Monday, May 13, 2013

Dead Ever After, by Charlaine Harris

(hb; 2013: fourteenth/"final" entry in the Sookie Stackhouse series)

From the inside flap:

"After the terrible events of the past weeks, both Sookie and Sam are finding it hard to concentrate on Merlotte's - and the bar is suffering for it.  But Sookie finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back.  After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed.

"Sookie's relationship with Eric Northman is in limbo.  He and his vampires are keeping their distance. . . and a cold silence.  And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

"Then Arlene is found murdered, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

"But the evidence against her is weak, and Sookie makes bail.  Helped by her assortment of friends, living and undead, she must discover the truth about Arlene's death to clear herself of suspicion.  All she knows is that two mysterious men were somehow involved.  As to whom they might be - Sookie will soon learn that she has more than one enemy waiting to get vengeance for the past.

"Nothing is ever clear-cut in Bon Temps.  What passes for truth is only a convenient lie.  What passes for justice is more spilled blood.  And what passes for love is never enough."


Fun, blast-through, series-overview read - not a murder mystery, but, rather, an effective (if brisk) character and story wrap-up of Harris's Sookieverse that occasionally dips into Sookie-based melodrama, but otherwise made this reader chuckle and sometimes feel warm and fuzzy.

My expectations were relatively low for Harris's books (in comparison to those of many Sookie fans), so I was appreciative that Dead Ever After [DEA] is a solid read. Is it great? No, because the series has been hit-and-miss since All Together Dead, the seventh book, published in 2007. (That said, I've found something to enjoy in each of the books, no matter how much or little I recommended them.)

Borrow DEA from the library before buying it; this caveat goes for especially passionate fans of the Sookie novels. 

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