I won't waste time recounting the plot of Deadlocked, other than to say a girl turns up dead on Eric's lawn a few minutes after Sookie catches him drinking from her. From there, Sookie and Co. are harassed by the police until the mystery is solved. The mystery itself is actually pretty good, with enough unanswered questions and diversions to keep me interested in finding out whodunnit. And there is a reasonable solution that involves Sookie having the veil lifted from her eyes about certain fae she knows very well. So on that front, I would give Deadlocked a solid 4 stars.
What else I liked: I liked the fae and Sookie's interactions with them. I liked that we met up with Niall again and there was some resolution to the relationship between Niall and his son Dermot. I liked the mystery; I liked Pam and I liked how Bill still seems smitten with Sookie. And I liked what Sookie does with the cluviel dor. It made sense and showed Sookie's true character.
What I disliked: Sookie and her relationship issues. I've always loved Eric, and he and Sookie together were dynamite. However, I am sick to death of the situation with he and Freyda and the fact that he and Sookie were hardly together at all in this installment was awful. I can see the handwriting on the wall and it doesn't look good for them, which makes me ill. But geez louise, if that's the case and she's going to end up with Sam, GET ON WITH IT. Stop making these two intelligent people dance around the situation and make a break.
I also dislike what ultimately happens with the fae in this novel. While I suspect Harris felt there were too many characters and the story was getting away from her, I still don't like it because we are taking away characters who have been important. And while I"m on the subject, while I like the townspeople of Bon Temps, there was too much time spent updating us on them.
In short, we need more Sookie and the story needs to move along, preferably over a longer period of time than a couple of days. Sookie needs to stand up and declare her intentions with Eric, and we need her seeing into heads more often, not just getting pieces of brain signatures.
Was this a bad book? Nope. I sped through it, and liked it. But the whole situation with Eric and Sookie must be resolved or else the entire series will flounder. I need focus for my favorite characters! I'll still be reading, but I hate to see things dragged out so long. There's still good stories in there; I hope Ms. Harris isn't turning off her loyal fans by ignoring what we loved in the first place.