Laurell K. Hamilton
Series or Stand Alone: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series, book two
Synopsis: [from bn.com]
The novels of New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton take readers into the dangerous life of Anita Blake, animator and vampire hunter—a woman as good at raising the dead as she is at slaying the undead. Now, a creature from beyond the grave is tearing a swath of murder through St. Louis. And Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried—and some people better off dead...
I had no idea how much I missed Hamilton's writing until I picked up The Laughing Corpse. Even though this was crazy different then Guilty Pleasures (reviewed here), I'm still head over heels in love with Anita!
Not a lot of vampire love and/or slaying in this installment. This one is all about, yep you guessed it, zombies! My first real zombie fix to be honest. Anita is helping the police with some very gruesome murders that have been happening lately. As if being horrifically killed wasn't enough for the poor victims, it seems they have been eaten too. Seems there is a killer zombie on the loose and Anita needs to find a way to put a stop to his rampage. She needs to find out who raised the zombie and why, but more importantly she needs to get to it before it gets to another victim!
I think what's so great about the series so far is that the bad guys are truly bad! No redeeming qualities whatsoever, so it's impossible not to hate them. Definitely makes it so much more enjoyable when they meet their not-so-pretty demise when their time is up.
I like the fact that the background supernatural world was delved into more. Instead of being told how things are in Anita's world, I learned about them around the same time she did. I also really enjoyed some background character developing on Anita herself. Hamilton does really well throwing in tidbits about Anita's affinity with the dead and how her abilities are an inherited talent.
And yes, Jean-Claude is in the story, so untwist your nervous hands if you were thinking he wasn't. However, his part in the book was more a sub-plot line. He's now the master vampire of St. Louis and is still heavily pursuing Anita. Apparently though, she's been given two of the four marks that will make her Jean-Claude's human servant. But do you really think Anita wants to be someone's servant, no matter how sexy the person may be?! I think not. Although, he does seem pretty yummy...I know I'd have a more difficult time saying no to the guy, but that's a different story.
Overall, I loved The Laughing Corpse. It was different: bloody and gory and full of a great writing style (IMHO) I already have book three, Circus of the Damned, waiting to be read in my room!