Dead Ice (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #24)

Dead Ice (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #24)

by Laurell K. Hamilton


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Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.

It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.

Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind.

It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425255711
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/09/2015
Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series , #24
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 1,236,907
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and the author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry series. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family. 


St. Louis, Missouri

Date of Birth:

February 19, 1963

Place of Birth:

Heber Springs, Arkansas


B.A., Marion College

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

“So, you’re engaged,” Special Agent Brenda Manning said. She wore a black pantsuit with a heavy belt that could wrap around her waist and hold the gun at her side. She was FBI and didn’t have to worry about concealed carry, so the fact that her gun flashed when her suit jacket flared out, which was every time she moved, wasn’t an issue. The gun looked very stark against her white button-down shirt.

“Yep,” I said. My own gun was at the small of my back, underneath a suit jacket made to hide the gun from the clients at my other job. I’d also started getting belt loops added to my skirts so I could wear a belt that could stand up to the weight of a gun and holster. I’d come straight from Animators Inc., where the motto was, “Where the Living Raise the Dead for a Killing.” Bert, our business manager, didn’t believe in hiding the fact that raising the dead was a rare talent, and you paid for talent. But lately my job as a U.S. Marshal for the Preternatural Branch had been taking more and more of my time. Like today.

The other very special agent, Mark Brent, tall, thin, and looking barely old enough to be out of college, was bent over the portable computer they’d brought with them, which was sitting on the room’s only desk. He was dressed in a suit almost identical to Manning’s except his was brown to match his holster, but his gun was still a black bump, stark against his white shirt. We were in the office of our head honcho, Lieutenant Rudolph Storr. Dolph was currently somewhere else, which left me alone with the FBI and Sergeant Zerbrowski. I wasn’t sure which was more dangerous to my peace of mind, but I knew Zerbrowski would mouth off more. He was my partner, my friend, he was entitled. I’d just met Special Agent Manning, and I didn’t owe her my life story.

“The article I read made the proposal sound amazing, like something out of a fairy tale,” Manning said. She smoothed her shoulder-length hair back behind one ear and it stayed put, because it was straight as a board. My own curls would never have behaved that well.

I fought the urge to sigh. If you’re a cop and a woman, never date a celebrity; it ruins your reputation for being a hardass. I was a U.S. Marshal, but ever since we’d gone public with our engagement I’d become Jean-Claude’s fiancée, not Marshal Blake, to most of the women I met, and a lot of the men. I’d really had hopes that the FBI would be above such things in the middle of crime-fighting, but apparently not.

The real problem for me was that the story we told publicly was both true and a lie. Jean-Claude had done the big gesture, but only after he’d proposed in the middle of shower sex. It had been spontaneous and wonderful and messy, and very real. I’d said yes, which had surprised him, and me. I’d figured I just wasn’t the marrying kind of girl. He’d told me then that we’d need to do something to live up to his reputation for the media and the other vampires. They expected their king/president to have a certain flair, and the real proposal was too mundane. I hadn’t understood that flair would include a horse-drawn carriage—yeah, you heard me; he’d actually picked me up in a freaking horse-drawn carriage. If I hadn’t already said yes, and loved him to pieces, I’d have told him not only no, but hell no. Only true love had gotten me to play along with a proposal so grand that trying to imagine a wedding that topped it sort of scared me.

“Oh, yeah, Anita is all into that princess stuff, aren’t you, Anita?” Zerbrowski called from the chair he was half-tipping against the wall. He looked like he’d slept in his suit, complete with a stain on his crooked tie. I knew he’d left his home freshly washed and tidy, but he was like Pig-Pen from the Peanuts comic: Dirt and mess just seemed to be attracted to him within minutes of his walking out of his house. His salt-and-pepper hair was getting more salt and less pepper, and had grown out enough to be all messy curls, which he kept running his hands through. Only his silver-framed glasses were clean, square and gleaming around his brown eyes.

“Yeah, I’m all about that princess shit, Zerbrowski,” I said.

Agent Manning frowned at both of us. “I’m getting the idea that I stepped in something. I was just trying to be friendly.”

“No, you were wanting the princess to talk about how wonderful the prince is, and how he swept her off her feet,” Zerbrowski said, “but Anita is going to disappoint you like she’s disappointed the last dozen women to ask questions about the big romantic gesture.”

I wanted to say, it wasn’t a big romantic gesture, it was a freaking epic romantic gesture and I had hated it. Jean-Claude had loved being able to finally pull out all the stops and just do what, apparently, he’d wanted to do for years while we dated—the whole princely sweep-you-off-your-feet shit. I liked to keep my feet firmly on the ground unless sex was involved, and you can’t really have sex in a horse-drawn carriage; it scares the horses. No, we didn’t try, because we were on freaking camera the whole time. Apparently, there are now engagement coordinators just like there are wedding coordinators, so of course we had a videographer. It had been all I could do to keep from scowling through all of it, so I’d smiled for the camera and so I wouldn’t hurt Jean-Claude’s feelings, but it’s not my real smile, and my eyes in a few frames have that “wait until we’re alone, mister, we are so talking about this” look.

I decided to appeal to Manning’s sisterhood of the badge and said, “Sorry, Agent Manning, but ever since the story went live I’m getting treated more like Jean-Claude’s girlfriend than a marshal, and it’s really beginning to bug me.”

Her face went serious. “I’m sorry, I hadn’t thought about it like that. Years of being one of the guys and building your rep, and I ask you about your engagement first thing.”

“I’ve never seen my partner be so girly about anything as meeting you today, Marshal Blake,” Brent said as he unbent from hunching over the computer. He smiled and it made him look even younger. He seemed fresh-faced and less jaded than the rest of us. Ah, to be bright and shiny again, when you thought you could actually win the fight against evil.

Manning looked embarrassed, which isn’t something you see often in FBI agents, especially not when you’ve just met them.

“Knock it off, Brent,” she said.

He grinned at all of us. “It’s just that we’ve worked together for two years, and I’ve never seen you squee over anything.”

“It’s the horse-drawn carriage,” Zerbrowski said. “Chicks dig that kind of shit.”

“Not this chick,” I said, quietly under my breath.

“What did you say?” Manning asked.

“Nothing. Is the video ready, Agent Brent?” I asked, hopeful we could actually do our jobs and leave my personal life out of it.

“Yes,” he said, but then his smile faded around the edges, and I saw the beginnings of the bright and shiny rubbing off. “Though after you see it we may all be game to talk about carriages and pretty, pretty princesses.”

It was another first, an FBI agent admitting that something bothered him. For them to admit it out loud, it had to be bad. I suddenly didn’t want to see it. I didn’t want to add another nightmare to the visuals I had in my head. I was a legal vampire executioner and raised zombies as my psychic talent; I had plenty of scary shit in my head and I so didn’t need more, but I stayed in my chair. If Manning and Brent were tough enough to watch it multiple times, I could sit through it once. I couldn’t let the other badges think that getting proposed to by the vampire of my dreams made me one bit less tough. I couldn’t let myself believe it, either, though a part of me did. How could someone who let a man lead her into a Cinderella carriage carry a gun and execute bad guys? It made even my head hurt, thinking about it.

Zerbrowski said what I was thinking. “I thought the Feds never admitted anything bothered them.”

Agent Brent shook his head and looked tired. Lines showed around his eyes that I hadn’t seen before and made me add between three to five years onto his age. “I’ve worked in law enforcement for six years. I’d thought I’d seen it all, until this.”

I did the math in my head and realized he had to be nearly thirty, which was how old I was, but I’d used up my shininess years ago.

“I thought this was just another big bad preternatural citizen gone wrong,” I said.

“Not exactly,” he said.

“I don’t like mysteries, Agent Brent. I’m only here on this little information out of courtesy to the FBI, and because Lieutenant Storr requested it.”

“We appreciate that, Marshal, and we wouldn’t have had you walk into this blind if we didn’t feel that the fewer people who know the details, the better off we’re going to be,” Brent said.

“Awesome,” I said, “but the foreplay is getting a little tiresome; there’s no one in the room but the four of us, so what is on the video?”

“Are you always this cranky?” Manning asked.

Zerbrowski laughed out loud and didn’t even try to hold it in. “Oh, Agent Manning, this isn’t even close to cranky for my partner.”

“We heard that about her, and you’re right, Blake. I did come in here expecting the proposal to have softened that reputation. I didn’t think I had that much girl left in me, and if I’m assuming that it softened you up, then your male colleagues must be making your life . . . difficult.”

It was my turn to laugh. “That’s one way of putting it, but honestly it’s the whole engaged-to-a-vampire thing that’s making some of my fellow officers doubt whose side I’m on.”

“Vampires are legal citizens now, with all the rights that entails,” she said.

“Legally, yeah, but prejudice doesn’t go away just because a law changes.”

“You’re right about that,” she said. “In fact, some at the bureau thought we shouldn’t include you in this case because of your proclivity to date the preternatural.”

“Proclivity, that’s polite; so what made you decide to trust me?”

“You still have the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the United States, and only Denis-Luc St. John has more rogue lycanthrope kills than you.”

“He raises Troll-Hounds; they’re the only breed of dog ever raised specifically to hunt supernatural prey. It makes him the king of tracking through wilderness areas, after shapeshifters.”

“Are you implying that the dogs make him better at the job, or that he’s somehow cheating by using them?” she asked.

I shrugged. “Neither, just a statement of fact.”

“Now that Anita has passed muster, and I’m included because I’m her friend, show us some skin, agents, or stop teasing,” Zerbrowski said.

“Oh, you’ll see skin,” Brent said, and he looked older again, as if this case in particular were rubbing the shine away.

“What the hell is on the video, Agent Brent?” I asked.

“Zombie porn,” Brent said, and hit the arrow in the middle of the screen.


Excerpted from "Dead Ice"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Laurell K. Hamilton.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Hamilton remains one of the most inventive and exciting writers in the paranormal field.”—Charlaine Harris

“If you’ve never read this series, I highly recommend/strongly suggest having the Anita Blake experience. Vampires, zombies, and shifters, oh my! And trust me, these are not your daughter’s vampires.”—Literati Book Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Dead Ice 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 143 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those of us that have been reading Anita books for more than a decade, this book will be a bit like coming home. Although a lot of time is spent on the personal relationships in the book, this is more reminiscent of the early books and a good part of the story is spent dealing with preternatural issues and fighting crime. Some old faces are back in these books. Some characters haven't learned or grown. And there were a few noticeable absences. But, all in all, it's a solid story and there was a lot of development and growth. The length (over 500 pages per my nook) is also welcome as the last few publications have been around 200. If you've missed Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Executioner she's back with a vengeance in Dead Ice!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Anita Blake books but this one was more old school which was even better! Less sex more PLOT! Great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been reading this series for a long time. I am not poly. I have no intrest in this whole poly group therapy plot that never ends. I really feel there was too much over explaining dialog. In my experience people don't say every single thing that they think. When she is with the police? I have a hard time believing that every new cop she meets would really be so abrasive or so chatty. This used to be a great fantasy detective series with a dash of romance, now it is a poly romance series with a dash of zombies. There were parts of this book that I enjoyed, and parts I yawned through. There were also parts where if I had been the editor I would have just cut. I was a little irritated that we never had the rat king assasination attempt explained/resolved. We never went to the meeting that was talked about. At least Richard didn't snarl and toss furniture around. LKH, listen to the fans. Make the next book about an intensive case and not poly therapy! Pretty please? JT
Sargon1 More than 1 year ago
I really loved the book and read in overnight. I gave it a 4 because it seemed to pull away from her crime investigation till the last bit. I personally wouldn't mind if they found Asher a territory of his own and they sent him away for good I am tired of his trouble making too.I also was left with the questions of wither Rafael healed completely and who is after our Rat King . I really like this character and would love to have him more involved. Richard is finally coming around which makes me very happy. Truly loved some of the new developments and can't wait to see where they go. I am rooting for Dev to get the ring. Loved it and can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading the Anita Blake series for more than 10 years now and I have always enjoyed every bit of Anita's complex life. I found myself very uninterested in Dead Ice.  The idea of a new case and of old characters reemerging excited me, but the book failed to meet my expectations. It was just so repetitive. Anita's issues with Cynric, her "eating rage", Asher causing problems within the group, etc.  A great deal of the book had to do with Anita adding a new addition to the group that all, or at least most. of her men would like as a bedroom partner. I believe maybe 100 pages or less of the over 500 pages of reading was interesting at all. I did like the addition of new/enhanced powers, but the zombie case ended as quickly as it began. This was very much a disappointment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But the book was repetitive I mean this is book#23 so why r you writing , and explaining the characters from book#1 through # 22. And yes this book was 500+pages but most of them were about stuff we already read about in the previous books from my understanding this book was supposed to be about the upcoming marriage . I'm sorry I love her books and never had anything bad to say about them. But this one was a disappointment for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was okay. I was disappointed that Wicked and Truth was no where in this book. I am also sad that I did not get info on Rafael. Did he heal? Who was after him? I was excited for this book release. However, I got excited for nothing! If you just need a book to pass the time, go ahead and read Dead Ice. But, be aware that whatever your reaction to Jason was will be closely similar after reading Dead Ice. It's a shame, but true! I love Laurell K. Hamilton, but her last books has been disappointing. I hope her next book can be something unimaginable. I felt like this entire book was predicable with no twist or turns. It was like I knew when Anita would get into an argument. Don't get me wrong the book had good parts, which is why I gave it 3 stars. Sin was great in this book, but everyone else felt like side kick characters to me. I wish this book cost $6 instead of $12 because that's what its really worth. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was okay but it was only about 1/3 fighting and the rest dealing with her emotional baggage. It got tiring reading about how she is dealong with her anger or picking what lover to sleep with or her problems with cynric. I think like her other series the fairy princess, LKH might be coming to and end with this Anita Blake. To much emotional baggage and not enough fighting which made the series famous in the first place. Another annoyance is LKH's putting her personal poly love life onto the books. Anita Blake sleeps with so many men that she's auditioning women to sleep with so her men have other women to have zex with whenshe's not around, or even join her in bed in a poly romp. I think i stopped believing in their love when Micah was having sex with all the strange women from different clans, without telling Anita, in order to consolidate power. What is a prostitute? Someone who has sex with another person for money or a different transaction. To me, love isn't being ok in pimping out your lover to get other groups of wereanimals to join your group. Laurell brings her personal life into this storyline so much that she doesn't care if her readers agree with her poly lifestyle. I have no problem with different groups of love that might intersect but the love that Anita was showing crosses the line into just sex for power and that just became it became sleezy. Not paying another 13 dollars for any of her books. I'll either borrow or do without in the future. Sad ending to such potential.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay...I admit I almost didn't buy this I am happy I did, it is alot better then the author's last books. I now will have to go back and reread the series and then this book  to decide if this was a really good book or just the fact I liked it so much more then the last several books.  relationships are still a major part of the story but this time it isn't 95% of the book, Dead Ice accually has something else going on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this one! My favorite thing about Anita is the way she is growing taking ownership of her problems and always trying to protect everyone not asking anyone to do what she would not do
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some of her latest books have been heavy on either relationship or sex or the cop work. This one seemed to strike a good balance between all of them without seeming stilted. I think that she has hit her stride with this book and I am looking forward to seeing where she goes from here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was like the books she us to write. Lots of the old Anita. I would recommend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me of the earlier Anita books as it revolves more around her necromancy. It has a wonderful plot amd the story line flows well. My only complaint is that yet again Asher seems to be shown mercy when if anyone else were to cccommit his trangressions would be given the boot or worse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After several books that lacked a story, lacked an real action, and were cover to cover emotional torture (for us not the characters), I am so glad to have this book! I think it not only gets back to why we love this series, but it has also matured and moved ahead. We aren't getting the same story, done already, but instead this is an appropriately based story with the FBI, with supernatural politics, and yes even some of the relationship mess. All done well and never to the point that you want to pull your hair out. Though I will NEVER understand why they keep Asher alive, the rest of it was fantastic and lots of new issues, powers and relationship drama to make the entire story fascinating. There was action and danger and twists and great dialogue. If you loved this series then you will love it again after this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are many opinions about this book. But my take on it is moved forward! Yes, she explained a lot of things, but I know most of that is for new readers. But, the story is moving forward again. Maybe not at the pace we all think it should, but it is moving forward. Asher is almost gone, Richard has found some peace, Jean Claude has made a major move as king....maybe upsetting some people, but he did it for his people, not just his lovers. Laurell hasn't always been this slow moving in her writing, but following her fb page, I think alot of personal stuff has been interfering with her work during the last few books. In this one, I am seeing her more secure in the storyline and where she wants it to go. So I give it a 4 for effort alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So many places this book could have gone,great places. Instead we got poly,poly,poly, Enough already!!!!!   Raphael story was a book all by itself, instead we have no closure. I am a fan always will be no matter  what rabbit hole LKH goes down. I am very unhappy that I'm typing these words, I'm sure LKH put's in all she has   when wrighting these books. THANK YOU for your effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lot of people have grown frustrated with LKH writing. I loved the way she created something new. She brought in pieces of folklore and explained it her way. I didn't mind her taking it sexual, its her world I was willing to see where we'd end up. Just tell a story. Create something, don't thrash around with words. There are to many voices and no forward movement. Several threads in this book had me hopeful, but they didn't go any where. It's like LKH is lost. If this is as for as the story goes fine end it, move on.
Nightstorm More than 1 year ago
Once again, LKH has given us a roller coaster ride into Anita's world. As the previous novel had a more detective/mystery focus this one looks closer to home with Anita confronting emotional issues from her trip to Vegas as well as discovering her powers along with Jean-Claude's are expanding. When a zombie she raised turns up at a local restaurant enjoying modern food with friends, Anita discovers that her clients did not have all the facts about it's past - can we say "oppsies, dreadfully sorry about that!" One of my favorite lines - " Holy Wrath of God, Batman...." pg 471
Anonymous 5 months ago
Great read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good plot but writing style has changed a bit from previous books. The multi character dialogue became confusing because I couldn’t tell who was saying what most of the time. Other than that, enjoyable and quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LKH has totally lost touch with the basis for her story line. All the sex is, I'm sure, in someway cathartic for the writer, but pretty much we don't care. Buy a journal into which you can pour your angst, pride, or whatever and give us what we HOPE you are still capable of doing. You, my dear, are dangerly close to believing your own hype. While once deserved, not so anymore. I recommend Christine Feehan as brilliant as LKH was. So sad. No kidding, take a look at Ms. Feehans prolific work - consistently great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Back to more action, better amount of sex
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite authors. I listened to this on tape but wanted to read it too. Fast paced and kept me intrigued to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very different than her past books, but one of the best in the whole series.