Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Sookie is still reeling from the events in Dead and Gone:  despite the extensive damage done to her body, it’s her spirit that may take longer to heal.  Her friend Amelia is heading back to New Orleans, leaving Sookie alone once again—or so she thinks.  Her cousin Claude, an arrogant, condescending, utterly unlikable fairy surprises her by showing up on her doorstep and asking if he can stay with her.  Since the doorways between the worlds of fey and human have been closed and he’s cut off from his kind, he finds himself lost—or so he says.

She also has her vampire-boyfriend/husband Eric but vampire politics keep him busy and she suspects that those intrigues will always keep her in a state of danger.   The new Louisiana Representative certainly seems more interested in Eric’s territory than returning to New Orleans.  As if worrying about Victor wasn’t enough, Eric’s maker lets himself into Sookie’s home without needing an invitation—and Eric’s maker is beyond scary.

To top it off, the government is spying on the supernatural community while drafting a bill to require some sort of registration.  Needless to say, things were quite tense even before the dead bodies were discovered on Sookie’s property.

Wow—there is certainly a lot going on in this book.  Family relationships are definitely explored even if they seem overshadowed by events and I wonder why Harris made that choice—are we to expect some sort of Civil War “brother vs. brother” storyline to intertwine with the supernatural registration storyline?

I love Eric but I didn’t quite understand his relationship with Sookie this time around—maybe things were just off because of the ordeal they’d just been through or maybe this is the beginning of the end?  They love one another but sometimes that’s just not enough.  I suspect that Sookie’s going to turn her romantic gaze from vampires and weres to someone less complicated, a bar-owning shapeshifter, perhaps?

I like the new relationship between Sookie & Jason.  I’m utterly confused by the Dermot revelation at the end but I assume that will be clarified in the next book?

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