Category Archives: Paranormal Mystery
When a childhood friend of Abby’s from Denver, Colorado, finds herself short one bridesmaid, it doesn’t take a professional psychic to see the opportunity for a much-needed getaway. But one bridesmaid after the next is mysteriously flying the coop, and Abby’s intuition tells her their final destination isn’t pretty. With the wedding party falling apart and her gift of sight never quite so foggy, Abby has to save the date-and herself from becoming the next taffeta-clad target.
“Curiouser and curiouser!” ~ Alice
“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at.” ~ Mad Hatter
Abby and Dutch have, what she’d hoped would be, a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. But, when things don’t go as planned and Dutch tells her that he needs a little time to work on a major FBI case, she feels like he’s blowing her off and they split. She heads to her best friend’s wedding in Denver. There she reunites with her BFF’s older brother and Abby’s former crush, Duffy. When Abby sees a picture of Gail, one of the bridesmaids, she realizes she’s dead. Abby tries to help Sheriff Duffy find the body and the killer. She starts to believe the killer is her BFF’s fiance. Not exactly the relaxing vacation she’d planned.
“What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations” ~ Alice
“That’s just it. If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.” ~ The Hare
“Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves” ~ The Dutchess
“We are all mad here.” ~ The Cheshire Cat
With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can’t ‘read’ vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his ‘child’ Pam well – and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new Queen on the board . . .
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Gollancz
Read: 16 July 2011
**Warning: This review contains SPOILERS!**
It was all a dream! Sookie wakes up in a sweat freaking out only to realise it was all just a harmless nightmare. Her life isn’t a supernatural mess, she’s settled down with her man and is happily living in domestic bliss. The curtain comes down on the book.
That didn’t happen but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does, as a series closer that is. There was so much WTFery in Dead Reckoning it’s hard to know where to start. My feelings shifted through indifference, exasperation, WTH and the occasional chuckle.
Changing agendas and personalities of the characters over the last few books has left me lukewarm. Sookie is no longer someone I sympathise with. My exasperation came into play with what I perceive to be Sookie’s drawn out break up with Eric. It’s been on the cards for a while and many fans have predicted such a thing. Sookie thinking of her future and the impossibility of children with her current beau, his love of violence and her hatred of it plus his level of understanding of her feelings plummeting when the bond is severed has her reconsidering her options.
It seemed like Harris was throwing men at Sookie left, right and centre, offering them up as alternatives. Alcide’s weird Little Red Riding Hood move was both completely out of character and unexpected. Alcide has always been a gentleman and gentlemen simply do not take off their clothes and slip into a girl’s bed without her knowledge or permission when little more than polite words have passed between them in recent times -WTF? Creepy as hell.
Claude eyeing Sookie’s close friendship with Sam, her desperate run, whilst completely starkers, into dead-to-the-world Bill’s arms to hide from kidnappers -did she have to be naked? Did we have to be reminded of his love her and his willingness to get back together? Even her fae family were being offered up as possible love interests? Erm, incest anyone? I know Sookie’s Christian beliefs have had to stretch to accommodate her increasingly dangerous lifestyle but incest is probably pushing it.
The storyline was partly one that wouldn’t die. The death of Debbie Pelt which if I remember correctly was in book 4. This is #14. Debbie’s sister Sandra who’s one-track mind is hell bent on Sookie’s death -again, by any means necessary. The other part is how-to-get-rid-of-Victor. Digging up old storylines and rehashing them isn’t something I’m interested in, while the Victor-problem was much the same; someone seeks to control Sookie and friends and they must be eliminated, only the character to be disposed of has changed.
The introduction of a certain fae object is discomforting and leads me to believe what I’ve said in my opening paragraph is entirely possible. I really don’t want to know what Sookie will use it for, whether it be a selfish purpose or an altruistic one.
Claude, Dermot and the fae from Hooligans sparked my interest. I wished we could’ve seen more them and their plans. Dermot was sweet and I enjoyed his renewed vigor and sense of purpose.
I’m not so secretly hoping for a Hamlet ending -one in which everyone dies, including Sookie herself. I think that’s the only way to both shock readers who’ve predicted Sookie’s final situation and ensure the series isn’t somehow extended beyond an all ready long overdue point. I’m ready for Sookie stories to go the way of the dodo.
Harper Connelly has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who’s passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she’s providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living-but she’s used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Traveling with her step-brother Tolliver as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she’s become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it’s always urgent-even if the dead can wait forever.
Mass Market Paperback, 263 pages
Published September 13th 2007 by Gollancz
Read: 11 June 2011
I started off reading the book and listening to the audio at the same time but the narrator, Ms. Monotone put me off so I gave up on her and relied on my own inner voice as I read the rest of the book by myself.
The first half was pretty interesting but at 51% I’d guessed the main murderer and the motive. After that, the book was no longer as interesting as I waited to be proved right or wrong. The violent attempts on Harper’s life kept me reading but if it hadn’t been for those the rest might’ve dragged. In the end, I was disappointed to be proved right in my guess.
However, Harper’s background with her difficult childhood and family situation together with her intelligent observations and reactions to how others treat her as well as her determination to not be damaged by them, are the reason why I’m awarding this 3 stars instead of 2.
Her relationship with her brother is an odd one and is explained by Tolliver’s observation:
“You need to stop reading mysteries for a while. Or get a new sidekick.”
“Yeah, if you’re the brilliant sleuth, I must be the slightly denser but brilliant-in-my-own-way sidekick, right?”
“More like Sharona.”
“That’d make me Monk?”
“If the shoe fits.”
Monk is a TV show in which Sharona is Monk’s nurse, handler and personal assistant all rolled into one. Harper was hurt by Tolliver’s evaluation of his role in her life because it was a little too close to the truth but just because she was extremely vulnerable without him she managed to survive when she was physically attacked. She fought back with gusto and refused to back down to a pack of teenage bullies surrounding her. I admired Harper for this. She could easily play the role of a typical victim, persecuted for her natural talent for detecting the dead, their names and cause of death after being struck by lightning.
Tolliver, on the other hand, I couldn’t get a complete grasp on him. I wasn’t enamoured with him at all despite his obvious caring and protectiveness towards his step-sister. They live difficult lives on the road and I sympathised with their way of life, their erratic and depressing sex lives and just a general lack of genuine friends and family whom they can turn to in a crisis.
Overall, the mystery wasn’t quite as mysterious as it first appeared but the characterisation and observations of the leading lady made up for this.
In comparison to Harris’ other paranormal series, Sookie Stackhouse, this has a much more serious tone and a darker outlook on the realities of life.
I have the next two in the series so I will continue reading.