Sookie Stackhouse was living a fairly normal life, working as a cocktail waitress in a small town in Louisiana. Until she met Bill, a vampire, and fell in love with him. In this third installment of the Southern Vampire series (now also called the True Blood series after the television show based on the books), Bill is preoccupied with a project he's been working on secretively, and he tells Sookie he needs to go out of town for a few days. She senses that something is wrong, particularly when he hides some things in her house and gives her instructions for what to do in case he doesn't return.
Not surprisingly, Bill does not return when he says he will. When Eric, a vampire we've met in previous books, shows up on Sookie's doorstep and tells her that Bill is in trouble, possibly dead - and that he has lied to her, gone to see an old flame, a vampire he'd been in love with years earlier, Sookie is devastated and worried at the same time. Her mind-reading abilities may save Bill if he's still alive, which is doubtful, and despite her anger at him, she agrees to travel to Mississippi to try to locate him. Along the way she teams up with an attractive werewolf with a despicable ex-girlfriend and finds herself immersed in a highly charged, perilous situation where it is only her anonymity that protects her.
This third book in the series finds Sookie taking a good, hard look at her life and her relationships and realizing it's time to make some choices. She has gained some confidence since the first book, where she really saw herself as the crazy girl all the townspeople think she is. She has traveled, broadened her horizons, met new people, and learned a few things about herself. Still, this book finds her well and truly in over her head, and it is fun, as always to see her attempt to extricate herself. I enjoyed this one, although the pacing was a bit bumpy in places, and as I believe this is the last one of the series I've read before, I'm looking forward to moving into new territory with the fourth book. These books are an enjoyable combination of mystery, suspense, and fantasy with a welcome touch of humor.
Books in the Southern Vampire series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories) - to be published October 2009
Club Dead (#3 in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2008)
Also reviewed at:
Avidbookreader: "...the story is very readable, character development was nicely done but there were some slow parts (mainly when Sookie is away from home) and I missed the Bon Temps community because for me, they make this series stand out..."
J. Kaye's Book Blog: "I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I hadn’t tried reading this series back-to-back. Doing so was similar to eating too much chocolate in one sitting."
Love Vampires: "The story is well plotted with twists and turns that are original and unexpected plus the mystery element of the story is first rate too. The action in the story was fast paced and once again Charlaine Harris has written a book that I found hard to put down."