I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on that there are things she'd rather not know. An 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.
Sookie is trying to wish away some aspects of her life and makes the mistake of asking Bill about his favourite fantasy:
“My favorite fantasy? You come down into my daytime resting place stark naked," he said, and I could see the gleam of his teeth as he smiled. "Oh, wait," Bill said. "That's already happened.”
“And that's your fantasy? That I come into your house naked and have sex with you?"
"After that, you tell me that you have sent Eric on his way, that you want to be mine forever, and that to share my life you will permit me to make you a vampire like me."
The silence now was thick, and the fun had drained out of the fantasy.
Then Bill added, "You know what I'd say when you told me this? I'd tell you I would never do such a thing. Because I love you.”
This is where Bill proves to me that he understands Sookie perfectly. He knows that she’s a creature of the sun and would never be happy in the darkness of the undead world. And that he still loves her.
It’s Sookie’s birthday, and she receives a delegation of the undead when darkness falls:
“We came to wish you a happy day,” Eric said. “And I suppose, as usual, Bill will want to express his undying love that surpasses my love, as he’ll tell you—and Pam will want to say something sarcastic and nearly painful, while reminding you that she loves you, too.”
Bill and Pam looked decidedly miffed at Eric’s preemptive strike, but I wasn’t going to let anything dim my mood.
“And what about you, Eric?” I asked on counterattack. “Are you going to tell me that you love me just as much as Bill, but in a practical way, while finding some way to subtly threaten me and simultaneously remind me that you may be leaving with Freyda?”
Once again, Pam is perfect: “Sookie, I brought you something too. I never thought I’d want to spend time with a human, but you’re more tolerable than most.”
There’s also a showdown with Freyda, the Queen who is courting Eric. She visits Sookie to size up her competition. Bubba is perfect as her guide—when she asks what people see in Ms. Stackhouse, the normally addled Bubba speaks right up, telling Freyda that Sookie is kind. And that’s it in a nutshell. She’s kind to everyone who allows it—even when they don’t really deserve it. Forget being a Christian, Sookie, you’re working on being a good Buddhist.
Almost there—I will be free of this re-reading trap with one more book!