Sucker Punch starts out with much promise. Anita is called to a case by Marshall Win Newman, who she had mentored in his early days as a Marshall. Win is a competent, likable, but conflicted character, whose unresolved issues about his life are discussed and resolved in this book. His case involves the death of a very wealthy businessman, which looks as if it was done by a were-animal. His nephew is a were-leopard and is currently in custody for the slaying. The trouble is Newman doesn't believe the nephew, Bobby, is guilty and if he is, Newman doesn't know if he can execute someone he knows so well.
This books IS reminiscent of the great Anita Blake books when LKH was starting out. Neat mystery, great detective work, no sex or just hints of it, and indepth characterization, which is why this book received 2 stars instead of 1 from me, because honestly it was a real chore to read.
First Anita does so many stupid things, I'm ashamed of her. Over and over and over throughout the series Anita has to recognize and deal with the ardeur. Am I correct? So why does Anita fly in ALONE to handle this case. Eventually she is forced to call others in and when they get there she still does nothing to address this issue, and ends up "rolling" a stripper in a nightclub that she is questioning in the murder. Nicky is there and he is saying, "Anita, when is the last time you ate? It's been too long. Why haven't you ate?" Yes, Anita after years of dealing with this issue, why didn't you?
Then Otto (Olaf) Jeffries appears on the scene. We all know and love him as your favorite serial killer, who has been stalking Anita for years. Anita turns into this fair and righteous character, so when Otto asks her gently if he can kiss her. Anita lets him because he asked nicely. Please. This is a man you plot to kill and you do it quick before he does it to you. You don't let him kiss you and promise him you will date him. Nicky and Company know the score and they have figured out a way to kill him. When Anita discovers this she is rightfully concerned that they will die instead, but also, "he is trying so hard, don't do this". Are you kidding me? When Nicky & Co. arrived and I realized what they were going to do, I was like YAY! Thought the book would be wonderful then and we could say goodbye to Olaf. Nope. Instead LKH is going down the path of redemption for a murderous psychopath. Once again, LKH cannot kill off characters when they need it. Which is why Anita is sleeping with a cast of thousands.
Eventually the murder was solved and in a good manner. The plot was fairly decent, and as always, LKH's writing is great. The problem was the slogging through endless pages of dialogue about everything in the book. I generally will pick up a book and finish it that day or in two. I have been trying to read this boring book for a week. I finally skimmed to the end and said, "YAY, done!" A truly great book makes you want it not to end, not make you happy you don't have to read it anymore.
LKH tried hard in this book. There is plot, lack of a thousand characters, Edward is there (always a fan favorite), and absolutely no sex - even if it is discussed endlessly. However, the one thing that would have made this book amazing was missing - action.