written by David Steffen
Dead and Gone is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2009, the ninth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood). The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.
Before the series of books, the vampires of the world had publicly revealed their existence, but since then Sookie has learned of many other supernatural beings living among us as humans. Among them are the shapeshifters, including werewolves and wereanimals of other types. Now that they’ve had time to observe how the vampire revelation has gone, the shapeshifters have finally decided to make their big public reveal, outing themselves to the public both in a general sense and with individual members of communities revealing themselves at once. The reveal in Bon Temps seems to go pretty well, until Sookie’s werepanther sister-in-law is found crucified outside Merlotte’s where she works.
The King of Nevada has now conquered all of Louisiana, killing all of the vampire hierarchy there except for Eric who he has kept on as sheriff, so that brings its own set of conflicts.
And Sookie learns that her fairy great-grandfather Niall is engaged in a major power struggle.
Never a dull day in the life of Sookie!
I thought it was really interesting to see this book tackle another great life-changing event with the reveals of the shifters to the world. It makes sense, real worlds are always changing even if we’re used to them being somewhat static in book worlds. There are enough conflicts all going on in parallel that there’s never a chance to get bored, and you have the mystery of who crucified Crystal to keep the reader engaged as well.
(Only minor quibble, as with the last book, is the tendency to call any conflict a “war”, even if there are only a handful of participants and the conflict lasts only a short period of time)