Sucker Punch: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 27 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A brutal murder, a suspect in jail, and an execution planned - but what if the wrong person is about to be killed?
When a fellow US Marshal asks Anita Blake to fly to a tiny community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on an emergency consult, she knows time is running short. When she arrives, there is plenty of proof that a young wereleopard killed his uncle in the most gruesome and bloody way possible. As the mounting evidence points to him, a warrant of execution is already under way.
But something seems off about the murder, and Anita has been asked for her expert opinion on the crime scene. Despite escalating pressure from local cops and the family’s cries for justice for their dead patriarch, Anita quickly realizes that the evidence doesn’t quite add up.
Time is against Anita, as the tight-knit community is up in arms and its fear of supernaturals is growing. She races to uncover the truth and determine whether the Marshals have caught the killer or are about to execute an innocent man - all in the name of justice.
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|Listening Length||18 hours and 26 minutes|
|Author||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 04, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #17,166 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#69 in Vampire Horror
#190 in Supernatural Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#258 in Urban Fantasy
Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2020
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All that negative stuff aside, I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of the original books, mainly because there was an actual story and Anita focused on the task at hand and not the "parts" of every man around her. Granted, there were some parts of the book that I could do without, like how inevitably a man has to have a problem with her "sweeties" or how Ms. Hamilton uses her favorite phrases/word over and over.
Currently it's "yummy" but does anyone remember "tightened things low in my body"? I sure wish I didn't. But I think I'm just going to have to accept these things as just part of Ms. Hamilton's writing.
Ms. Hamilton is a wonderful writer and if I hadn't loved the early books in this series so much, I think I would've given up on the series a long time ago. I'm glad I didn't because it looks like the series is looking up again.
That said, I found some of the content problematic. Not in the way that prudes would, not in the violence and killing part that most people might object to, but in the way that it so clearly illustrates the myth of "only a few bad apples" in the "rest of the cops are good" barrel.
I think it will come as no surprise at all that Laurell K. Hamilton would "back the blue" to the extent that she does, whether intentionally or not, it comes through that she truly believes we are safer with the police than without them. I give her credit that she also shows that the justice system as a whole is flawed and in need of change, also that it seems like every change seems to just make a new problem rather than solving everything.
No, the problem I had was that it applies an unnecessary justification for good cops covering for the dangerous faults of bad ones. There will of necessity be a SPOILER in my reasoning, so here's your:
When Anita rolls the dancer at the strip joint, she doesn't do it on purpose, but without a literal (in the literal sense of the word) Deus ex machina stepping in to save her (and the innocent dancer) with a literal miracle from God, then she'd have rolled that woman to the same extent that she'd rolled Nicky and others. She'd have taken the rest of her free will and life from her. I don't believe she'd have just dumped her, but she'd have irrevocably changed her life and made her a slave.
And Newman never even questioned whether or not he should cover for her, because that's just what cops do for one another.
It did help somewhat that the Captain of the locals did hold his one deputy accountable for attempted murder, or at least keep him in jail as a lesson, but we all know that he never intended to actually charge him, because he didn't charge him at any point. Again, good cops cover for bad cops and handle things like this internally, and we're all just supposed to accept that the way they decide it should be handled is okay when sometimes innocent lives were lost and most of them don't even end up losing their jobs.
The only reason I didn't take a star off for that is because I realized that this has happened in one way or another in most of her books, but it never bothered me before. Taking a star from a good, hard-working writer for something that I only now realized about my own self seems just too hypocritical.
So, I gave it 5 stars because the writing was great, and the story moved back towards, not a better direction, necessarily, but the direction that hooked me on the books to start with.
This book focuses on the investigations of the marshalls, the state police, and the local sheriff’s department for a large part of the book. However when Anita’s long term friend, Marshall Ted Forrester and another marshall, Otto Jeffries show up, the story gets blended with several agonizing interactions between Anita and Otto.
Whether it is Anita’s relationships with the many men and women in her life, the relationships between Anita and her co-workers, or relationships between the local police and the U.S. Marshals; there is a lot of drama. This is not like most of the books in the series where there are a lot of steamy scenes. Besides the specific murder case, this novel is about how Anita is struggling personally with metaphysical changes that are affecting her ability to do her job effectively, and how she is struggling with all of the various types of relationships she has at the moment. It was interesting to see some additional character development with Otto; scary though it was.
There are a lot of themes running through this novel including anger management, various phobias, verbal abuse, racism, gender bias, lies, deception, the paranormal justice system, and much more. There is also a look at what can happen when police know both the victim and the accused.
Overall, this book was a study of paranormal police investigation and complicated relationships with suspense and occasional action intermixed.
I have read all of the books in this series up to this point and can’t wait to start the next one. They are best read in order as there is a lot of background and character development that builds over time. This novel is definitely a departure from the previous books in this series. However, the author continues to bring great characters, entertaining and unique story lines, action, suspense, and romance together in her novels.
This is my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and are not biased in any way. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.
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I'm very unhappy about this book - not least because the author is not remotely interested in the plot which only occurs occasionally. On the plus side Anita isn't having sex with everyone she meets (I used to have to have flow charts to follow this) but instead is contemplating, at great length and with a huge number of people, having sex with Olaf the sociopathic serial killer. At one point there is a discussion of what level of bondage is acceptable and how to make sure that Olaf doesn't kill Anita as part of their debated sex life. This isn't acceptable on any level - is this considered publishable because most of the characters are were-animals - sorry, therianthropes? And the 'let's be PC about what we call those infected with therianthropy' is utterly bizarre. Next to this the poly love life fades into insignificance although there are various efforts to talk it up which feel as though they should be in a religious tract not a work of fiction.
The final straw for me was when Anita visits the house where the murdered person lives and sees his room of big game hunting - lions, tigers, an entire elephant etc. Morally repugnant yet Anita (who has half these animals inside her) makes no comment on how unacceptable it is in the 21st century to do this.
Definitely the end of the road for me with Anita Blake now.
My issue at the beginning is exposition which is rather like info dumping.
Yes, it's book 27, but I think a short 'About the series so far' style summary might work better than the repetition of last events through dialogue. There's a lot of "oh yes, I do remember the time" etc.
However, apart from that there's a lot to like here.
There's talk of sex but no longer lots of gratuitous sex scenes.
The plot itself isn't a traditional monster hunt, more of a murder mystery and an attempt to not follow through on a warrant to kill a wereleopard, Bobby.
We get to meet new characters but also see some character thoughts on polygamy, Religion and more importantly the civil rights of supernaturals plus prejudices they face, which feels timely, to be polite. Anita is also still a hard killer but balanced and encouraging therapy here, besides which, there's a very important and revealing story on PTSD.
Olaf is along for the ride and there are some I interesting developments there, as well as an ending which was incredibly emotional and I think Hamilton has tapped into some serious emotions in this one.
I really like this development and want to see the Olaf angle and the next stage in Anita's life written about, and the wedding !
And I thought Anita was smarter than this! Really not a mystery who done it!
I did enjoy glimpses of what's going on with the wedding but not enough to say this was a good book. Oh well. Maybe she's setting it up for the next one?
Well, we'll see won't we? At least the pandemic should have passed by then...
Sucker Punch seemed for The first two-thirds to pick up the grit and strength of her older books. I was drawn in, then it seemed to slide. The sociopathic Olaf reappeared. Wanting to date Anita, this led to about 100 pages of discussion on her relationship with her court, what would be classed as acceptable behaviour between them. Naturally she has no intention of doing the horizontal mambo with him but this went on so that the climax of the book (no pun intended) happened so fast i was taken by surprise.
Don't misunderstand, I love Laurells books but part of me wondered if she had gotten a degree in psychology. Enjoy the book, I did, just be prepared for the in depth psychology.