Seriously, can you say brain dead? Because that's what I've been most of the month of May. My reading has suffered and I'm off to one of the slowest starts for a year I've had in eons. I'd blame the flood and the end of school but I think there's more to it than that. Anyway, I do finally have a new review to post and I'm looking forward to the summer break. I feel as though I'm Dobby receiving a sock!
If you're reading this, you probably know the plot of Dead in the Family, at least generally: Sookie's still with Eric (thank God!), the Weres are still having problems adjusting to being "out", and Sookie's fairy cousin Claude has come for a visit...or rather, to move in with Sookie. When a fresh body turns up on Sookie's property, things take an uneasy turn as it seems someone is setting Sookie up; meanwhile, Eric's maker shows up in Bon Temps, pulling Eric out of Sookie's life and intwining them all in the drama that is the former Russian prince, Alexei. Action, mystery, family, and Eric--seriously, what more could you want from this delicious series?
Sookie's life is always complicated, and Dead in the Family is no exception. While the relationship between Sookie and Eric is still sizzling, it's not front and center for most of the book. There is a lot of focus on Sookie's family in this book, and at least one long mystery (Dermot's role in Sookie's parents' death) is cleared up. I liked spending time with Claude, and I liked how Jason seems to be stepping up to the plate for Sookie. I also liked how Sookie interacted with Hunter; that seems a relationship developing well and helping to keep Sookie grounded. The introduction of Alexei was well written and intriguing, though I did miss Bubba. I also liked how Sookie still cares for Bill and that he's not been allowed to slip quietly away into the recesses of her life.
There's a lot to love in Dead in the Family, though not every little action was resolved and sometimes Sookie seems to be slipping into the dark side as she wrangles with characters who want to do her harm. Unfortunately for Ms. Harris, this series has become so beloved by so many (and I suspect, mixed up in emotional ways with the television series) that she's going to have a hard time pleasing the long term fans who want to see certain characters behave in certain ways. While I may not have loved every single page, I do recognize that an author cannot have every character she's created in every book, especially when we're now in the tenth title. I do feel Ms. Harris has stayed true to the spirit of the series with Dead in the Family, and I'm pleased to say it was a page turner that captured me and reeled me in. For those who were less than thrilled with it, I'd advise you to let go of your expectations for the plot and see where Dead in the Family actually leads you. I'm pleased to say that I felt this book is a return to the action-filled mysteries of the early books, and I can recommend it to all who love the Southern Vampire Mysteries.