Dead in the Family is the tenth book in Charlaine Harris's series.
SWith season 2 of HBO's "True Blood" hitting shelves May 25 and season 3 premiering in July, the much-awaited 10th book in Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series has finally been released, and it is just as spectacular as the other nine.
"Dead in the Family" continues the story of Louisiana barmaid Sookie Stackhouse as told in first-person by Sookie herself. While each book in the series is basically a self-contained tale set in North Louisiana, there are many long-running plotlines that span all 10 books. I would advise new readers to read the series in order beginning with "Dead Until Dark" rather than hopping on the bandwagon with this book.
Also, fans of the "True Blood" series should be aware the show is based on these books and only loosely follows the storyline as there are many differences in characters and events.
Harris neatly avoids the trap of giving readers the same story over and over again by letting her plotlines grow and develop with each new installment and reveals a little bit more of each character throughout the series.
After the events of the ninth book, Sookie is understandably quieter and more subdued, as she comes to terms with what happened to her in previous books. The biggest change seems to be in her personality, but she regains some of her normal perkiness after realizing she actually does want to live.
One major change in Sookie is her view on murder, which throughout the series has been that murder is wrong. Now, after a threat to her and her vampire lover's happiness is threatened, her first thoughts are that it would be better if the person threatening them just died. She reasons, "It's not that I approve of murder - but some people just beg to be killed, don't they?"
It is a change to see the harder-edged Sookie, although it can be hard to say whether this change is a product of the events of the previous book or by the fact that she's been hanging out with supernaturals for so long. After all, most of the supernaturals in each book usually solve their problems with death and violence.
Harris introduces several new characters in this addition to the series, and since, as previously stated, most problems are solved with violence in the supernatural world of Sookie Stackhouse; several characters are lost.
Harris impresses me with her attention to detail, which some vampire story authors may leave out. She gives a history of several of the key vampire characters while summarizing the events that lead to a character becoming a vampire. She gives great details on the differences between each of the shifters and Weres and the politics of both sets of supernaturals.
Harris weaves romance, mystery, fantasy and horror into a story like none other. She includes details about Shreveport, Ruston, Monroe and New Orleans like only a Southern native can, and she makes references to both University of Louisiana-Monroe and Tech. Fans of both the show and the books will enjoy this newest addition to the series.