In the latest New York Times bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Anita's life is more complicated than ever, as she is caught between her obligations to the living and the undead. A vampire serial killer who preys on strippers is on the loose. Called in to consult on the case, Anita fears her judgment may be clouded by a conflict of interest. For she is, after all, the consort of Jean-Claude, the ever-intoxicating Master Vampire of the City. Surrounded by suspicion, overwhelmed by her attempts to control the primal lusts that continue to wrack her, Anita does something unprecedented: she calls for help.
This was another big book to plough through and it took me ages to finish it. When I did finish it, sadly I was left with the feeling that it was another book padded with the same issues that I didn't like in other books in the series. I feel like a parrot saying the same things in every review but for me it is out of frustration because there are things and characters that I do like, and it gets overshadowed by the stuff I don't like.
OK lets start with the story. There is a plotline dealing with women being found dead outside paranormal strip clubs and the other story of Malcolm no longer having his vampires swearing a blood oath to behave well towards humans. These parts of the book were interesting and were back to the early Anita investigations that we saw. I do wish that she would be at one crime scene where we don't have a sexist, bigoted cop to fight with. There are so many fights in this book that we didn't need another set with the police. I do like seeing Jason in the story, talking sense into Anita about treating Nathaniel right and giving him the life that he needs without being ashamed of it. I wish we could see a bit of Anita and Jason hanging out as friends to lighten up the books a bit.
The best bit of the book for me was the emergency with Damian. It was quite exciting to see Damian losing control and the gang trying to calm him down. Yes ok, it does lead to sex for Anita and a big fight with Richard but I did like the idea, and the way that Anita has formed a new triangle with Damian and Nathaniel. Her lack of attention to eating and feeding keep endangering her people and I liked that it was being explored. What I didn't like about it was the fact it meant the ardeur needing feeding more often which is the last thing the series needs. At this rate there won't be enough men in the world to feed the damn thing. Jeez, I wish a cure could quickly be found.
But it was the non stop fights in this book that spoiled it for me. Now as well as Dolph having his say on Anita's dating habits, we have Jessica Arnet starting on her. Anita takes Micah and Nathaniel to Larry and Tammy's wedding, and the female cop Jessica Arnet is fixated with Nathaniel, jealous that Anita has two hot men and that Nathaniel has no interest in her. Later in the book she sees Anita taking part in Nathaniel's show and accuses her of abusing him physically. This bitch gives me a massive headache. She obviously took the Dolph role for this book.
Richard is at it. Just for a change, he is having a fit about Anita having new lovers, and being dragged into things he doesn't want to face. He hates that Nathaniel is acting like it's his home and Anita says that it is and she loves him. Then Ronnie comes over to moan about being rushed into monogamy with Louie, which leads to her having a go at Anita for sleeping around and being happy with her life. She also insults Anita's men which starts another bitch-fight. Between Richard, Ronnie, Dolph and Jessica, my head was ready to bloody explode. And frankly, Ronnie's behaviour in this book would have been the end of the friendship for me but she has even better bitching to come in later books.
It's just too much fighting for me. The decent story is lost under layers of bitching and misery which is a real shame. And the levels of sex go way up in this book. I'm frustrated that the potential of these books are being lost in the sex and angst.