Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries #12
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Dates Read: May 1-5, 2012
It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…
Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.
There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.
Like all of the previous Southern Vampire Mysteries novels, Deadlocked is a book to be picked up for a light read. Readers do not pick up these books expecting fine literature, or they will be sorely disappointed. Rather, these books are good for when you need a break, a light read that doesn’t require a lot of thought on your part, but is fun, entertaining and enjoyable. In this regard, Deadlocked doesn’t disappoint. Continuing where Dead Reckoning left off, Eric and Sookie are in the middle of quite a rough patch. He is to marry a vampire queen, Freyda, at the behest of the last request of his maker. Sookie is fearful, almost certain that he is going to leave her high and dry, despite his insistence that he loves her. To make matters worse, the Vampire King of Louisiana, Felipe de Castro arrives in Bon Temps to investigate the disappearance of his subordinate, Victor. With a setup like that, things can only go from bad to worse when Sookie discovers Eric feeding off of a younger woman on her bed, then she shows up dead on his lawn later that night. Since she became involved with the supernatural, Sookie’s life has never been easy. In this novel, she’s got relationship issues to deal with, complicated, dangerous vampire politics, a murder mystery, missing persons, Sam’s less-than-friendly lover, fairy issues, rogue werewolves, and even human troubles. Not to mention the stress of possessing a magical object so powerful it can grant any one wish to its bearer or her loved ones. It’s a dangerous thing to have around, even more so when persons unknown know you have it and are looking for it quite desperately.
One small gripe I had with the novel is that Harris turns it into a sort of stream-of-consciousness affair from our protagonist, Sookie Stackhouse. Some of the more mundane thoughts, routines and events she deals with in her daily life are detailed throughout the novel, presumably to break up the action, tension and angst of the supernatural goings-on. As it has been quite a while since I have read any of the other Sookie Stackhouse novels, I cannot remember whether or not this was a prominent feature of all the novels. I felt it was more pronounced in Deadlocked than before, but it could simply be because I haven’t read one of Harris’ novels since Dead Reckoning‘s release. At any rate, if this quality has bothered you in the previous books, be aware that it doesn’t diminish.
As for the story, I was generally pleased. I remember the cohesiveness of Dead Reckoning suffered because it felt like there were too many threads of story being woven at one time. Deadlocked may seem the same way at first, but I felt like most of the threads were tied up pretty neatly by the end. The mysterious elements were interesting and puzzling, and the conclusions were somewhat surprising. The end of the story was shocking, but I’m glad that what happened did. I look forward to the last novel, Dead Ever After to see how the series concludes.