Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #12)

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Overview

It?s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie?s heart?

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she?d rather not know. And now that she?s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she?d rather not see?like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.

There?s a thing or two she?d like to say about ...

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Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #12)

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Overview

It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.

There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

To put it mildly, the homicide created a very embarrassing situation. The dead body that someone plops in Eric Northman's front yard happens to be the corpse of a woman whose blood has just been sucked by Felipe de Castro, the sitting Vampire King of Louisiana (not to mention Arkansas and Nevada.) To quell unfortunate gossip and, oh yes, solve the murder, Sookie and her partner will have to pull out all the paranormal stops. The twelfth Southern Vampire series installment in a winner. A readymade delight for fans of HBO's True Blood; now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
The events of Dead Reckoning—particularly the death of the despicable but powerful vampire Victor—have consequences for Sookie Stackhouse and her supernatural gang in Harris’s intriguing 13th and penultimate series installment. When Sookie’s vampire husband, Eric Northman, summons her to his Shreveport home to welcome the visiting king, Felipe de Castro, and his entourage, she’s shocked to find Eric feeding on another woman while the king and his underlings ravage their own humans downstairs. The woman Eric fed from turns up dead on his front lawn and someone calls the police, putting Eric and Felipe’s entourage under suspicion. With the help of ex-boyfriend Bill Compton, Sookie grudgingly sets out to clear Eric’s name while trying to keep the local fae under control after her kin, Claude and Niall, return to the land of Faery. As loyalties realign and betrayals are unmasked, Harris ably sets the stage for the ensemble’s last hurrah. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary Agency. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Vampires and werewolves and fairies, oh my: just another day in the life of Harris' navel-gazing southern belle. This one makes it an even dozen in the lingering chronicles of Sookie Stackhouse, but don't expect the old girl to call it a day anytime soon. Not when there are hangovers to conjure, love triangles to traverse, and enough extraneous characters in this convoluted fantasy serial to make Game of Thrones look under-populated. For the uninitiated, don't even attempt to gain entry here, even if you've seen an episode or two of HBO's more sexually blatant adaptation, True Blood. Suffice to say that part-fairy, vampire-loving barmaid Sookie remains much the same, if a bit more tedious than usual. The book opens with Sookie out on a girls' night at paranormal strip club Hooligans, uncomfortably watching her relative, Claude Crane, strip for a rowdy crowd. The night tosses a sour note to Sookie, whose relationship with vampire Eric Northman is never easy. "Just because I wasn't pregnant and wasn't married to someone who could make me that way, that was no reason to feel like an island in the stream," she says. Sookie is also justifiably anxious about the motivations of those around her, as she continues to hide her possession of the powerful magical artifact called a cluviel dor, an ancient fairy love gift. But protecting her hidden treasure becomes a secondary concern when Sookie discovers her lover at one of Bon Temp's infamous parties, drinking from Kym Rowe, a younger woman. Unfortunately Eric's bedtime snack bites it within a matter of hours, winding up on the sheriff's front lawn with a broken neck. Naturally it's up to Sookie, with some significant help from her other vampire lover, Bill Compton, to navigate the dizzying conflicts between the vampire, were and fae hierarchies to root out the cause of the girl's untimely death. A dull, overly complicated entry in the swampy gothic romance that feeds fans and starves newcomers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937007447
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Series: Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series , #12
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 154,474
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author for both her Sookie Stackhouse fantasy/mystery series and her Harper Connelly Prime Crime mystery series. She has lived in the South her entire life.
 

Biography

A native of the Mississippi Delta, Charlaine Harris grew up in a family of avid readers (her father was a teacher; her mother a librarian). She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, graduating in 1973 with a degree in English and Communication Arts. Although she penned poetry and plays in school, her first serious foray into fiction was with two standalone novels, Sweet and Deadly and A Secret Rage, published (effortlessly!) in the early 1980s.

After her early success, Harris released the first installment in a series of lighthearted mysteries starring spunky, small-town Georgia librarian, true crime enthusiast, and amateur sleuth Aurora Teagarden. When Aurora debuted in Real Murders (1990), Publishers Weekly welcomed "a heroine as capable and potentially complex as P. D. James's Cordelia Gray." The book went on to receive an Agatha Award nomination.

Anxious for another challenge, Harris began a second series in 1996. Darker and edgier than the Teagarden novels, these mysteries featured taciturn, 30-something housecleaner Lily Bard, a woman with a complicated past who has moved to the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, to find peace and solitude. The first novel, Shakespeare's Landlord, was well-received. BookList raved: "Harris has created an intriguing new character in this solidly plotted story." [Much to the disappointment of her fans, Harris concluded the Lilly Bard sequence in 2001 with Shakespeare's Counselor.]

Although Harris achieved moderate success with these two series (which she laughingly describes as "cozies with teeth"), she would hit the jackpot in 2001 with Dead Until Dark, a sly, spoofy paranormal mystery starring a telepathic Louisiana cocktail waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, who falls in love with a vampire named Bill. The novel, a delightful hybrid of mystery, science fiction, and romance, was an instant hit with critics. ("Harris' Sookie has the potential to attract more readers than Hamilton's Anita Blake," raved the dark fantasy magazine Cemetery Dance.) Readers, too, adored the Southern Vampire Series and have rewarded the author with bestseller after bestseller. (In 2008, the Sookie saga came to HBO in a top-rated television adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.)

With 2006's Grave Sight, Harris added yet another fascinating character to her stable -- a young woman named Harper Connelly whose youthful encounter with a lightning bolt has left her with the ability to find corpses and determine how they died. In addition to juggling characters and plots for her popular series, Harris has also contributed short stories and novellas to several anthologies of paranormal fantasy fiction.

Good To Know

In our interview, Harris confesses:

"I'm really a boring person. My family (my husband and three children) is the most important thing in my life. I go to bed early, I get up early. I love to go to the movies with my husband. My favorite things about finally making some money as a writer are (a) I can buy as many books as I want, and (b) I can hire a maid. The first job I had was working in an offset darkroom at a very small newspaper. I stood on a concrete floor all day and made minimum wage -- which then was $1.60 an hour. I hated it, and I learned a lot, though not necessarily about working in a darkroom. So being a writer is much better."

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    1. Hometown:
      Southern Arkansas
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 25, 1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tunica, Mississippi
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Rhodes, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter Two

Fairies. Never simple. My grandmother, Adele, would definitely have agreed. She’d had a long affair with Dermot’s fraternal twin Fintan, and my aunt Linda and my father Corbett (both dead for years, now) had been the results.

“Maybe it’s time for some plain speaking,” I said, trying to look confident. “Niall, maybe you could tell us why you’re pretending Dermot isn’t standing right here. And why you put that crazy spell on him.” Dr. Phil to the fae –– that was me.

Or not. Niall gave me his most lordly look.

“This one defied me,” he said, tilting his head at his son.

Dermot bowed his head. I didn’t know if he was keeping his eyes down so he wouldn’t provoke Niall, or if he was concealing rage, or if he just couldn’t think of where to begin.

Being related to Niall, even at two removes, was not easy. I couldn’t imagine having a closer tie. If Niall’s beauty and power had been united with a coherent course of action and a nobleness of purpose, he would have been very like an angel.

This conviction could not have popped into my head at a more inconvenient moment.

“You’re looking at me strangely,” Niall said. “What’s wrong, dearest one?”

“In the time he’s spent here,” I said, “my great–uncle has been kind, hard–working, and smart. The only thing that’s been wrong with Dermot is a bit of mental fragility, a direct result from being made crazy for years. So, why’d you do that? ’He defied me’ isn’t really an answer.”

“You haven’t got the right to question me,” Niall said, in his most royal voice. “I am the only living prince of Faery.”

“I don’t know why that means I can’t ask you questions. I’m an American,” I said, standing tall.

The beautiful eyes examined me coldly. “I love you,” he said very unlovingly, “but you’re presuming too much.”

“If you love me, or even if you just respect me a little, you need to answer my question. I love Dermot, too.”

Claude was standing absolutely still, doing a great imitation of Switzerland. I knew he wasn’t going to chime in on my side, or Dermot’s side, or even Niall’s side. To Claude, the only side was his.

“You allied yourself with the water fairies,” Niall said to Dermot.

“After you cursed me,” Dermot protested, looking up at his father briefly.

“You helped them kill Sookie’s father,” Niall said.

“I did not,” Dermot said quietly. “And I’m not mistaken in this. Even Sookie believes this, and she lets me stay here.”

“You weren’t in your right mind. I know you would never do that if you hadn’t been cursed,” I said.

“You see her kindness, and yet you have none for me,” Dermot told Niall. “Why did you curse me? Why?” He was looking directly at his father, his distress was written all over his face.

“But I didn’t,” Niall said. He sounded genuinely surprised. Finally, he was addressing Dermot directly. “I wouldn’t addle the brains of my own son, half–human or not.”

“Claude told me it was you who bespelled me.” Dermot looked at Claude, who was still waiting to see which way the frog would jump.

“Claude,” Niall said, the power in his voice making my head pound, “Who told you this?”

“It’s common knowledge among the fae,” Claude said. He’d been preparing himself for this, was braced to make his answer.

“According to whom?” Niall was not going to give up.

“Murry told me this.”

“Murry told you I had cursed my son? Murry, the friend of my enemy Breandan?” Niall’s elegant face was incredulous.

The Murry I killed with Gran’s trowel? I thought, but I knew it was better not to interrupt.

“Murry told me this before he switched his allegiance,” Claude said defensively.

“And who had told Murry?” Niall said, an edge of exasperation in his voice.

“I don’t know.” Claude shrugged. “He sounded so certain, I never questioned him.”

“Claude, come with me,” Niall said, after a moment’s fraught silence. “We will talk to your father and to the rest of our people. We’ll discover who spread this rumor about me. And we’ll know who actually cursed Dermot, made him behave so.”

I would have thought Claude would be ecstatic, since he’d been ready to return to Faery ever since entrance had been denied him. But he looked absolutely vexed, just for a moment.

“What about Dermot?” I asked.

“It’s too dangerous for him now,” Niall said. “The one who cursed him may be waiting to take further action against him. I’ll take Claude with me . . . and Claude, if you cause any trouble with your human ways . . .”

“I understand. Dermot, will you take over at the club until I return?”

“I will,” said Dermot, but he looked so dazed by the sudden turn of events that I wasn’t sure he knew what he was saying.

Niall bent to kiss me on the mouth, and the subtle smell of fairy filled my nose. Then he and Claude flowed out the back door and into the woods. Walking is simply too jerky a word to describe their progress.

Dermot and I were left alone in my shabby living room. To my consternation, my great–uncle (who looked a tiny bit younger than me) began to weep. His knees crumpled, his whole body shook, and he pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes.

I covered the few feet between us and sank to the floor beside him. I put my arm around him and said, “I sure didn’t expect any of that.” I surprised a laugh out of him. He hiccupped, raising reddened eyes to meet mine. I stretched my free arm to reach the box of tissues on the table by the recliner. I extracted one and used it to pat Dermot’s wet cheeks.

“I can’t believe you’re being so nice to me,” he said. “It’s seemed incredible to me from the beginning, considering what Claude told you.”

I had been a little surprised myself, to tell you the truth.

I spoke from my heart. “I’m not convinced you were even there the night my parents died. If you were, I think you were under a compulsion. In my experience of you, you’ve been a total sweetie.”

He leaned against me like a tired child. By now, a human guy would have made a huge effort to pull himself together. He’d be embarrassed at displaying vulnerability. Dermot seemed quite willing to let me comfort him.

“Are you feeling better now?” I asked, after a couple of minutes.

He inhaled deeply. I knew he was drawing in my fairy scent and that it would help him. “Yes,” he said. “Yes.”

“You probably need to get a shower and have a good night’s sleep,” I advised him, floundering for something to say that wouldn’t sound totally lame, like I was coddling a toddler. “I bet Niall and Claude’ll be back in no time, and you’ll get to . . .” Then I had to trail off, since I didn’t know what it was Dermot truly wanted. Claude, who’d been desperate to find a way to enter Faery, had gotten his wish. I’d assumed that had been Dermot’s goal, too. After Claude and I had broken the spell on Dermot, I’d never asked him.

As Dermot trudged off to the bathroom, I went around the house checking all the windows and doors, part of my nightly ritual. I loaded a couple of dishes into the dishwasher while I tried to imagine what Claude and Niall might be doing at this moment. What could Faery look like? Like Oz, in the movie?

“Sookie,” said Dermot, and I jerked myself into the here and now. He was standing in the kitchen wearing plaid sleep pants, his normal night gear. His golden hair was still damp from the shower.

“Feeling better?” I smiled at him.

“Yes. Could we sleep together tonight?”

It was as though he’d asked, “Can we catch a camel and keep it as a pet?” Because of Niall’s questions about Claude and me, Dermot’s request struck me kind of weird. I just wasn’t in a fairy–loving mood, no matter how innocently he intended it. And truthfully, I wasn’t sure he hadn’t meant we should do more than sleep. “Ahhhhh . . . . no.”

Dermot looked so disappointed that I caught myself feeling guilty. I couldn’t stand it, I had to explain

“Listen, I understand that you don’t intend that we have sex together, and I know that a couple of times in the past we’ve all slept in the same bed and we all slept like rocks . . . it was a good thing, a healing thing. But there are maybe ten reasons I don’t want to do that again. Number One, it’s just really peculiar, to a human. Two, I love Eric and I should only bunk down with him. Three, you’re related to me, so sleeping in the same bed should make me feel really squicky inside. Also, you look enough like my brother to pass for him, which makes any kind of vaguely sexual situation double squicky. I know that’s not ten, but I think that’s enough.”

“You don’t find me attractive?”

“Completely beside the point!” My voice was rising, and I paused to give myself a second. I continued in a quieter tone. “It doesn’t make any difference how attractive I find you. Of course you’re handsome. Just like my brother. But I have no sex feelings about you, and I’ve come to realize the whole idea’s just odd. So we’re not doing the fairy sleep–a–thon of comfort any more.”

“I’m sorry I’ve upset you,” he said, even more miserably.

I felt guilty again. But I made myself suppress the twinge. “I don’t think anyone in the world has a great–uncle like you,” I said, but my voice was fond.

“I’ll never bring it up again. I only sought comfort.” He gave me Big Eyes. There was a hint of laughter turning up the corners of his mouth.

“You’ll just have to comfort yourself,” I said tartly.

He was smiling as he left the kitchen.

That night, for the first time in forever, I locked my bedroom door. I felt bad when I turned the latch, like I was dishonoring Dermot with my suspicions. But the last few years had taught me that one of my grandmother’s favorite sayings was true. An ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure.

If Dermot turned my doorknob during the night, I was too soundly asleep to hear it. And maybe my ability to drop off that deeply meant that on a basic level I trusted my great–uncle. Or trusted the lock. When I woke the next day, I could hear him working upstairs in the attic. His footsteps sounded right above my head.

“I made some coffee,” I called up the stairs. He was down in a minute. Somewhere he’d acquired a pair of denim overalls, and since he wasn’t wearing a shirt underneath he looked like he was about to take his place in the stripper lineup from the night before as The Sexy Farmer with the Big Pitchfork. I asked Sexy Farmer with a silent gesture if he wanted any toast, and he nodded, happy as a kid. Dermot loved plum jam, and I had a jar made by Maxine Fortenberry, Holly’s future mother–in–law. His smile widened when he saw it.

“I was trying to get as much work finished as I could while it wasn’t so hot,” he explained. “I hope I didn’t wake you up.”

“Nope. I slept like a rock. What are you doing up there today?” Dermot had been inspired by HGTV to hang some doors in the walk–in attic to block off a part of the big room for storage, and he was turning the rest of the floored space into a bedroom for himself. He and Claude had been more or less bunking together in the small bedroom and sitting room up there. When we’d cleared out the attic, Dermot had decided to “repurpose” the space. He’d already painted the walls and refinished and resealed the plank floor. I believe he’d recaulked the windows, too.

“The floor is dry now, so I built the walls. Now I’m actually putting in the hardware to hang the doors. I’m hoping to get that done today and tomorrow. So if you have anything you want to store, the space will be ready.”

When Dermot and Claude had helped me carry everything down from the packed attic, I’d gotten rid of the accumulated Stackhouse debris –– generations of discarded trash and treasures. I was practical enough to know that moldering things untouched for decades really weren’t doing anyone any good, and the trash had gone in a large burn pile. The nice items had gone to an antique store in Shreveport. A few of the smaller items had already sold; I’d gotten a check from Brenda Hesterman and Donald Callaway at Splendide.

While the two dealers were at the house looking through the possibilities, Donald had discovered a secret drawer in one of the old pieces of furniture, a desk. In it, I’d found a treasure: a letter from my Gran to me, and a unique keepsake.

Dermot’s head turned at some noise I couldn’t yet hear. “Motorcycle coming,” he said around a mouthful of toast and jelly, sounding almost eerily like Jason. I jerked myself back into the here and now.

I knew only one person who regularly travelled by motorcycle.

A moment after I heard the motor cut off, there was a knock at the front door. I sighed, reminding myself to remember days like this the next time I felt lonely. I was wearing sleep shorts and a big old T shirt, and I was a mess, but that would have to be the problem of my uninvited guest.

Mustapha Khan, Eric’s daytime guy, was standing on the front porch. Since it was way too hot to wear leather, his “Blade” impersonation had suffered. But he managed to look plenty tough in a sleeveless denim shirt and jeans and his ever–present shades. He wore his hair in a geometric burr, a la the Wesley Snipes look in the movies, and I was sure he would have strapped huge weapons to his legs if the police would have let him.

“Good morning,” I said, with moderate sincerity. “You want a cup of coffee? Or some lemonade?” I tacked on the lemonade because he was looking at me like I was crazy.

He shook his head in disgust. “I don’t take stimulants,” he said, and I remembered — too late — that he’d told me that before. “Some people just sleep their lives away,” he remarked after glancing at the clock on the mantel. We walked back to the kitchen.

“Some people work late at night,” I said, as Mustapha —who was a werewolf — stiffened at the sight and scent of Farmer Dermot.

“I see what kind of work you been doing late,” Mustapha said.

I’d been about to explain that Dermot had been the one who’d worked late, while I’d only watched him work, but at Mustapha’s tone I cancelled that plan. He didn’t deserve an explanation. “Oh, don’t be an idiot, you know this is my great–uncle,” I said. “Dermot, you’ve met Mustapha Khan before. Eric’s daytime guy.” I thought it more tactful not to bring up the fact that Mustapha’s real name was KeShawn Johnson.

“He doesn’t look like anyone’s great uncle,” Mustapha snarled.

“But he is, and it’s none of your business anyway.”

Dermot hiked a blond eyebrow. “Do you want to make my presence an issue?” he asked. “I’m sitting here eating breakfast with my great niece. I have no problem with you.”

Mustapha seemed to gather up his stoic Zen–like impassivity, part of his Blade persona, and within a few seconds he was his cool self. “If Eric don’t have a problem with it, why should I?” he said. (It would have been nice if he had realized that earlier.) “I’m here to tell you a few things, Sookie.”

“Sure. Have a seat.”

“No thanks. Won’t be here long enough.”

“Warren didn’t come with you?” Warren was most often on the back of Mustapha’s motorcycle. Warren was a skinny little ex–con with pale skin and straggly blond hair and some gaps in his teeth, but he was a great shooter, according to Mustapha.

“Didn’t figure I’d need a gun here.” Mustapha looked away. He seemed really jangled. Odd. Werewolves were hard to read, but it didn’t take a telepath to know that something was up with Mustapha Khan.

“Let’s hope no one needs a gun. What’s happening in Shreveport that you couldn’t tell me over the phone?”

I sat down myself and waited for Mustapha to deliver his message. Eric could have left one on my answering machine or even sent me an emai,l rather than sending Mustapha –– but like most vamps, he didn’t really have a rock–solid trust in electronics, especially if the news was important.

“You want him to hear this?” Mustapha tilted his head toward Dermot.

“You might be better off not knowing,” I told Dermot. He gave the daytime man a level blue stare which warned Mustapha to be on his best behavior and rose, taking his mug with him. We heard the stairs creak as he mounted them. When Mustapha’s Were hearing told him Dermot was out of earshot, he sat down opposite me and placed his hands side by side on the table very precisely. Style and attitude.

“Okay, I’m waiting,” I said.

“Felipe de Castro is coming to Shreveport to talk about the disappearance of his buddy Victor.”

“Oh, shit,” I said.

“Say it, sister. We’re in for it now.” He smiled.

“That’s it? That’s the message?”

“Eric would like to you to come to Shreveport tomorrow night to greet Felipe.”

“I won’t see Eric till then?” I could feel my face narrow in a suspicious squint. That didn’t suit me at all. The thin cracks in our relationship would only spread wider if we didn’t get to spend time together.

“He has to get ready,” Mustapha said, shrugging. “I don’t know if he got to clean out his bathroom cabinets or change the sheets, or what. ’Has to get ready’ is what he told me.”

“Right,” I said. “And that’s it, that’s the whole message?”

Mustapha hesitated. “I got some other things to tell you, not from Eric. Two things.” He took off his sunglasses. His chocolate–chip eyes were downcast; Mustapha was not a happy camper.

“Okay, I’m ready.” I was biting the inside of my mouth. If Mustapha could be stoical about Felipe’s impending visit, I could too. We were at great risk. We had both participated in the plan to trap Victor Madden, regent of the state of Louisiana, put in place by King Felipe of Nevada; and we had helped to kill Victor and his entourage. What was more, I was pretty sure Felipe de Castro suspected all this with a high degree of certainty.

“First thing, from Pam.”

Blonde and sardonic, Eric’s child Pam was as close to a friend as I had among the vamps. I nodded, signaling Mustapha to deliver the message.

“She says, ’Tell Sookie that this is the hard time that will show what she is made of.’”

I cocked my head. “No advice other than that? Not too helpful. I figured as much.” I’d pretty much assumed Felipe’s post–Victor visit would be a very touchy one. But that Pam would warn me . . . seemed a bit odd.

“Harder than you know,” Mustapha said intently.

I stared at him, waiting for more.

Maddeningly, he did not elaborate. I knew better than to ask him to. “The other thing is from me,” he continued.

Only the fact that I’d had to control my face all my life kept me from giving him major Doubtful. Mustapha? Giving me advice?

“I’m a lone wolf,” he said, by way of preamble.

I nodded. He hadn’t affiliated with the Shreveport werewolves, all members of the Long Tooth pack.

“When I first blew into Shreveport, I looked into joining. I even went to a pack gathering,” Mustapha said.

It was the first chink I’d seen in his “I’m badass and I don’t need anyone” armor. I was startled that he’d even tried. Alcide Herveaux, the packleader in Shreveport, would have been glad to gain a strong wolf like Mustapha.

“The reason I didn’t even consider it is because of Jannalynn,” he said. Jannalynn Hopper was Alcide’s enforcer. She was about as big as a wasp, and she had the same nature.

“Because Jannalynn’s really tough and she would challenge someone as alpha as you?” I said.

He inclined his head. “She wouldn’t leave me standing. She would push and push until we fought.”

“You think she could win? Over you.” I made it not quite a question. With Mustapha’s size advantage and his greater experience, I could not fathom why Mustapha had a doubt he would be the victor.

He inclined his head again. “I do. Her spirit is big.”

“She likes to feel in charge? She has to be the baddest bitch in the fight?”

“I was in the Hair of the Dog yesterday, early evening. Just to spend some time with the other Weres after I got through working for the vamps, get the smell of Eric’s house out of my nose . . . though we got a deader hanging around at the Hair, lately. Anyway, Jannalynn was talking to Alcide while she was serving him a drink. She knows you loaned Merlotte some money to keep his bar afloat.”

I shifted in my chair, suddenly uneasy. “I’m a little surprised Sam told her, but I didn’t ask him to keep it a secret.”

“I’m not so sure he did tell her. Jannalynn’s not above snooping when she thinks she ought to know something, and she doesn’t even think of it as snooping. She thinks of it as fact–gathering. Here’s the bottom line . . . don’t cross that bitch. You’re on the borderline with her.”

“Because I helped Sam? That doesn’t make any sense.” Though my sinking heart told me it did.

“Doesn’t need to. You helped him when she couldn’t. And that galls her. You ever seen her when she’s got a mad on?”

“I’ve seen her in action.” Sam always liked such challenging women. I could only conclude that she saved her softer, gentler side for him.

“Then you know how she treats people she sees as a threat.”

“I wonder why Alcide hasn’t picked Jannalynn as his first lady, or whatever the term is,” I said, just to veer away from the subject for a moment. “He made her pack enforcer, but I would have thought he would pick the strongest female wolf as his mate.”

“She’d love that,” Mustapha said. “I can smell that on her. He can smell that on her. But she don’t love Alcide, and he don’t love her. She’s not the kind of woman he likes. He likes women his own age, women with a little curve to ’em. Women like you.”

“But she told Alcide . . .” I had to stop, because I was hopelessly confused. “A few weeks ago, she advised Alcide he should try to seduce me,” I said awkwardly. “She thought I would be an asset to the pack.”

“If you’re confused, think how Jannalynn’s feeling.” Mustapha’s face might have been carved in stone. “She’s got a relationship with Sam, but you were able to save him when she wasn’t. She halfway wants Alcide, but she knows he wanted you, too. She’s big in the pack, and she knows you have pack protection. You know what she can do to people who don’t.”

I shuddered. “She does enjoy the enforcement,” I said. “I’ve watched her. Thanks for the heads–up, Mustapha. If you’d like a drink or something to eat, the offer still stands.”

“I’ll take a glass of water,” he said, and I got it in short order. I could hear one of Dermot’s rented power tools going above our head in the attic, and though Mustapha cocked an eye toward the ceiling he didn’t comment until he’d finished his drink. “Too bad he can’t come with you to Shreveport,” he said then. “Fairies are good fighters.” Mustapha handed me his empty glass. “Thanks,” he said. And then he was out the door.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 1181 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1181 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Time to end the series

    I have been a fan of this series since the beginning... Last years book was a disappointment and this years book was not any better. I do believe it has lost its flare since the TV series Trueblood started. I miss the way the books use to tell the story of vampires and humans trying to come to an understanding. It just keeps getting further and further out there now. I am sick of the entire fairy thing. I am saddened by the way the wonderful writing of the books seemed to nose dive after the first season of TrueBlood :(

    93 out of 124 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Sooo Disappointed

    I cannot believe was had a wait an entire year for this book to come out. I have loved this series all the way up to the last two books (11 & 12) I think Ms.Harris must be tired of writing the southern vampire series. I think she is being so dis-ingenuousness to the characters she created. I cannot believe Eric and Sookie would ever interact with each other they way they have these past two books. She has tried to completely change Eric into something he's simply not. I am going to be soooo mad if Sookie ends up with Sam at the ends of this series; and it seems like that is indeed what's going to happen. I have to ask myself what was the whole point of this series and everything that Sookie has went through if she ends up with a man she could of had in the very first book within the first few chapters. What a let down.

    81 out of 98 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a teen and love this series!!! Such an awesome story line.

    I am a teen and love this series!!! Such an awesome story line. Finished it very quickly.

    64 out of 86 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Completely disappointed by this book. It wasn't worth the 14.99

    Completely disappointed by this book. It wasn't worth the 14.99 for 260 pages. I have never put my Nook down and walked away when reading a Charlaine Harris book. But with this one I did. It was like climbing a hill that never ended. The story never sped up or hooked me. It felt like Charlaine Harris just called it in. The good points were that the cluviel dor storyline ended..albeit very anti-climatically. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It has a TON of filler and very little plot lines that actually are need to know before you read the last book when it is released.

    55 out of 65 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    I don't think that Deadlocked lives up to the first few books.

    I don't think that Deadlocked lives up to the first few books. Characters that made this series fun and exciting have drastically changed. The plot is unbelievably easy to predict after a few chapters. Things are conveniently solved and swept under the rug. Worst, Ms. Harris has built Sookie and Eric's relationship over almost the whole series only to butchered it now. Sam is a good "best friend" and nothing more. After all, who was the one to attend to Sookie's needs (physically and emotionally) and protect her throughout these books? Sam did nothing for her but hooked up with worst possible girlfriends. Eric and Sookie's relationship add fun and interest to these books. Since Ms. Harris seem to have already decided who Sookie should have a happily ever after with, I will stop here and not buy the last book. What is the point of this make-believe world anyway? I am very disappointed and feel that I have wasted my time and money. I feel that Ms. Harris has done a good job of teasing the readers but could not deliver. I won't be buying or reading any more books from her.

    54 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    I am honestly shocked at some of the poor reviews-I felt this bo

    I am honestly shocked at some of the poor reviews-I felt this book continues in the same style as the rest of the series. At the beginning Sookie had a very narrow list of experience-but it has broadened to include not only other beings, but new ideas. I never saw these as books explaining the world of vampires, but the story of Sookie. So yes, a lot of time is spent with the ponderings of Sookie (she has a lot more to think about now), and they have become a bit more pragmatic and tougher, yet she still remains true to her core-a woman from a small southern town, with a Christian upbringing and a desire to find her place in the world.

    I was also surprised to see how many voiced displeasure with the unraveling of her relationship with Eric, I always felt it was a foregone conclusion. While Sookie loved many things about him, there are some fundamental differences in their belief systems that could never be overcome. From the very beginning she was shocked/dismayed at his lack of feeling for those around him. Honestly, I don't think that arrogance and disassociation can solely be blamed on his being vampire-Eric just really, really likes Eric! Also ultimately Eric could never give her what she truly craves-a sense of security and family (and lets not forget the whole scenario regarding his possible unlimited lifetime and her aging scenario) . I admit I have been rooting for Sam from the beginning-yes, he showed interest in her from the first book-but Sookie needed to learn more about herself before she could know what she really wants/needs. Go Team Sam!

    So count me as one who has been a fan from day one to today-and I anxiously/sadly await the final book.

    51 out of 73 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Very disappointed

    I read this in one sitting and really wish I had saved the time to do something else, like weeding. It focused only on the fairy locket and her indecisiveness on what to do with it. Everything else was just bylines. Her interactions with Eric were extremely brief and filled with her whining and brooding instead of actually talking to him and listening to him to try to get the answers she wanted. As far as her 'working with Bill in an investigation' she had a couple of interactions where they spoke briefly, and one when he needed her help to rescue someone. Very misleading. Even the threat of the King of Nevada was thinly done, only making an appearance in the beginning. At least the fairy thing is finally done with. At 260 pages for the Nook and 76 pages longer in print it was not worth the money paid.

    39 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    Disappointing...to say the least

    I have been committed to this series from the beginning. The last novel was lackluster and this was not any better. It's sad to see these beloved characters not remain true to form. The author seems to have lost her vision for the very characters that drew so many to her novels. Much of the book seemed to lack direction...as if the author began writing without a concept in mind. I had to put it down...I regret the purchase. Heartbreaking for me to say....

    35 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    I enjoyed this book because it wrapped up a bunch of story branc

    I enjoyed this book because it wrapped up a bunch of story branches while leaving a few for the last book in the series. That being said, this book definitely feels like the ramp up to the last book, in that certain characters and situations are introduced as a lead in for things that will likely happen in the final book; while this is necessary, it does feel like Sookie is being pulled in so many different directions, and it can be slightly exhausting for the reader.

    As an Eric fan, this book was both good and bad. Not everything had been wrapped up with him, and it is unclear as to how his and Sookie's story line will progress into the final book. I often felt like she was dragging on the situations with him, and I wanted there to be some solid decisions made. I would be extremely disappointed if the 13th book ends the relationship and tries to shoehorn in a new one: why drag out this tension between Sookie and Eric for 12 books if there is no final payout? There is a lot up for interpretation at this point, and it will definitely be a long year until the 13th book is released.

    32 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    Save your money. I wish I had. Charlene Harris has just phoned

    Save your money. I wish I had. Charlene Harris has just phoned in the last few books. I won't buy another, nor will I use brain energy to read them anymore. Shame really, I was in love with the series until two books ago when it started feeling like she was fulfilling a contract, not actually developing characters and telling a good story.

    31 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    I am extremely disappointed in this book. Based on the author'S

    I am extremely disappointed in this book. Based on the author'S comments regarding how badly she felt about her prior Sookie book, whuch I agree was also bad, i had big hopes for this one and am even more disappiinted.
    i strongly urge Ms. Harris to take her time and really WRITE the next one rather than trying to meet some market deadline. She wrote some truky good books so i know its possible but its been too long since. She is at serious risk of losing her audience and reputation and self~respect as a writer if she doesnt get back to her real abilities.
    please Ms. Harris. show your true fans that you can still do it! PLEASE !!!

    25 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Anonymous

    Disappointing, poor interactions between characters. I used to love this series but the past two books have definitely been lacking. Not worth $14.99

    24 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Ugh...felt like I could cry

    I love Sookie and I love Eric. But this book did not, at all, seem true to their personalities. Sookie complained and whined, Eric was cold, neither of them spoke to each other. Nothing was resolved or really even expanded upon. This could have just been added on to book 11. I'm so frustrated with this book! I really, really, hope the last book will be more fulfilling.

    21 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2012

    I finished the book on day of release. I have to say that I agre

    I finished the book on day of release. I have to say that I agree with the others who are disappointed and am happy that there is only 1 book left in this series. The beginnings of the book seem to rehash the last book and rehash the backgrounds of all the characters. It seems to me as if, at this point, Ms. Harris is mainly writing for profit and banking on the success of True Blood. You wait a year for a book and it comes out and it's really no more then a recap for the first few chapters.

    I will say that the book got better in the 2nd half and I was "just okay" with the ending. I do hope that in her final book of the series we get a bit more meat and revisit the original style of the first few books.

    20 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Very disipointed in this book. I started reading this series la

    Very disipointed in this book. I started reading this series last year when I lost my job and was instantly hooked. I read all the books in 1 weeks time and was so excited for this one to be released. The storyline never really came together. It seemed to me like it was the material that was left over from the last book, and she just used it to release another book.

    I was very disipointed in the Eric/Sookie resolution. It never really got anywhere.

    I hope the last one is better than this one.

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Answering Cane315's Question: This is the next to last Sookie

    Answering Cane315's Question: This is the next to last Sookie Stackhouse book. There will be one more, then that will be it. That's what penultimate means from the Publisher's Weekly review (and yes, I had to look it up, never heard of it before).


    The book itself was much better than the last two. I almost didn't buy it cause I was so disappointed in them. I'm sick of all the rehashing that Charlaine Harris does. Seems like 1/3 of the last few books has just been repeating what happened in previous books. That gets old fast. There is some recapping in Deadlocked, but not as bad as before.

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Amount of pages

    This isnt a review, just a reminder. Nook book contents dont show as the same amount of pages as a hard back book. A 400 page book may show up digitally as a 250-300 page book. I always look at the barnes and noble site and see how many pages there actually are. I dont understand it, but it made me much happier to have it explained to me.

    14 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Much better than the previous two in the series.

    Much better than the previous two in the series.

    14 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2012

    Very satisfying annual installment! I've read the entire series

    Very satisfying annual installment! I've read the entire series and look forward annually to the arrival of the next book. I like the books so much better than the TV series. The humor and asides in the books make me laugh out loud. I feel connected to the characters and their strange, twisty-turny lives -- and, thankfully, not quite as dark as the show. This year was a great convoluted mystery plot and a satifying tie-up of a lot of the goings-on the last couple of years, but still leaves the Eric question 'will he/ won't he'. And the return of Quinn?

    12 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Deadlocked

    I was really looking forward to reading Deadlocked but in the end I was some what disappointed with it. I made sure to go out and purchase it the first day it came out as and hoped it would have been better then the last book in the series.

    I wish that Mrs. Harris would have done a better job with Sookie and Eric relationship in this book. Nothing was settled with them and everything else was just left there. Nothing was solved and nothing completed. Not sure the final book will be any better. I really don't think everything can be left finished unless Mrs. Harris decides to write a book twice as long. Oh well I guess we will have to see next year.

    12 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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