Review: Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris

dead as a doornail

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #5

Sookie Stackhouse, Bon Temps waitress and telepath, is trying to be supportive of her brother Jason’s ordeal. After having been abducted by Felton Norris of the Hotshot werepanter community and changed, Jason Stackhouse has a whole new life to live – he will change at the full moon now, a normal life if over. Initially he seems despondent about it, but soon Sookie learns that Jason is loving his new life, and is slightly envious that he is not a  full-fledged werepanther. Calvin Norris, leader of the Hotshot community, is severely shot and ends up in hospital, hanging on by a thread. Soon Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s friend and boss, gets shot, too. It becomes evident to her that someone is hunting the shape shifters in the community. Sookie, meanwhile, is still trying to deal with having murdered Debbie Pelt, psychotic ex-girlfriend of Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf and friend of hers. This is proving to be difficult when the Pelt family sends out two private detectives to look into matters a little more closely.

Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5, has still not remembered what happened in the time that he spent living at Sookie when the witches blanked out his memory, and does not like the fact that Sookie will not fill him in on the details. When Sam sends Sookie to Eric’s bar Fangtasia to ask for a favour, Sookie is miserable. There Eric loans Sam the English pirate vampire, Charles, to help out at Merlotte’s. Sookie’s ex-boyfriend, Bill Compton, also a vampire, still seems to be out of the picture, and Sookie is torn between him and Eric, though she is also tired of the danger being around them places her in. Sookie is also terrified to learn that the Hotshot community suspects Jason of the shootings, and that he may very well be in danger when the new moon comes.

Woken in the middle of the night by her fairy protector, Claudine, Sookie narrowly escapes her burning house. Much of it is saved, but Sookie will still need somewhere to stay in the meanwhile. Sookie and Alcide are on bad terms after he uses her to assist his father, Jackson, in his bid for packleader of the Shreveport werewolves, figuring she owes him one for killing Debbie. Sookie is beyond furious, saying she would have helped him without being obligated. Alcide tries to help her with her home, and Alcide proposes a more romantic relationship, though Sookie has no interest in that. Sookie, too, gets shot, and the detectives have no idea that what links the victims is that they are shape shifters, though it is uncertain who shot Sookie and why. Tara Thornton, a friend of Sookie’s, seems to be in over her head with her new vampire lover, and even Eric warns Sookie to stay away.

Will Eric ever figure out what happened during his stay at Sookie? Will the Hotshot werepanthers attack Jason, or is there some way that he can be cleared? Who is out to get Sookie, and why? Who is shooting the shape shifters in town, as well as the outlying areas? Will Jackson, Alcide’s father, win his bid for the pack? Will Tara ever get out of the trouble she is in with Mickey?

GRADE 6.5This book was alright. It was not as funny as the last one, but it was a pretty good outing. It was more focused on Sam and the shifters, which was cool, and a lot about the werewolves and their politics, which I also liked. I missed reading more about Eric, though I still prefer having less of Bill in here. Sookie really, really needs to start making up her mind about who she wants to be with. I find it a little frustrating that she is permanently getting a little too close and personal with far too many different men, all at once. Granted, I know she is not tied to a single one of them at the moment, but currently she is just playing with all of them. Calvin Norris is still an interesting character, though he is starting to get a little ominous now, which should be setting off alarm bells in Sookie’s head. Also, Patrick Furnam’s warning should have been the final nail in the coffin lid for her, so to speak, but she does not seem to be taking it too seriously. Nothing really happened in this book, to be honest. I mean, things happened, but not too much. It felt like a filler book, although it was entertaining for me nonetheless. It’s a quick read, interesting, though not as good as the ones I have been reading before this. I think after the last one had so much Eric and the other vampires in it, I kind of missed them in here.

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