This is the fourth in the supernatural mystery series featuring Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic waitress. The books are best read in order, starting with the first book, Dead Until Dark, and while I always try to avoid spoilers, as each book builds on the next, it is difficult to avoid them when reviewing this series.
The main mystery in this installment involves a sniper taking potshots at supernatural beings in Sookies' small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. The police are involved, but considering the fact that the police are unaware of the existence of shapeshifters and werewolves, they are missing a crucial part of the pattern. When Sookie's friend and boss, Sam, is injured by the sniper, Sookie starts using her telepathy - not to mention all the supernatural contacts she's made - to discover the culprit.
Sookie also becomes involved in some intricate and surprising aspects of the werewolf community, culminating with attending the contest of two wolves competing for the position of pack leader.
This was an engaging installment in this series, but the mystery element was fairly obvious and not all that interesting. What really held my attention was Sookie and the various relationships she has with the people around her. She has become something of a hot commodity among the supernatural men in her life, which is a huge change for the girl who had been accustomed to being thought of as the town nutcase. I like how strong and self-reliant Sookie is, and that she tries to do the right thing, even when it is inconvenient - or even dangerous - for her. I also enjoyed the cameo appearance of some characters from her Lily Bard mystery series! There are some intriguing issues that are raised in this book that I am curious to read more about in future volumes.
I have started watching season 1 of True Blood, the television series based on the Sookie books, and while there are some departures from the original storylines and characters, I'm finding it to be fascinating and surprisingly addictive. Although - and I'm curious to know if anyone else experiences this - since I've been watching the show, I find that my original mental image of the characters has been battling it out with the television characters - and I'm not sure which ones are going to win!
Books in the Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) 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 (short stories)
11. Dead in the Family
Dead as a Doornail (#5 in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2005)
Also reviewed at:
Eclectic/Eccentric: "As always Sookie's love life is complicated and rather unbelievable. I've never met a woman so wanted by so many distinct men. Then again, good for her."
Fyrefly's Book Blog: "Sookie seems to be collecting hot supernatural men who are obsessed with getting into her pants at the rate of about one per book, and while I am okay with authors leaving some tangly unresolved emotional threads hanging from book to book, doing so with five (soon to be six) guys at once is getting to be a little excessive."
Rhinoa's Ramblings: " I like that there are still some humans in the mix and I hope it stays that way. It's interesting that Sookie straddles both worlds and we are still unsure exactly what she is."