By Charlaine Harris, narrated by Johanna Parker
Place: Publisher & Year: Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books ; [Boulder, Colo. : Made available electronically by] NetLibrary, 2008
Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire, thriller
Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 2
ISBN: 9781435643444 (electronic audio book)
Intended audience: Adult
Recorded time: 8.5 hrs.
Settings: Bon Temps, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas
Time period: Contemporary
Plot summary: When Sookie’s co-worker and friend, Lafayette, is found dead in a car parked outside of Merlotte’s Bar, it is the start of a very bad day, which gets increasingly worse as night falls. After barely surviving an encounter with a maenad, Sookie learns that she and Bill must travel to Dallas to try and find a missing vampire.
Pacing: This is a very fast paced story. Danger lurks everywhere – night and day.
Characterization: The story is told in first person by Sookie. Many new and interesting characters are introduced in this book, including Sookie’s high school friend, Tara, while other familiar characters – like Jason and Sam – have much smaller roles than in the first book. The vampire, Eric Northman, has a bigger role in this story.
Frame: With a maenad roaming the woods at night and a religious cult that persecutes vampires, this is a darkly framed story, but with plenty of humorous moments mixed in to lighten the darkness.
Story line: A thrilling mystery with lots of action and vampire romance.
Vampires — Fiction.
Telepathy — Fiction.
Waitresses — Fiction.
Dallas (Tex.) — Fiction.
Downloadable audio books.
Similar authors: Charlie Huston, Laurell K. Hamilton, Marjorie Lui, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Sherrilyn Kenyon
Also, check out NoveList’s Recommended Reads article “Paranormal Mysteries” by Kimberly Burton for additional authors.
Personal notes: This was my first experience downloading a book from NetLibrary. It was very easy to do and I was able to listen to the book on my iPod. I really enjoyed the story, but I didn’t really care for the narrator. I thought she did a good job with Sookie’s voice, but some of the other characters voices sounded way off to me.
Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – telepath, vampires, maenad, shape shifters, “fangbangers”, gay vampire, werewolves, religious cult followers and leaders
This book won a Romantic Times 2002 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Mystery and Suspense – Best Amateur Sleuth
Since the series has grown quite long and complex, the author recommends reading the series in order.
Previously released on compact disc, 2007