(pb; 2002: second entry in The Sookie Stackhouse Novels)
From the back cover:
"Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of bad luck. First, her coworker is murdered and no one seems to care. Then she's face-to-face with a beastly creature that gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it).
"Point is, they saved her life. So when one of the bloodsuckers asks for a favor, she complies. And soon, Sookie's in Dallas using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved. There's just one condition: The vampires must promise to behave -- and let the humans go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly. . ."
Sookie's day-to-day activities (waitressing; hanging out with her boyfriend, Bill) take a weird turn when the body of one of her co-workers, a short-order cook named Lafayette, is found, torn apart, in a car in the diner parking lot.
A short time later, Sookie is attacked by a message-bearing maenad (Callisto) near the woods bordering Sookie's hometown, Bon Temps, Louisiana.
No mere coincidence, this attack: it has something to do with Eric Northman, head vampire in Sookie's area, who has summoned Sookie to his Shreveport bar.
Eric sends Sookie and Bill to Dallas, Texas, so she can use her mind-reading abilities to sort out a serious vampire matter there.
Not long after that, Sookie is kidnapped by The Fellowship of the Sun, a Christian hate group that kills vampires; Fellowship believers do this on what they believe for be moral/religious principles.
Like Dead Until Dark, this second book is a burn-through, character-cool, can't-set-down read.
Check this series out!
Followed by Club Dead.