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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

The Killing Dance

Reviewed: September 20, 2005
By: Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Jove Books
400 pages, $10.99

Sad to say, the cover copy on this one is accurate: “Romantic thrills, exotic chills.”

I wish this book had actually been about the half million dollar price tag that someone has placed on the head of Anita Blake, our favorite vampire hunter and zombie resurrectionist, but it isn’t. That subplot is a sideshow to the romance triangle that Hamilton has been teasing us with for the last book or so.

Blake has a nice boyfriend named Richard, who is sometimes a werewolf but is at heart a high school teacher. Like the good, religious girl she keeps telling us she is, she’s refused to consummate the relationship out of wedlock.

It got complicated when the the master vampire of the city, Jean-Claude, who has been stalking Anita for a number of confusing reasons, forced her to date him as well in order to save Richard’s life. It’s supposed to be an old-fashioned wooing contest - and may the best boyfriend win.

Now, wouldn’t you really rather find out how she’s going to help the other vampire lord who seems to be dissolving from a wasting disease, or spend time with her one human friend, Edward the hit man, while the two of them find out who has taken out a contract on her and why?

Not that we don’t get to do these things, but they’re given short shrift compared to the love triangle. Yes, Anita has a crisis of relationships and ends up in bed with somebody. Both she and that someone (read it yourself) behave wildly outside the parameters of the characters we have been presented with so far.

And the actual sex is far less intriguing than the double entendres and innuendo that have kept that tension interesting in the first five books of the series.

So, as I feared when I reviewed the previous book here, this series is taking a turn I’m not keen on. I’ll try one more, just to see if Anita comes to her senses and remembers who the monsters are, but I’m doubtful.

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