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Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #9)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Enjoyable and Engrossing

I truly enjoy this series and heartily recommend this latest multi-layered addition. This book is a murder mystery about the crucifixion of Sookie's estranged were-panther sister-in-law and a tale of survival when Sookie becomes the target in a war between two faerie fa...
I truly enjoy this series and heartily recommend this latest multi-layered addition. This book is a murder mystery about the crucifixion of Sookie's estranged were-panther sister-in-law and a tale of survival when Sookie becomes the target in a war between two faerie factions. These two story lines, with the help of a few plot twists, are ingeniously interconnected and thrillingly concluded. The romantic sub-plot (which begins a relationship between Sookie and Eric and ends with Sookie's last minute doubts about Bill) is also a fun and interesting read. Personally, I hope her relationship with Eric continues for awhile. Although Sookie has not yet realized who she really loves, I have no doubt that her 'true love' will be revealed at the series' end. Until then, I'm happily, (although a bit impatiently), along for the ride.

Occasionally, the story's flow is slightly slowed by extraneous events (see below)*; however, overall reading enjoyment is not diminished. Further, unresolved issues concerning the FBI and Sookie's half-fae great uncle linger at book's end. Although unessential to solving the mystery, these unsettled matters tend to niggle any reader who prefers 'end of book' answers to all questions.

As regards the Eric vs. Bill dilemma, IMO Bill and Sookie have been done to death. Bill will fight to the death for Sookie, but in Dallas he pursued the humans leaving Sookie unprotected while Eric took a bullet for her. Plus, Bill has always disregarded Sookie's monetary needs, (like her potholed driveway), while perversely providing economic independence for his distant and clueless descendants. In contrast, even when uninvolved with Sookie, Eric was attentive to her economic needs and tried to help her to the greatest extent she would allow. Most importantly, Eric has never really been in-love and he doesn't really know what Sookie means to him. In the distant past he cared for his family, but he never had a love relationship. He doesn't know what it means when he wonders why he hasn't had 'enough' of Sookie even after a night of lovemaking, and that is pretty intriguing. On the other hand, when Sookie asked Bill to emotionally commit to her in the past, Bill responded by telling her that he had already lived and loved during his human life. (Note, I'm not even counting Bill's presumably involuntary break-up with Skokie at the direction of his maker, and his sudden disappearance from her life. Plus, it's impossible to forget Bill's 'car trunk' rape and mauling of Sookie, as well as his failure to reveal that he had been ordered to befriend and seduce her.) Of course, there's always Sam. He loves Sookie and, as an added bonus, he's actually alive.


*(Unnecessary/unresolved subjects include: Octavia's immaterial household presence and departure; Sam's inconsequential out-of-state trek and family problems; the FBI's superfluous and unresolved involvement; Quinn's pointless and brief appearance; Hunter's clairvoyance issues; the seemingly useless knowledge about the unavenged killing of Sookie's parents; the inexplicable behavior and questionable motivation and whereabouts of Sookie's half-fae great uncle; and the diverting but unessential public 'shapeshifter' reveal.)

posted by dalnewt on May 26, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Is this the same Mrs. Harris? The author?

Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of Mrs. Harris' work (not just the Southern Vampire series). She is one of the few authors that I keep coming back too. I have almost always found her books entertaining and well-written. With that being said I would like to review ...
Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of Mrs. Harris' work (not just the Southern Vampire series). She is one of the few authors that I keep coming back too. I have almost always found her books entertaining and well-written. With that being said I would like to review Dead and Gone, the latest installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. This book managed (in 320 pages)to take away everything that I have ever like about this series. Let me explain. One thing I like about the books is that they are told from Sookie's point of view. While this book does the same thing, it was horrible because there was hardly any dialogue. The book was mainly filled with her thinking...could've, would've, should've. Blah, I can do that myself and don't want to read about someone else doing it no matter how short the book is. Basically if this book were to be made into a movie it would fall under the silent film category. Secondly, while a lot of loose ends were tied up, there was hardly any plot at all. Yes, there was a murder, but haven't we come to expect a murder in this series by now (one way or another). There was also a war with the supernatural. Again, not the first time that's been done in this series. The war (if one can call it a war) didn't take place until close to the end of the book and was over within a couple of pages. It seemed to me that Mrs. Harris threw the war into the book because she realized after page 290 that her book was anticlimactic. Hopefully the real Mrs. Harris didn't write this. Any day now the publisher will issue a statement apologizing for the huge mistake. Then, the FBI will quit wasting time in this book and start investigating the real problem...who is this imposter claiming to be Charlaine Harris? To sum it up, I feel more than disappointed. Some of the characters are thrown in just to make some sort of appearance and our protagonist acts as if she will have a mental breakdown and end up in a straightjacket. I understand Sookie has been through a lot and feels strained. However, if that's the direction Mrs. Harris is going to take her personality I think it would be best to set the next book up in the Bahamas. Otherwise, Sookie won't be much use to us. In Hindsight, maybe I built this book up to much (I had a year) and I ended up setting my expectations so high that no matter what Mrs. Harris wrote I would've been disappointed. Then again, maybe the increase in fans, money and demands became to much for Mrs. Harris and this was the result. Maybe, it was both reasons.

posted by TNVolsFan25 on May 8, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2009

    Entertaining but felt rushed

    Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of the Sookie series. That being said, I was a little let down by this edition. It seemed to be lacking substance. The plot was too rushed. I wish Harris had spent a little more time on developing the story. The book could have been much longer, which would have allowed for more explanation. There are, as many have stated, a lot of characters. I didn't have a hard time keeping up, but some interactions were unnecessary (i.e. the Tara section). Overall, the book was good, but left me wanting more. This is the first time I felt robbed at the end. It lacked closure.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This Book is DEAD AND GONE from my library collection.

    I love the series! I couldn't wait for book 9 to come out but after reading and finishing it, I could have waited another year. We have grown to love the relationship between Sookie and Eric and this book lacks that. She keeps the reader wanting more but not in a good way. Her writing style is utterly confusing in this book. She skips from thought progression and live moments awkwardly and confusing at times. One minute Sookie is thinking about making a sandwich and the next she is on the phone with some one....(Sequence not actually in the book but you get the picture). I was left having to reread back sentences to figure out what just happened and where I got lost. I'd have to say that the most disappointing "action" sequence from the book was towards the end during (SPOILER) Sookies torture time. Charlaine never really reaches a climactic point for me in the book. This would have been an excellent moment for that..During this sequence she tells the reader that Sookie was being tortured (rather than explain) and then has the reader back in when she's rescued. I would have loved to have felt something during those few chapters but alas, nothing. I'm left feeling nothing from the whole book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    ENOUGH ALREADY.....!!

    I started this series after reading the Twilight series because like many, I was still enthralled by the world of vampires. Although I was reluctant at first because the characters and story line are very different, I was very soon completely engrossed and I could not put the books down. The first few books were incredible, the plots have just the right balance of mystery,suspense,humor and romance to keep you on the edge of your seat. But as I read on, I find myself getting annoyed at the characters. It feels like the author keeps creating more scenarios for the sole purpose of keeping a story going that should have wrapped up a few hundred pages back. Also, I used to admire Sookie for her strenght and her resilience and she is always quoting her grandmothers favorite quotes from the bible. She considers herself a good person with sound moral values. However, it annoys me that she justifies her sexual behavior by saying that Bill introduced her to great sex so now if any male whom she finds attractive touches her, she cannot control herself. I am no prude and these books are not for prude people to begin with, but this is a bit much. Sookie has turned into a loose character with "big lust" as she puts it and if any man holds her hand it creates a "straight line to her hootchie", give me a break. Also, she used to be really conflicted about people getting killed and now she just figures, "better them than me". I am all for the plot taking unexpected paths, that is what good writing is all about, I just wish the characters would stay true to themselves. I feel like I dont even know them anymore. I wish Ms. Harris would wrap this story up already so I can find out who is it that Sookie wants to have sex with the most since she does not seem to be able to actually fall in love with anyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Eric

    I have to say I absolutely love Eric. He was in the book, but not very much. Sookie and Eric are building their relationship and I am so happy.... Finally!! I wanted to see more of their development, but the book was good as it talked a lot about the fae. A must read, but not a must buy if you are looking for a lot of Eric.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not so thrilled.

    I can't say this was a bad book. It actually starts pretty good, and we can see real evolution in every character. It starts as a natural progression from the book before, we get to know Eric better, but also Arlene, etc. My problem is really with the plot. It starts really good and strong, but there are a lot of loose ends in the story, a lot of things you don't see resolving, and towards the end, you really don't know where you are headed, and I'm not talking abouut the thrill at the end that'll make you bite your nails 'till the next book comes out. I'm talking 'what tha...' kind of scenario here. And I don't like to see a broken Sookie, if she's anything is strong.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    A bit Disappointing

    Okay, so don't get me wrong. I usually LOVE the Sookie books, but this one just wasn't up there with some of the others. I got done reading it and felt like nothing happened. There wasn't very much excitement. Nothing extremely important was accomplished. The weres came out, but nothing really became of that. Perhaps I'll read it again and my outlook will change, but it doesn't seem likely. Sadly enough, maybe Sookie is caput. Or maybe I just got so excited about this book that it just wasn't worth the hype and wait. I will give it another chance.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a fan of this series but this one was not up to par.

    I am a fan of this series but this one was not up to par. This seemed more like a series of events than a story. Even for Sookie way too much happened each day. I could have used less action, some of which seemed random, and more focus on really good storytelling. And I am probably the only one but I miss Andre - he added a menacing touch.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Too much in only 312

    NO real spoliers ahead, as you should know what to expect from Harris by now.

    In Dead and Gone, there is a LOT going on with Sookie in a short amount of time. While I love the series, and I understand that the point of the book is to show that Sookie's life has drastically changed in a short amount of time, and not for the better in many ways, this book feels too rushed. In book 9, there are some 'facts' that Sookie knows that are not mentioned in the other books (Eric's past details and Claudine's family, for example). I re-read the entire series in less than 2 weeks in prepping to get this one, and these facts weren't there. This causes not only the disjointed feeling for series readers, but gaps in plot/character development that harden the reader as much as Sookie's newest portrayal. While book 9 too quickly moves Sookie along, the ride isn't completely unenjoyable - just be ready for some bumps and bruises after the hills and valleys. Also, be prepared to say goodbye to old and new characters.

    In book 9, Sookie deals with a lot at once, and there are, literally, at least 3 subplots to the MAIN plot of the book, which is a little buried under the others. An expanded edition of this book, perhaps another 100pages, would have flushed things out a bit more and helped the newer characters develop, as there isn't time enough to care about some folks; in some parts, even what Sookie goes through is rushed and we don't have the emotional impact we once had... though that may be intentional since Sookie doesn't feel it the same way either. The book removes some charactres that have built up along the series; some of it seems logical and some seems too rushed to give us time to properly say goodbye.

    This 9th installment, overall, seemed less intentional with the writing, and I could actually see the book in terms of the TrueBlood/TV series rather than as a part of the Sookie/book series- problematic since the show will diverge from the books more and more. I think that Charlaine would better serve us, her reader/fan base, by taking these great plots a little slower and being more intentional with the writing, like she did in the mid-series books. I imagine she feels some pressure since the books are quick reads (we are a demanding bunch since we are emotionally invested in the characters), but the rushed plot development in 9 causes a disjointed feeling, or that there is a little too much going on to make it 'realistic'... or as much as a vampire novel can be, anyway.

    Let's all hope that Book 10 is a little slower and dives back into Sookie's fallout of book 9, rather than a new and more outrageous plot from which neither us, nor Sookie, may be able to recover.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

    If you're already invested, worth a read

    I love Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series and have eagerly devoured each one when it comes out. I was excited for this one as well but it lacks the oomph her earlier novels had. Too much buildup and then all the drama occurs at once. It makes for uneven storytelling. If you're already invested in the series, then it's still worth a read and it's not bad enough to make me stop reading the series either.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Appropriately named

    The first 4 books of this series were great, I couldn't read them fast enough. In books 5 thru 8 the characters personalities started to change; we were introduced to blood bonds and tricked marriage pledges but never given an explanation of what they meant or if they would affect the story and/or Sookie. I found book 9 short and vague, as if someone is telling you what happens rather than you experiencing the adventure, the events were told but the details were weak. It appears the author was in a hurry to meet a deadline and wasn't sure where she wanted the story to go, so it didn't go anywhere. Now that Sookie no longer thinks about how much she hates Bill, she doesn't think about him at all; even though he's dying because he saved her life, she doesn't consider his illness among her regrets of the Fairy War. Sookie and Sam's friendship is strained. Quinn has been sent away by Eric and Sookie accepts it without question. And now that Eric and Sookie are lovers, Eric seems pre-occupied and serious, he has lost his fun, sexy, lust for life that we loved in the beginning and Sookie, the sweet, fiesty barmaid, has become depressed and unhappy and is beginning to lose her appeal. All the fun, exciting characters we met and loved in 'Dead Until Dark' seem to be 'Dead and Gone'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Little bored now of the series

    Here we are at book 9 of the stookie stackhouse books. I have to say, after finishing this, I was telling the author in my head, "just make her a vampire geez." This woman has had to many near death experiences for my taste within the past, what..? year? Each book comes out with a different plot to kill Stookie, I have to say, that's getting a big annoying. She's constantly wanting to stay out of harms way but, she can't because of those she hangs around. By this time, I wish the author would get rid of the reluctantness of her.

    I did enjoy no cliff hanger endings and the next book took up right after the first. The chars seemed realistic in my taste. Sure it took 9 books for Eric and Stookie to get together but, I think during those 9 books we spanned 1 year? Maybe..? I was hoping she'd never get back with Bill and she stuck to that. What did annoy me was the fact that every guy she met wanted her.

    I wont stop the series, I just got bored with it after reading 9 books in a row, I suppose thats the reason. I do recommend this book and the others to those that enjoy vampires, werewovles, panthers, and the like.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2009

    Not the best from MS. Harris

    I was really disappointed by this one...I feel like there are so many unanswered questions. Like, why did Eric not come when Sookie needed him? He said he would tell her and it's not in the book. Also, what about Quinn? Sookie never even thought about him again after he is turned away by Eric. And then there is Bill, oh the Bill situation. Other Sookie Stackhouse novels by Ms, Harris left no unanswered questions, but they left you wanting more. It has to be a good book to leave you wanting more and this was my least favorite of the series I only want to read the next one to wrap us questions about this book.
    There seems to be many different stories going on in this book and none of them are quite completed and the ones that are thank goodness!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    DIFFERENT, SEEMED TOO PUSHED

    I am in NO WAY knocking the book, but this book and the one before it seemed too RUSHED, things started well, and I still recommend for those who are so attached to the HBO series, they really need to read the series because it offers so much more. I admit that I was a little disappointed in this particular book, sort of falling off from the one before. But certain story topics verged on being too drawn out, or rushed, till it just dropped off ( too quickly ) at the finish. ( sort of the wham bam, and thats all folks ) I would have liked to have seen the last two books, on certain chapters, more detailed, while others a little less drawn out, even if it mean't buying another book. ( I love a long book, as in The Stand *special edition* LONG but held my fullest attention ), I was left disappointed when it just dropped off way too quick. I was really enjoying the story line but my interest began to wane. Ms. Harris has a great following, and I cannot see a need for her to rush any story line, after finishing, it wasn't like I was left wanting more, I was left with a big ? mark...like the story ending just dropped off and fell into some Literary hole.. I would have loved to have seen what could have been in this part of the storyline. Either way, Ms.Harris's sookie series is now a part of my personal library. ( Keepers ). Am curious to see what the new title brings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good-not as good as expected

    I really have enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series thus far and was a little let down by this book. There was a good deal of action but it was not altogether cohesive. The plot seemed like filler and did not really move the central plotline of the series forward. I enjoyed the unveiling of the shapeshifters and look forward to reading more about that. There were some other events that were interesting; and some interesting characters were eliminated. The book was entertaining but not altogether satisfying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Decent book but not as good as previous books...

    I am a fan of this series so it is easy for me find anything written about Sookie Stackhouse enjoyable. However, it was a nice book but not the one that blended from the last book to the next. The 8th book ended with Sookie discovering that her cousin's son was a telepath. This book barely acknowledges this event. This was a big let down.

    The topic of the fairies was interesting as it gives Sookie more insight as to what really happened with her parents. But it was kind of a let down since she may not ever see her grandfather again.

    Overall, decent book if you're a fan. But, I'm hoping that the next book will answer the question that I and other fans may have, Bill or Eric.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointed Read

    Let me say that I absolutely love this series. I really really do. Harris has compelling characters and excellent plotlines. Her tone and style really help shape and cultivate the stories she composes. However, I don't know if it was all the hype surrounding this book or what, but I was disappointed with this book. The Weres and Shifters have come out of the closet and now society has to deal with this new revelation: an intriguing idea, and one I have been looking forward to for awhile. However, this Sookie was not the Sookie I was used to. She actually gets a commitment out of someone, then goes on to question it after wanting it for so long. Then, after Bill has been written off her love radar, she proceeds to get her feelings reignited. Seriously, the love triangle (Bill/Sookie/Eric) needs to end. I wouldn't mind Quinn getting into the mix since he definitely has some unfinished business with Sookie, but Bill??? Come on! That ship has sailed a long time ago. The ending wasn't up to par either. I was left going "what?" when I'm usually "gotta get the next book right now"! Plus, there were so many glaring inconsistences it really jerked me right out of the story. Not every author is perfect, I know, but seriously, the continuity issue was a huge problem as it conflicted a lot with the story. This book felt incredibly rushed and sub-par. I would've gladly waited an entire additional year if it meant better quality.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2009

    the newest book was a disapointment

    I have enjoyed the series since the start. Sookie and Bill, Eric, Sam are all great and seem to jump off the pages at you. This last book was to involved with trying to take her away from home and I think that is the wrong way to go. If she leaves Bon Temps the series is as good as dead. The story line is about her and the vampires then you added the weres, witches, shapesifters and then fairies. Maybe you just added too muvh too soon. It just seems too much off the track. And I agree with the others reviews that she needs to be with Eric or Bill. I think I would perfer Eric. I think the Fairy part was unnessary

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Glad I didn't buy it

    I got it from the library because I hated the last book and because of all the negative reviews this time.
    This book was better than the last however. I like the bonds between Sookie and Eric. It is very exciting and erotic. Eric really opened up about his past to Sookie, but we were left wanting more. The conversation stopped suddenly and never regained any momentum. Bill is stil devoted to Sookie and I want him back sooo bad. He seems truly remorseful. Near the end of the book, he was there for Sookie when Eric was not, Bill protected her, shielded her, held her hand when she needed it and Eric was too busy. Where was he anyway when she was being tortured? He never explained where he was!!
    The story ended well, I liked how Niall spoke about the vampire loving her, but did not say which vampire it was, left us guessing. But I hope he meant Bill. I forgive Bill for all his mistakes in the past, time Sookie did too.
    For the next book, I will borrow it from the library again though. Harris' writing style is strange and jumps around too much. Quinn was in and out of the story in one page, Alcide was there briefly, I can't really remember who did kill Crystal, it was such a big deal at first, but with all the fairy nonsense, it kind of got pushed to the background near the end. The FBI investigation was unimportant, the telepathic nephew was barely mentioned...blah blah.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    NOT UP TO SNUFF!

    I love reading Ms. Harris's books. We all wait quite a while for these books to come out, then pay top dollar to read it, and we deserve more than what we got. I don't know that the plot was rushed, there wasn't much of one to begin with. This really felt like a "coming attraction" to me. The story was never fully developed, it could hardly stand on its own. These books make a lot of money, and it was so short. Make it longer and make it so we don't have to wait so long for the next tidbit. These books have been about for a while, and we still don't know alot about the other characters. I can understand wanting your audience to come back. But we will be back, unless the next book is just as frustrating. Then I'll start waiting for the paperback or buy it used.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Avid Reader

    I have to say I was extremely dissatisfied with "Dead and Gone". One of the problem is Sookie is really starting to annoy me. In the first book I loved her character and the whole she's smarter then she let on. Unusually in a series the heroine show great growth in the progression of a series and it seems to me Sookie has regressed. I cannot stand how whenever she is with on guy she is always thinking about the men she is not with. She tries and makes herself out to be a nice person but she is really selfish and really shallow. She is exactly like her brother Jason. She is forever blaming her feeling for Eric on the Blood Bond and I am growing tired of her character period. I really do hope this series is coming to an end soon. I will still read her other books Sookie books because I have invested so much time into reading this series. I just want Sookie to finally pick a guy and be done with it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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