HIT LIST (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #20)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
PUBLISHER: Headline (UK) | Penguin (USA)
RELEASE DATE: 7th June 2011
FORMAT: Harback, 320 Pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, US Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer. But some monsters are very real. The Harlequin have been the bogeymen of the vampire world for more than a thousand years; they are a secret so dark that even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. Now they are here in America, hunting weretigers, and human police.
The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now she needs a new one, and she’s decided that Anita Blake’s is the body she wants. Edward thinks the serial killings are a trap to lure Anita closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted. The vampires call Edward “Death,” and Anita the “Executioner,” but Mommy Darkest is coming to kill one, and possess the other, and she doesn’t care how many others have to die along the way.
This has to be one of the best Anita Blake novels I have read in a long time. Fans of Jean-Claude, Micah, Nathaniel and co. may miss their total absence. But I actually enjoyed the change & the absence of complicated relationship discussions. For the most this book was just Anita, Edward and lots and lots of guns! Oh yes….!
It does help that Edward has to be one of my favourite characters of the series. The fact that his and Anita’s relationship is platonic is just so refreshing. I would class Obsidian Butterfly as one of my favourite of the series, when Anita enters into Edward’s world. I also like how their friendship has developed in this book, from more than just work colleagues with admiration from each other’s skills, but genuine friends.
There are some scenes that took me back with pleasure to Hamilton’s early writing. One particular in the woods, just Edward & Anita stranded with darkness approaching, had me rubbing my hands together in gruesome, violent anticipation.
The Harlequin play a very important part in this novel, and it’s great to get some baddies that pose a serious challenge to Anita and Edward. We get some real monsters and proper edge of your seat action scenes.
About three quarters of the way through, the tone of the book changed with the arrival of bodyguards from St. Louis. Let’s face it, it was quite remarkable that Anita was ‘allowed’ to travel without them anyway. But while it annoyed me a little, and the whole police politics around their arrival took away from the story, they definitely add to the big showdown at the end so I won’t complain too much
Side note… Am I the only one that cannot abide Nicky? He is like a simpering, wet puppy who fawns unattractively over Anita. What I don’t understand is why this tough, uncompromising woman, who let’s face it can have any man she chooses puts up with it? Can he meet an unpleasant end somewhere please Ms Hamilton?
Then there’s Olaf, I do hope we get a book with a big, bloody showdown between him and Anita, the man so has it coming! And I just know it will also be edge of your seat stuff. Bring it on!
This is definitely the best Anita book I’ve read in a long time and it’s really got me excited, I hope this is the start of things to come. I don’t mind the relationships with all the men, although I wish there were a few less. But I love the action scenes, because Hamilton does really know how to write them and give you the proper chills.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1. Guilty Pleasures
2. The Laughing Corpse
3. Circus of the Dammed
4. The Lunatic Cafe
5. Bloody Bones
6. The Killing Dance
7. Burnt Offerings
8. Blue Moon
9. Obsidian Butterfly
10. Narcissus in Chains
11. Cerulean Sins
12. Incubus Dreams
14. Dance Macabre
15. The Harlequin
16. Blood Noir
17. Skin Trade
20. Hit List
21. Kiss the Dead
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