For all of you who might’ve set up a nice little cottage under a rock somewhere, All Together Dead is one of the books (number 7 to be exact) in the Sookie Stackhouse or Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris which the hit tv show True Blood is based on. The premise behind this series is Sookie Stackhouse, a nice, innocent, southern girl who is a waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana, also happens to be a telepath. In the world of the series vampires have just “come out of the coffin” revealing their existence to the world after Japanese scientists created a synthetic blood substitute, which means vamps can live without feeding on the living. In the first book Dead Until Dark, a vampire called Bill Compton comes into the diner/bar where she works -Merlotte’s- and Sookie is instantly attracted to him because unlike all the human men she is around, she doesn’t hear his thoughts. From there Sookie is thrust into the world of vampires and other supernatural beings.
Before I go into my review for All Together Dead – SPOILER ALERT! For any of you who want to read these books in the future, or have started them but are not up to where I am, I will be talking about stuff that may spoil earlier books for you, so if you don’t wanna know stop reading. If you don’t care about knowing details before you read a book, or you’re not planning on reading them anyway, go ahead. We good to go? ok 🙂
Firstly Sookie is no longer with Bill, and personally I say thank god for that, because I never liked him that much, either in the books or True Blood – he reminded me too much of an older, grumpier Edward Cullen- but since the last book has been in a new tentative relationship with weretiger, Quinn (yay!). Also since the last book Sookie has been working for the Queen of Louisiana (The vampire community is led by sheriffs who rule/monitor areas of each state who are then commanded by a King or Queen who rule the state) Sophie-Anne Leclerq, reading the minds of human “companions” of the vampire to see if they’re lying or hiding anything. In All Together Dead the Queen requires Sookie to escort her to a vampire summit in the opulent vampire hotel, Pyramid of Gizeh in Rhodes. Her main purpose is to listen and look pretty (the King of Texas has his very own telepath, Barry the bellboy, who Sookie met in Living Dead in Dallas so having a telepath is like the new must have accessory for a vamp royal) but she is also the only witness to the “death” of the Queens former husband, the King of Arkansas, and can clear her of murder during her trial. During her work there Sookie discovers a few mysteries going on including the majority of the remaining Arkansas vamps being found slaughtered in their hotel suite, a bomb camouflaged as a Dr Pepper can right outside the Queen’s room, and a series of unclaimed suitcases being sent to different King or Queen’s rooms which no one seems to own. When Sookie and Barry investigate further they find that any witness they seem to find gets killed before they spill their guts…so to speak, and by the time they figure it all out it’s too late, making for a action-packed and somewhat distressing climax.
This isn’t my favourite of the series so far, but as always it’s a great fun read, and it has a host of characters both old and new. I especially liked the format of all the mysteries in the hotel – it reminded me of an old whodunnit where all the guests are stuck in a big grand mansion with the murderer while the detective unravels it all (The butler did it!) and except for the mysterious bags that I was sure were fishy from the start, there was some mysteries that had me stumped, which is always fun :). I also liked the introduction of some more otherworldly creatures – the Britlingens – which are efficient warriors summoned from another dimension to act as guards for one of the King vampires. I’d love to find out more about them in upcoming books.
I give All Together Dead By Charlaine Harris: