Series : Sookie Stackhouse #12
Hardcover: 327 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Gollancz
Characters : Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton, Sam Merlotte, Jason Stackhouse, Eric Northman
First Sentence : "It was hot as the six shades of Hell even this late in the evening, and I’d had a busy day at work."
Last Sentence : “Sure, Sam,” I said, very quietly. “Another day.”
Sookie has a murder investigation on her hands.
A young girl has died at a vampire party - and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn't do it, the police don't believe him, and even Sookie isn't so sure. Nor is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim's blood minutes before she was killed.
But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early - just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her own blood before approaching Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistable, or was it something more sinister?
Sookie will have to find out ... but it's the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfil Sookie's heart's desire. The only problem is, she still doesn't know what - or who - her heart truly desires .
I have to be honest and say that I actually enjoyed this book compared to the past couple books in the series. At the heart of Deadlocked is a solid murder mystery – who killed the girl Eric was last seen drinking from, and why dump her body on his front lawn? There are endless potential suspects and motivations. The murder mystery, the fantasy action and Sookie’s Fae relatives perhaps take up a larger than usual part of the story line – leaving little space for Sookie’s ongoing domestic drama with Eric. Their relationship is subdued and bad tempered for the most part but with a new character introduced (Freyda, Queen of Oklahoma) that side of the storyline would appear to be gearing up for a big showdown in a last series instalment.
There is little romantic development for Sookie in Deadlocked (something that is sure to disappoint some fans who might have been expecting more Eric and Sookie revelations after the build up to Eric’s forced betrothal to Freyda in the previous book, Dead Reckoning) but with the complex mystery to be solved and no shortage of fantasy interest provided by the Fae staff and strippers at Hooligan’s who has time for romance?
Witnesses go missing and evidence turns up that suggests to the Sookie and vampires that this was a set up. Sookie does a little bit of investigating of her own but every clue she discovers just leads to more questions. Unravelling this mystery, wrapped in an enigma, takes up the majority of the novel and leaves readers guessing until ultimately reaching a satisfying conclusion when all is finally revealed.
Deadlocked makes a gripping and engrossing read – a one- or two-sitting reading is a distinct possibility here – so take my advice and remember to finish your chores and switch off the phone before turning the opening pages.