Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Club Dead

by Charlaine Harris


The third novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series opens with a common relationship problem. Sookie has been with Bill the vampire for a while when she discovers he's been keeping secrets from her. He has a project he's working on that he refuses to share with Sookie. This discovery leaves her feeling rejected, and the feeling gets worse when he goes missing.

Eric, the head vampire in her area, believes Bill is in Jackson, Mississippi. Sookie comes under attack during her work as a waitress, so she sets off to Jackson to find and rescue Bill, even though she has mixed feelings about whether they have any relationship left to salvage.

Sookie travels with Alcide, a big werewolf who poses as her boyfriend. She's also accompanied by Bubba, a big vampire with memory problems and other intellectual issues. Bubba is basically a supernatural with special needs, which makes a change from the vampire stereotype of the brooding alpha male.

Club Dead is an unwelcoming niche venue, even for a vampire club, and Sookie has to put on an act in order to get in and get the information she wants. It's full of leather-clad supernatural hoodlums, so it has an edgy, dangerous atmosphere. Sookie is so used to dealing with vampires and shifters that they have come to seem less threatening as the series progresses, so the addition of an unfamiliar location swarming with violent strangers kicks the tension up a notch.

The tension continues to rise as Sookie discovers more about where Bill may be held and who is involved. She is interfering with people high up in the supernatural hierarchy, and blundering in without a clue. Previous novels in the Sookie Stackhouse series have had body counts and gore, and this is no exception.

This is also a very sexy story. There's an attraction between Sookie and Alcide, and it's not one Sookie feels she can give in to. Eric also makes no secret of his feelings for her. Although he doesn't exactly throw himself on Sookie, he's cheekily forward, like an endearing stalker. I was never sure whether to root for him or hope Sookie stakes him.

Club Dead is an incredibly fast, light read. Sookie has a mix of dry wit, no-nonsense attitude, vulnerability and easy charm that makes her believable and utterly compelling. She isn't trying too hard to be funny, or to be anything except a southern waitress. It's the humanity of her character amidst all of the supernatural drama that makes this series so sticky. I mean sticky in the sense of keeping readers glued to the story, but I wouldn't rule out other types of stickiness either.

1st July 2015

Book Details

Year: 2003

Categories: Books

  Female Protagonist  

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5 star rating

Review ©

Source: own copy
Read more about Charlaine Harris