The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #3
Bon Temps, Louisiana, is a small town. It is home to telepath Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress at the local bar. Her boyfriend, the vampire Bill Compton, has been working long and hard at some project he is not sharing with her, and has been a little distant. He says that he is going to Seattle to do work for the queen of Louisiana, and the two part on rough terms. His work is a secret, and apparently Bill’s superior, head of Area 5, Eric Northman, does not know about it. Within a few days Eric sends the undead Elvis “Bubba” Presley to protect Sookie until he arrives. This turns out to be a fortunate thing when Bubba kills a werewolf biker who makes an attempt on her life.
Eric’s arrival brings news that Bill is missing. Sookie was under the impression his work would take longer, yet Eric says that Bill was supposed to return home the night before and did not, and that he had been heard from again. Sookie knows nothing of the secret work that Bill had been conducting, but is aware that his computer and all the relevant material has been stored in her house. She does not share this information. Pam pushes and eventually Eric is forced to relent and share with Sookie that Bill had been in contact with his ex-lover Lorena, and it seems he has left Sookie for Lorena. Sookie is crushed, but feels that she is obligated to help Bill out at the very least, especially when it becomes evident that Lorena may very well have been the vampire to sink Bill into a world of trouble. She also brokers a deal with Eric to take Lorena out if she is responsible. Eric arranges with Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf, who owes him a favour, to take Sookie to Jackson to listen in and find out who has Bill. He does not approach Russell Edgington, the king of Mississippi, fearing that he may be involved with Bill’s disappearance.
Sookie fronts as Alcide’s new girlfriend, and gets along famously with his sister Janice. Struggling to deal with losing Bill, still needing to help him, and having been left without knowing it, Sookie is very drawn to Alcide. He is having his own serious issues what with a nasty breakup with his ex-girlfriend Debbie, a shape-shifter, the two get too cosy. The two establish that maybe one day, when they are free and their current ex-partners are no longer an issue, they could try to have something. Eric makes an appearance in Jackson as Leif, his fictitious persona that he brings out when he is undercover, and is keeping an eye on Sookie, too. A dead werewolf who threatened Sookie at the exclusive Club Dead, where she was conduction her telepathic investigation, turns up in Alcide’s closet, and the two panic, hiding his corpse. Bill is in Jackson, and Russell Edgington has him. Sookie is going to need all the help she can get from Eric and Alcide to rescue him.
Will Alcide help Sookie out when he is evidently very interested in her? Will Sookie be able to save Bill? Did Eric truly wish to spare Sookie pain when he didn’t tell her about Bill leaving her, or was it simply because it would be easier to manipulate her if she thought that all was still well? What exactly is it that Bill was working on, and how did the project get him into such a position? Did Lorena betray Bill? Do Alcide and Sookie have a future together?
Another decent entry, one that I had fun with, no matter what. Finally the huge and obligatory crack between Bill and Sookie has emerged, and we all know that usually in a romance these things are patched up. Sookie’s mind is seriously confused and all that. Bill’s kidnapping left a lot of space for Eric in this book, which I appreciated because he is a character that I thoroughly enjoy and who entertains me endlessly. He is such a cruel dude, but he is also incredibly thoughtful (in his own demented way), funny, and loyal insomuch as he is able to be. Alcide was also a new character who I liked significantly. He was hardy, down to earth, albeit a little grumpy. He is hardworking, loyal, extremely kind, and appreciative. Russell Edgington was such a brief character, flying in and out. I still find it exceptionally amusing that Elvis is among the undead community, though daft, he is royalty. He is pretty sweet. Pam still doesn’t really have a large part of this book, either, but I like her. Bill’s unfaithfulness with Lorena was swept up under the rug rather quickly, and I was hoping for more explanation and closure there, like where she had come up again, how they got in touch, blah blah blah. Now it’s just rushed off and done with. It seems that anything and everything with a supernatural power is drawn to Sookie, and that can become a little grating at times. Also, it seems that she is permanently on her death bed or being beat on, which I really don’t think is cool. She must make up her damn mind already about how and where she wants to fit in.