Sunday, October 22, 2017

Have You Heard? Charlaine Harris' Club Dead

I'm always grateful that Sandie Herron took the time to review a selection of audio books. Today, Have You Heard? features the third Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire mystery, Club Dead. Thank you, Sandie.

5212033Club Dead
Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery Book 3
Written by Charlaine Harris
Narrated by Johanna Parker
Unabridged Audiobook
Listening Time: 8 hours and 24 minutes
Publisher: Recorded Books (9/24/08)
Originally published by Ace as a PBO on 4/29/03

Sookie Stackhouse is a telepath in love with a vampire which works especially well because Sookie can’t “read” vampires. Sookie works for a shape shifter at Merlotte’s Bar & Grill in Bon Temps, Louisiana. This is billed as a “Southern Vampire Mystery” which really is a very accurate description although I’d sure throw a dash of romance into the mix liberally sprinkled with erotic scenes as well as humor. It may all sound over the top, but in Charlaine Harris’s capable hands, it’s an alluring mix.

Lately Bill, the vampire, has been spending inordinate amounts of time in front of his computer, and Sookie is missing the great intimacy they once shared. Suddenly Bill tells her that he must take a secret trip to Seattle on behalf of the queen of Louisiana without his direct superior, Eric, the sheriff of Area 5, knowing about it. Sookie has no choice but to go on with life as usual until a very uncouth werewolf shows up at the bar and tries to kill her. When Eric shows up to protect her, she is told that Bill never went to Seattle but met up with an old girlfriend, and Bill has now been kidnapped in Mississippi. Eric enlists Sookie and her telepathic abilities to go to Mississippi to see what information she can gather from the humans who hang out with local vampires and “supes” at Club Dead. While there she is escorted by stunning werewolf Alcide Herveaux.

While all this may sound farfetched, Charlaine Harris has a way of making it all seem quite plausible. Explanations are given on qualities of the supernatural, and human Sookie even reacts with laughter at hearing of the vampire kingdoms into which America is divided. She learns more about shape shifters and “weres” from her new companion right along with us. She’s lived such a protected life in a small town where she stays away from all the input from other people. Now she’s involved with all sorts of magical beings and realizes that they are individuals, too, although oftentimes with a different set of morals.

When Sookie shares with her werewolf companion Alcide what she’s learned, he says: “You seem like the most regular person I ever met, and it’s hard to remember you’ve got all this extra stuff.” Sookie keeps her wits and humor intact. In the middle of trying to find Bill, she shares, “I had never supposed that our romance would go smoothly. It was an interspecies relationship, after all. And Bill was a lot older than me. But this aching chasm I felt now that he was gone – that, I hadn’t ever imagined.”

Sookie comes to realize that she is involved with these extraordinary worlds whether Bill returns home or not because the vampires know of her telepathic abilities and will go to great lengths to obtain her services. Yet it is wise to remember how rebellious and resourceful Sookie can be.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery of Bill’s kidnapping, the romance of Bill and Sookie, the Southern values and locales, the erotic overtones, the supernatural worlds mixing with the human world and with each other.  It is a delightful merging of different cultures to create a broader view of life in a believable way.

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