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    Review of LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS by Charlaine Harris (see her website)


    Ace Books, April 2002

    Vampires are out of the closet in America, but a large fraction of the population wishes that they'd go back. When a vampire goes missing in Dallas, waitress and mind-reader Sookie Stackhouse and her vampire boyfriend Bill are summoned from Louisianna to Dallas to see if they can solve the mystery. Sookie's mindreading only takes her so far. And when she begins to investigate, she puts herself in terrible danger from the fellowship--a group of 'humans' who preach the extermination of the vampire kind. Her vampire support is only available at night so Sookie is on her own in a horribly unfriendly city. Meanwhile, back home in Bon Temps, Louisianna, a gay cook has been killed and Sookie needs to get to the bottom of that as well.

    Author Charlaine Harris (see more reviews of fantasy fiction by Harris) provides a combination of exciting adventure, mystery, and emotional depth. Sookie is powerfully sympathetic as she struggles with the differences between herself and the vampire she loves. Sookie's brief relationship with the ancient teenaged vampire, Godfrey, was especially moving. Harris makes her novel especially convincing with small-town details like the high school football game which the entire city of Bon Temps turns out to watch (if you don't come from a small town, you might not understand how completely true this is) and the famous chocolate cake--details that add richness to a fine story.

    LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS is the second in the Southern Vampire series. If anything, Harris's writing is getting stronger as the series progresses.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 7/05/03

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