Hit List (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #20)

( 997 )

Overview

A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

But some monsters are very real—and even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. The bogeymen of the vampire world, The Harlequin, are here in America hunting weretigers and human police. But Edward thinks the...

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Hit List (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #20)

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Overview

A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

But some monsters are very real—and even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. The bogeymen of the vampire world, The Harlequin, are here in America hunting weretigers and human police. But Edward thinks the serial killings are just a trap—to lure Anita ever closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted…

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Anita Blake wishes that she could be indulging in other pleasures, but for the time being at least, she has more pressing matters: A team of assassins are heading for St. Louis and she, Jean-Claude, and Richard are at the top of their hit list. A Barnes & Noble Bestseller; now in mass-market and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
As punchy as her first foray, Anita Blake's 20th adventure (after 2010's Bullet) finds the intrepid vampire hunter far from her familiar St. Louis environs. Someone is slaughtering weretigers just outside of Tacoma. When Anita recognizes the handiwork of the Harlequin, ninja-like paranormal assassins, she suspects they're in the employ of the Mother of All Darkness, the legendary vampire queen who wants to reincarnate herself in Anita's body and take advantage of her mingled vampire and lycanthrope bloodlines. Complicating matters are a marshal who detests Anita for no apparent reason and a psychopathic deputy who wants to kill her. The action occasionally bogs down in the sexual trysts Anita indulges in to stoke her supernatural abilities, but for the most part, Hamilton goes back to basics and delivers a sleek, hard-boiled page-turner. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515150896
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series , #20
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 84,740
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family. Visit her website at www.laurellkhamilton.org.

Biography

The vampire genre has enthralled readers ever since Bram Stoker introduced a certain Transylvanian count over a century ago. Since then vampires have been used as vehicles for everything from romantic novels to erotica to humor to the expected tales of terror. However, very few writers have combined all of these facets of the never-say-die vampire quite the way that Laurell K. Hamilton has.

Hamilton has not always been under the spell of undead things that go bump-and-grind in the night. When she was a young girl, her literary tastes were a bit more on the traditional side. "I wanted to be Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, because I had never read any science fiction, fantasy, or horror," she confessed in a podcast on Mayor Slay.com. "Then at 13 or 14 I found Robert E. Howard's short story collection [Pigeons From Hell]. It was the first horror, the first heroic fantasy, the first science fiction I'd ever read, and the moment I read that I knew that not only did I want to be a writer, but this is what I wanted to write."

Furthering Hamilton's burgeoning fascination with the fantastic, she discovered Anthony Masters's The Natural History of the Vampire at her high school library. Coupled with the ghost stories her grandmother had told her when she was a child and heavy doses of Hammer Horror movies from Great Britain, Hamilton was well on her way to creating a character that would only be rivaled by Buffy in the field of vampire slaying.

Hamilton first introduced vampire huntress Anita Blake in her third novel Guilty Pleasures. Blake is an unlikely combination of action hero, federal marshal, "necromancer," and lusty dame. Her exploits between the sheets and in the graveyard won Hamilton a rabid following hungry for something new in the well-traveled vampire genre.

Along with the kinds of scares normally associated with vampire stories, Hamilton's books are notable for their unflinching eroticism. Vampires have had a sexual lure since Stoker, but Hamilton particularly draws that aspect to the surface of her work as one of her creatures might draw blood from a victim. "I [want] a kiss to be so believable it gives the reader shivers," she says on her website. "Two things I do well are sex and violence, but I don't want gratuitous sex or violence. The sex and violence is only as graphic as need be. And never included unless it furthers the plot or character development."

Another unlikely trait of her books is humor, vampire tales classically being of the more solemn sort. However, a writer weaned on a book titled Pigeons From Hell is not likely going to shy away from wit. Consequently, her books have been consistently entertaining and fun, as well as creepy and sexy.

Hamilton has also brought her delicious combination of sex, humor, and frights to another series, this one more ingrained in dark fantasy than horror. Her faerie princess/P.I. Meredith Gentry made her debut in Kiss of Shadows in 2001 and has since sparked her own crowd-pleasing sword and sorcery meets pulp series.

Increasingly, the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books have added more sexual content to their story lines, classifying both series in a new hybrid genre that blends romance, erotica, and paranormal fantasy. To judge from Hamilton's consistent appearance on the bestseller charts, readers find the mix spellbinding.

Good To Know

One thing you will never find in a Hamilton novel is a cliffhanger. She believes that cliffhangers unfairly tease readers who would then have to wait six months to a year to have some sense of resolution. As she said during an interview with Bill Thompson of Eye On Books, "Every book is a full meal. All the way from the appetizer to the dessert, so that you come away feeling that you've had an experience... and at the end you have that satisfied, full feeling."

Before Laurell K. Hamilton made a full-time career of blood, guts, murder, and mayhem, she had more humane pursuits -- she volunteered at an animal shelter where she played with unwanted pets.

In our interview, Hamilton shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself with us:

"I am incredibly stubborn. Telling me I cannot do something, especially if you cite the fact that I am a girl, will make me want to do it more and do it better."

"I am not my characters. We have some of the same traits in common, but we are very different people."

"Everything inspires me. Getting up in the morning, walking the dogs, watching a music video. Inspiration comes from everywhere."

"I love animals. I own four dogs, two of whom are rescues. In fact, Jimmy is with us because they were going to gas him if we didn't take him with us. As an older dog his chances of finding a home were fairly slim. But he has been a wonderful addition to our home."

"I like spending time with my family and friends. Something I often feel I do not do enough of. But there are only so many hours in a day."

"I like to read other people's works. I love reading cozy or historical mysteries when I can."

"I enjoy interacting with fans at planned public events. I enjoy talking to them and have met many wonderful people."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laurell Kaye Klein (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 19, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      Heber Springs, Arkansas
    1. Education:
      B.A., Marion College
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 997 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1007 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    Book description - hope this helps you decide if you want to buy it or not

    Since not much is said about this book, here is a book description that I found online that could help us decide if we want the book or not. "Anita is upstate with Edward as US Marshals, trying to catch a serial killer that is killing Were Tigers across the country. Anita and Edward both know that the Harlequin still loyal to the Queen of Darkness are killing the Were Tigers, but they can't tell the police because they know that anyone who mentions the Harlequin without being invited, will be hunted down and killed and there are too many secrets from the other police. Anita can't explain everything, but because the Harlequin met each other masked, even the Harlequin on her side don't have faces or names to give to the police. Anita and Edward know everything and nothing that will help catch the killers. Edward begins to think that the killers are a trick to try and lure Anita away from Jean-Claud and all his bodyguards, so that the Mother of all Darkness can either have her kidnapped try and takeover her body, or kill her. Edward will propose to set a trap to lure the Harlequin in to try and take Anita. He bets that he, Anita, some guards from home and other Marshals will be better than millennium old vampire assassins. The vampires call Anita the executioner and Edward death but can even death and the executioner win against the Harlequin?"

    163 out of 171 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Same book, different title.

    I have been very disappoointed with this series. I loved books 1-9. After that though, is a different story. The books are all about sex and hardly about her work as an animator or a mystery that needs solving. On more than one occasion there is a wisp of a plot and sex sex sex sex sex and more sex to keep the book going. If I wanted to read a book full of smut I'd go buy a cheesey romance novel with fabio on the cover half naked and with better looking hair than my own. Anita Black was interesting, kicked butt, held her own when times got tough, and told men to stick it where the sun don't shine. I liked her strong tough-as-nails character. But it's kind of hard to get into a story that starts out with: There's a murder going on, I will investigate, oh wait I need to get laid ASAP! Before you know it you have ten pages left to the book and Anita Blake has 20 more men added to her list of sexual partners. It was a shame because I really liked Anita Blake. I will only read this book because I am curious to see how it all turns out, I won't be buying it of course but borrowing from a friend because I will not waste my money on this.

    122 out of 177 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Terrible, will be the last I read of this series.

    First, the price issue. After reading this book (digital copy on my nook) I don't think the discrepancy is actually on the ebook end, I think the publishers knew that no one would pay more than $15 for the hardcover version of the book. If a new hardcover comes out and it's $30, the $15 for the ebook doesn't sound too bad. In today's economy people are more likely to wait to purchase if the new hardcover was the typical $25-$30, and the bad reviews would catch up with them before they could get max sales.

    **There will probably be spoilers in this review**

    The first 230 pages or so are relatively pointless and full of filler. I spent a lot of time thinking "this is completely unnecessary and feels like it's just here to boost the pages #s." You spend much of the book rehashing Anita's "issues" over and over again...I personally am tired of her whining. We do get to see Edward, Olaf, and Bernardo...all of whom I love, but they were absolutely not used to their full potential. I used to look at Edward as someone who was truly to be feared, not so much anymore. Then there was the addition of yet another guy to Anita's man-harem. My main problem with the book was the ending. We've spent all this time reading about the Harlequin, who are so scary that you can't even say their names out loud, and Mommy Darkest who is basically evil personified only for them to be wiped out in a few pages with relatively little effort. I was completely disappointed. I was reading through the book waiting for it to get interesting and all of a sudden I'm 240 pages into a 259 page book and nothing too noteworthy has happened yet.

    I'm disappointed that she wasted this story arc. It seemed very much like it got to a point where she was tired of writing this book and just sort of decided to wrap it up because she had something better to do. This story arc could have gone in so many directions, and had so much potential, to see it all wasted in a few pages makes me sick. I'm tired of watching the plots of these books take a backseat to all the whining, sex, and metaphycics...almost as if as when she's writing it's like "oh...I guess I should have some sort of plot in here too"

    The series in general has taken a rather disenchanting turn over the last several books. Adding a new man at every turn does not keep things interesting, it just dilutes the character pool. After 20 books I should feel like I know the characters like my best friends, I should not be having to look up who's who just so I can follow what's going on. And what a convoluted mess all the metaphysics have become. It's made Anita weak. She used to be a strong female character, with brains, guns, and general bada$$ery...I miss that Anita. I very much dislike the self-deprecating, judgmental, super-skank she has become. I miss the old books, where you really got to know the characters, where the was adventure, mystery, and action. Where the plot wasn't just some afterthought to provide a vehicle for all the sex an metaphysics.

    I think I may be done with the series all together, like a relationship that has run it's course, I think we're both just phoning it in at this point and it's best if we don't see each other anymore.

    81 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

    Fresh? Never predictable?

    I'm sorry, but I just had to leave a review. One of the commenters wrote that this series is never predictable. I'm sorry, but what? Where have you been? The book is so predictable, I honestly think that it's time for Hamilton to just stop writing this series. Every book has a very tiny piece of a plot, with a TON of sex. If you put the last 10 books together, minus the sex scenes, you have the plot needed for one book. This series is honestly just a bunch of supernatural harlequin novels that involve the same character having sex, with her male lover (whom at this point, are interchangeable during sex).

    The stories at this point basically boil down to this: Mystery, SEX, new addition (or 10) to Anita's harem, mystery solved (or left for another book) end of book.

    With a book structure like that, this series has no business being priced over the standard harlequin book. $10 is being generous, and the nook price should not be higher than $5, this series is no longer worth it.

    38 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2011

    Disappointed and left wanting.

    This was not a novella, but it should have been. I miss Jean-Claud and the others but several other books in the series have focused on Anita's U. S. Marshal activities and and were great reads, this was not. I was willing to look beyond missing some of my favorite characters, but too much is missing. The book has a real problem with continuity and it seemed like much of the story was just abandoned and the last few chapters were added in the middle of what could have been a good story. Where is the rest of the plot? This was the first book I ever pre-ordered and re-read the whole series in anticipation of Hit List's release. My favorite author has let me down, I should have waited my turn for the library copy.

    27 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    21 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    eh, just finished reading her newest, nothing stellar

    wish i could write something more positive since i have generally been a fan of most of her books but having just finished her latest was fairly unimpressed. save your money and wait for it to remaindered or in paperback. less gratuitous sex than the last few novels but not terribly exciting writing or plot development and thoroughly anticlimactic ending. not to mention short book at only 250some pages. i wish her luck and will keep reading her books but this one is not worth buying hardcover. just seems like a mismatched collection of subplots and so-so action scenes. hell, i would have enjoyed rereading one of her merideth gentry novels more, sad to say. but, more power to her for keeping the series going this long and hey, it's not like i'm a published author so take my review with a grain of salt.

    and on an unrelated note, barnes&noble and the publishing houses... you can do better than full price for an e-book. if the author is getting the increased in profit from reduced overhead great, if not, knock off the fixed high price when you cut your expenses by going digital.

    21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2011

    I thought LKH was done and AB series was over, it is revived with a good book (finally).

    I just finished reading it last night (book store by me has them for sale already). I have to say that the Hit List is better than the last 10 books and it offers some, if not total, closure. It was a good quick read and there was only one sex scene in the whole books (which in my humble opinion made it a much better read). Edward and Anita team up in Tacoma to stop what looks like serial killings of weretigers but really is a larger plot. Ed and Anita recognize the handiwork of the Harlequin, a secret society who works for the first vampire, the Mother of All Darkness. After the failed attempt to kill the MOAD by the vampire council, MOAD has no corporeal body and thinks Anita's will be a perfect replacement. Good read. Several of her most neglected characters make appearances. Just when I thought the Anita Blake series was beyond the point of no return, it is revived with a good book (finally). I guess I'll just have to keep reading LKH.

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Blah, blah, blah! The series are awesome so stop reviewing the nook or the prices. It is all about Anita!

    Hands down, the whole series is terribly addicting. With that thought in mind, the only drooling and bad thing about them is reading the last page and thinking ?Oh no, now I have to wait for the next book to come out'. On that note, every book is an awesome story, never predictable, and always, always, always leaving the reader with the anticipation of eagerly awaiting the release of the next book. I honestly LOVE this series!!!!!

    11 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    great read!

    I read some of the other reviews, of course none of us has read the newest book yet! That said, I have been eagerly been waiting for this one. I got hooked only recently, all I can say is that I love the mix of sex, mystery and supernatural. And I prefer the Merry Gentry series ... even more sex and supernatural! Lastly, romance novels give us sappy and sex, mystery novel (sorry don't read them) I don't know, and Laurell gives us a little of everything and very hot sex. Seriously looking forward to each and every new title. Thanks, Laurell, keep up the good work.

    Ps. next closest mix of themes are in the works of Anne Bishop.

    10 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Disappointing, goes on and on....

    I really wanted this book to be good. "old Anita" but no. I didn't buy this book thank goodness. I got it from the library (unabridged CD's). I am now on cd 7 and so far there have only been two encounters with bad guys. Enough with the whining, explaining mediphysics, and Anita's over the top I am woman hear me roar BS!!!!!!! I am sorry to say I don't believe I will be borrowing Laurell's next installment from the libary. I think the best thing for this series is to end it with this book. It is just painful like watching a train wreck or a bad movie. You want to look away or stop watching but you can't. You keep thinking if I just hang in there Laurell will turn the corner and it will be great again. I miss the cool discovery of the preternatural, new bad guys, how the good guys pull it off. This is not it. I can't defend her anymore. This is awful and she is just wanting a check.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    Back to Basics

    If you are an Anita Blake fan from the early days, you should put this one on your list. There are some echos of Obsidian Butterfly, and Edward is always a treat. If you like the sexier Anita Blake from more recent books, maybe wait for the paperback.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    VAST improvement over the last few books

    It has only one sex scene...yes, you read that correctly, ONE.

    I still don't think it is up to par with the early books, but it is a VAST improvement over the last two. It is less than three hundred pages though and only took me about 2 hours to read, but it kept my attention enough that I read it straight through. It is Obsidian Butterfly-esque and that was my favorite book out of the entire series followed by the first three and then Skin Trade (I do have a preference for the Edward books overall though).

    I think it could have had more meat to it, but overall I was happy with it.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2011

    Meh

    Better than her recent attempts to write what constitutes a novel rather than simply erotica, but still lacking in solid plot. Leaves me missing the days when there was a real mystery and she didn't know who the killer was from the get go. What happened to investigation and solving?

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    Ho Hum

    This book starts and continues as others - plenty of details of Anita's second guessing herself and other's motives. Typical Anita. You expect that - pure Anita. What I didn't like was the ending - once Ms. Hamilton hit the climax, it was a very thin description and ending. After all the descriptions in the beginning thru the middle, she ended it too suddenly. It felt as though she got tired of writing. Very disappointing. I've read better endings from Hamilton.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Finally - A book I didn't have to skip pages on!

    For the first time in a long time I really enjoyed this series. This book is more reminiscent of the first books (before the ardeur was introduced). I love Edward's character and felt it was good to see Anita away from her usual harem of men. The price of the book was crazy but I am not disgusted with myself for buying it. At least this time there was more to the story than just sex. I literally counted chapters and was surprised that it wasn't until the end of chapter 12 where sex even entered the picture. I think if LKH can keep writing more Anita stories like this one she will maintain, if not regain any readers she lost with the last few novels that were little more than sex from cover to cover. I very much recommend this novel!

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    My thought on latest Anita Blake book.

    To start with, this is a review about the book not about the pricing of the ebook vs hardback. I just finished reading the book and was slightly disappointed. Downloaded the book to my nook and found that it was only 259 pages. Was expecting/hoping for a more substantial sized book. I read the entire in only a few hours. Storyline: New players/old players nothing dealing with Anitas' necromancy. Story arc comes to a close with this book, curious to see where this is going to go. Will LKH finally get back to a storyline that doesnt contain chapters of gratuitous sex? All in all, a decent book though I wouldnt recommend it to anyone new to the series. Recommend waiting for the price to come a bit or borrowing from your locale library to see if you think its worth the price to add to your Anita Blake collection.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2011

    Bad, BAD, just bad

    Doesn't matter which book I'm reviewing, the lady is the WORST author in history. Please quit hyping this loser.......

    7 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Dude!! She's Back!!!

    I had begun to loose hope, but LKH brought back the old Anita Blake!! 320pgs and their was only ONE sex scene!! And it took a 100-some pages for it to happen AND only cuz she needed the energy to heal. This book is similar to Obsidian Butterfly and Skin Trade in the way that the main characters (Jean Claude, Richard, Micah, Nathaniel, etc) were mentioned, but not really in it. It focused more on the muscle (Edward, Bernando, Olaf, the marshalls, Anita's bodyguards). Personally, my favorite books of the series are the ones that don't have the mains in it, too much drama and too much sex. Sooooo much stuff goes down in this book, its kinda wow. My only critisism is that I feel stuff was left out and the ending was kind of abrupt, but other than that it waw classic Anita storyline =)

    I just hate when people leave a "review" that has nothing to do with the actual book and more about their expectations of it

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2011

    Hmmm...to buy nook...hardcover

    Too all that are complaining about the nook price just remember you are paying for the convenience...you are buying it from the comfort of your couch... no wasting money on gas or fighting traffic to get to the store... yes I agree the price is high for the very low overhead, right now I'm just glad I'm not paying $24.99 the price that some hardcovers, not wasting gas, and I don't have to deal with traffic. As far as the book, I was happy to see that she was trying to get back to basics although I felt that it some times lacked substance and she did repeat the same things in the book. I understand putting something from past books so that the book could stand on its own, but repeating it twice in the same book was really frustrating...I wished she would have made the ending more but I think if she had it would have almost seemed like she was ending the series which is one thing I hope she doesn't do just yet... over all I LOVE the series and can't wait where she will take Anita next :-)

    6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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