Anita and Jason are munchkins. That’s the only thing that makes sense. Anita goes on about how Dolph is actually Hulk Hogan and Dolph gets the grump as he notices Jason.

“What’s he doing here?” Dolph asked.

“You said if I wasn’t feeling well enough to drive I could bring a civvie driver, Jason’s my driver.”

“Don’t you have any human friends left?” he asked.

Yeah, that’s the issue. Not that you let a civilian into a crime scene and let him rub his hands on everything. Dolph isn’t happy with this but Anita and Jason just ignore him to talk about how surgical gloves feel ‘wet and powdery all at the same time’ and they have no idea why. Well, they shouldn’t feel wet, unless some cop pissed in them before you took them, but the powder can be there to dry your sweat or to just help keep them on your skin. Anita should know that these gloves have powder in. Back when this was written, non-powdered gloves weren’t that common.

Dolph keeps asking her to take Jason out of the crime scene. Jason and Anita keep talking about their gloves.

I slipped into my own pair of gloves with practised ease.

“Gosh,” Jason said, “that was nifty, you made that look easy.”

“Anita!” It was almost a yell.

We both looked up at Dolph. “You don’t have to shout, Dolph, I can hear you just fine.”

You’re a rude piece of shit, Anita Blake. Dolph is, effectively, your boss. Do you think I could get away with treating my boss like that? You think that ANYONE could get away with acting like that around their boss?

Anita whines about how Jason can’t go outside because of stupid reasons and Dolph is just getting more and more pissed. Detective Merlioni comes in and defers to Anita because…. um, he just does, and Dolph is just getting more mad. Anita tries to keep Jason in the garden, but Dolph just asks again for Jason to leave.

“Dolph, I do not feel well enough for this shit.”

“What shit?”

“Your shit with anyone not lily-human,” I said, and I sounded tired, not angry.

‘Lily-human’? Ah, so good humans are white. Good to know.

“Get out.”

I looked up at him. “What did you say?” Get out, take your pet werewolf and go home.”

“You bastard. […] I told you I was too sick to drive when you woke me up. –

No, you didn’t. I read the chapter. You didn’t mention you were sick at all.

– You agreed I could bring a driver, even a civilian. You didn’t say he had to be human. Now after dragging my ass down here, you’re going to send me home without having seen the crime scene?”

“Yes,” Dolph said, that one word almost choking in its brevity.

“No,” I said, “you’re not.”

“This is my murder, Anita, and I say who stays and who goes.”

“I’m not here on your sufferance, Dolph. I’m a federal marshal now, and I have the right to investigate any preternatural crime that I see fit.”

I can’t even get mad. If anyone, ANYONE, tries to argue to me that this is a well-written series, it features a likeable, realistic heroine, and approaches dark subjects with any maturity, I’m just going to show this chapter. Where Anita Blake helps some goober to put on gloves while her boss asks her a dozen times to comply with his orders and get an untrained civilian out of a crime scene. Because this? This is bullshit. Who the fuck thinks this is good writing?

Dolph gets pissed that Anita just won’t go or behave like an adult. She won’t go. Why?

“If I think your direct orders are jeopardizing this investigation, then, yes I am.”

“Never question my professionalism again, Anita, never.”

“When you act like a professional, I won’t.”

ANITA BLAKE IS ACCUSING SOMEONE ELSE OF BEING UNPROFESSIONAL.

AFTER THE WHOLE GLOVES NONSENSE? HOW THE FUCK DOES ANYONE TAKE THESE BOOKS SERIOUSLY?

Dolph has had enough and is going to show Anita exactly why Jason shouldn’t be in the crime scene. Uh, other than that being against all the rules. Like, all of them. Especially that one. He then grabs Anita. Bad touch, dude. I only support you so far.

Anita whines about how sick she feels. Sorry, I don’t care. I mean, this is really horrible, but I’m glad that someone is finally saying no and showing you that your actions have consequences.

The crime scene is a knock-off of the Mary Kelly crime scene. That’s what it is. There’s a woman mutilated on bed, as if in sleep, and the room is splattered with her gore.

Dolph then holds Anita’s face and body into the side of the bed, and I stop enjoying his anger. Because now he’s ruined the case and is actually torturing a woman, knowing that she has a strain of lycanthropy and might be affected by the blood.

He taunts her by saying one of her friends did this.

Okay, LKH has yet to write a believable antagonist. They are hammy, ridiculous, and not scary. This? This is fucking scary and I don’t think LKH knows why. Because this is the shit that police officers actually do, especially to people of colour and minorities. (and jeeeez that is weird timing)

This is the only thing I have ever found realistic or scary in these books.

Detective Perry tries to break this torture up, but Dolph just shoves Anita’s face in more evidence. There are claw marks everywhere, so it might have been a shapeshifter. Not that you can ever bring this case to court, though. Seeing as you rubbed Anita’s face in all the evidence.

Perry tries to get Dolph to stop being a fucking torturing arsehole but Dolph starts ranting about how Anita must know who is responsible. Well, yeah, probably, but this isn’t the way to go around proving that. At all. Anita stomps on his instep with her heel, which should break her heel but whatever, she attacks him and is somehow stronger than him. Because reasons.

Anita gets away and then slips in the blood.

Yeah, that’s what happens when you wear HIGH HEELS TO A CRIME SCENE.

I landed hard n my ass, and blood spattered upwards. It soaked through my skirt and I struggled to my knees to keep it from soaking into my panties. The blood was cool to the touch, and then my knee smeared in something that wasn’t blood.

OK, the idea of getting someone’s blood in you cootch is disgustingly unpleasant, but I like the fact that Anita is covered in shit right now. Heh heh. I am that childish. She rushes out, vomits on the carpet, and passes out at the top of the stairs.

The floor came up to smack into my body, and there was nothing but a soft, gray nothingness, then the world was black, and my head didn’t hurt at all.

LKH has still never passed out, I see. Still sticking to the same, boring, inaccurate descriptions. Although she managed to write the torture very well.

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

  1. ….the fuck? Does Jason have a disability that impacts his fine motor skills? It’s a fucking pair of gloves. And of course Anita gets praise even for this small “skill” ugh

    She passes out more than a Victorian novel lady, I swear

    • You’ve got to remember that Anita’s totes amazeballs. No one puts on a pair of gloves like Anita Blake!

      You can tell the book’s moving into the second act when Anita passes out.

      • Also, “lily-human” makes no sense. The reason “lily-white” is a phrase is because lilies actually are white. I get the metaphor she’s trying to make, but you can’t just take racial phrases, insert “human/monster” where “white/POC” would normally be, and have that make any sense. Also, it’s a good opportunity for worldbuilding—surely there’s a term to differentiate the baseline humans from the rest?

      • Yeah, but worldbuilding takes effort. It’s not like she ever thinks about this world. She just took a clock and nailed an LED to it, and tried to claim it’s wicked cool.

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