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Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris
Review by Paul Haggerty
Ace Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441017157
Date: 05 May 2009 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Chapter One / Show Official Info /

Sookie Stackhouse lives an interesting life; in the Chinese Proverb sense. Over the last couple of years her life has become hopelessly tangled in the politics of vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and the fae. Being a telepath makes her a hot property in the high stakes wheeling and dealing of the supernatural world. She's had to walk a pretty fine line in order to maintain her independence, but inevitably, the world of the weird has entangled itself in her life. Several years ago the vampires came out of the shadows, and the world hasn't been the same since. Now the shapeshifters are planning their own debut. And nobody knows just how much the mundane world of humanity is willing to accept.

More by Charlaine Harris:
Sookie Stackhouse:
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World (SFRevu)
Dead as a Doornail (SFRevu)
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead (SFRevu)
From Dead to Worse

Sookie has made a number of good friends in the supernatural world. And not a few enemies at the same time. And as much as she's tried to keep them at arms length, the strangeness has followed her home. Her boss is another form of shapeshifter. She's become blood bound to the Eric, the vampire leader of the local area. Her brother is a were-panther, the result of a bite. And while she and her brother, Jason, haven't been getting along very well of late, Sookie still is shocked and dismayed when Jason's estranged werepanther wife is found crucified just outside the bar where Sookie works.

Crystal was not the most beloved member of the community, but Sookie doesn't figure that's a good enough reason to kill her. Of course she was also a werepanther, and humanity has never reacted well to sudden surprises ... like finding out your next door neighbor bays at the moon. For her brother's sake, Sookie wants to find out who did it and why, and being a telepath does give her a unique perspective. Unfortunately, knowing what the people around you are really thinking isn't as neat an ability as one might expect. Nor do people sit down for a meal and contemplate all the crimes they've committed and where they hid the bodies. Telepathy is a help, but it's no cure-all.

To make matters even more complicated, the new Vampire King of Louisiana has designs on Sookie's abilities, and her friend and sometimes lover Eric is doing what he can to protect her, without bothering to let Sookie in on the details. Add in a war amongst the fae and a visit from the FBI, and Sookie barely has room to turn around without hitting a complication. She can only hope that she'll be able to cut through all the noise and bother and figure out what's going on before one of the interested parties adds her to the body count.

Dead and Gone is the ninth novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series. And Charlaine Harris's world is groaning a bit under the weight of all the friends, enemies, and acquaintances that Sookie has acquired, not to mention all the deep dark secrets she's keeping of things she's seen and done. Dead and Gone is wrapped up in plot layers bleeding over from previous books and Harris takes this opportunity to prune a few away. And, unfortunately, many of these resolutions are not going to turn out the way Sookie would prefer.

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