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All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

01/03/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy All Together Dead in the USA - or Buy All Together Dead in the UK

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pub: Gollancz. 323 page small hardback. Price: 12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-575-08390-5).

check out website: www.orionbooks.co.uk

Sookie's back and now as she's a TV star as well, it's hard to read the books without having toothy Anna Paquin sitting in my brain speaking her lines. But Sookie's a stronger character and I've got my own picture of the sassy Southerner still trying to do right by humans, Were and the undead.

Following the catastrophic events of 'Definitely Dead', Sookie returns to Shreveport with her new friend Amelia and Bob the Cat. Bob's the result of some enthusiastic experimenting by Amelia who went to bed with Wizard Bob but woke up with a new furry friend. Both Amelia and Bob are waifs in the storm as now she's lying low from the New Orleans witches and the city is trying to recover from the devastating hit by Katrina.

Sookie is asked to do some more work for the Queen of Louisiana. Sophie Ann wants to use Sookie's special skills of telepathy at the vampire summit. She is going to be on trial for murdering her king hours after the marriage ceremony. Only Sookie witnessed the truth of the situation and she must testify before the vampire council.

She needs the money and although reeling from Bill's revelations, Sookie decides to go with the Queen's entourage. She's put her relationship with the lovely were-tiger Quinn on a holding pattern but just maybe she will get the chance to be with him at the summit as he's organising some of the events there.

Despite the distraction of the TV series, 'True Blood', I really enjoyed this novel. Harris is very good a pacing her revelations and plot. She manages to give us glimpses of what might be coming and presents fantastic scenarios in a believable fashion. Sometimes the dialogue feels stilted but, overall, the book moves along at a good pace. Once again, she has produced another instalment in the Sookie story in which she grows up a little more and develops. It also hints of a bigger arc. Since Sookie discovered her partly faerie blood, she's wondering where it came from and what she might expect. There's plenty more to keep us coming back. It's not all over with Bill, is it? What about the Were-Tiger? What clues has Sookie missed in Shreveport whilst she's away on vampire business? The readers want to know more.

Sue Davies

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