Friday, August 7, 2015

Skin Trade Chapter 2

This entire conversation is basically one long miserable phone call. Yep, our allegedly trigger-happy butt-kicking heroine reacts to getting a head in the mail by calling the undersheriff in Vegas, and insisting, "My imaginary penis is bigger than your real one, nyah nyah!"

Anyway, she's being unusually patient (by which I mean she isn't actively trying to piss him off:

I sighed, and repeated for the umpteenth time, “I am U.S. Marshal Anita Blake. I need to talk to someone in charge, and I guess that would be you, Sheriff Shaw.”
“I will kick the ass of whoever gave your name to the media.”
“What are you talking about, Sheriff?”
“You didn’t hear about the message from the media?”

Lest anyone be confused, you should know that Anita Blake is apparently supposed to be the sexiest woman of St. Louis, if not the world - she's soooo hot and awesome, and the tabloids are all desperate to know who she's boinking. Because she's so edgy and goth and sexy, and everyone is interested in short dowdy whiny women who never do any work in public and who is only known for boffing supernaturals.

She's sort of like Kim Kardashian, but with more homicide and rage, and a harem.

“If you mean television or radio, I haven’t had either on. Is there something I should know?”

... does anyone still listen to news on the radio? This is supposedly set in 2009. Does Anita Blake also enjoy listening to the President's fireside chat?

Anyway, Anita decides to draw the whole thing out by revealing it one. Detail. At. A. Time. Apparently it's too straightforward for Anita to just tell the dude, "Somebody sent me a head in the mail from Vegas." So she sits there drooling on herself while the guy demands to know what's going on.

Was it time to tell the whole story? I hadn’t earlier because once you tell someone certain things—say, you got mailed a human head in a box—they tend to think you’re crazy. I was in the media enough for someone to pretend to be me,

Because everybody is just DYING to impersonate the Skank of St. Louis, possessor of the most-used vagina not currently starring in a porn movie.

so I’d wanted them to take me seriously before they discounted me as some crackpot psychotic.

I'd say it's too late for that.

He was quiet for almost a minute. I could hear his raspy breathing. I was betting on the smoking. About the time I was going to prompt him, he said, “Can you describe the head?”

Probably not. After all, she didn't describe it in the previous chapter, because she was too busy staring at photos and contemplating how tough she is.

He could have said a lot of things, but that wasn’t on my list. Too calm, even for a cop, and too practical.

Grrrrr, how dare he be calm and practical! Doesn't he know only Anita is allowed to respond to blood, gore and mayhem with sociopathic calm? HE'S STEPPING ON HER TURF!

The moment he asked me to describe it, I knew he had someone in mind, someone who was missing a head. Shit.

And apparently this person is supposed to be a Federal Marshal, and this is her Great Deduction. Never mind that one might assume that the Vegas Police MIGHT potentially notice if there was a headless body floating around, and they would probably be able to identify the person, and that if somebody called them up and said that a head had been mailed from Vegas, they might assume that the head and body came from the same person.

Then again, this is Anita Blake, who cannot catch the bad guys unless they invite her out and tell her "I'm the bad guy!" For her, this is an Agatha Christiean deduction.

“The head is in plastic, packed in ice. The hair looks dark, but that could be partially from the way it was packed. The hair looks straight, but again, I can’t be sure that it’s not some leakage making the hair appear straight. Caucasian, I’m sure of, and the eyes look pale. Gray, maybe pale blue, though death can steal color from the eyes. I have no way of telling time of death, so I don’t know how much discoloration could have taken place.”

In other words, our intrepid marshal heroine can't even definitely describe a disembodied head that's sitting right in front of her. The only thing she can say for a fact is that it's a white person's head stuck in ice and plastic, and no other details. She hasn't even mentioned if it's a man or a woman... so maybe she hasn't figured that out either.

“A badge, and a finger. The finger should have a wedding band on it.”
“I’m sorry to hear that last part.”
“Telling the wife, I don’t envy you that.”

It means she'd have to fake sympathy for someone else's pain. Frankly, if she can't even manage to hold back the hair of someone she actually knows personally because that person is a woman, I can't imagine her giving a damn about some random person who's just lost their spouse. Especially a human woman, as opposed to a bishie supernatural ("Oh you poor widower! Drown your sorrows in my tightwet vagina!").

“You have to do that yourself much?”
“I’ve seen the grieving families of the vampire vics often enough. It always sucks.”

Especially when the women cry. It means they're girly, unlike her! I mean, what a drag for Anita to have to tell people that their loved ones are dead.

After rambling about how she's not touching the head or anything (I think it's already been contaminated, since it's been handled by the postal system and opened by her), Anita finally gets around to asking a question that a person with an IQ higher than 23 would have asked already.

I finally said, “What happened in Vegas, Sheriff Shaw? Why do I have a piece of one of your officers on my desk?”

She already knows more than he seems to, since she actually knows the identity of the person responsible. And for some reason, she hasn't mentioned to him, "Oh by the way, it's from this dude called Vittorio who I sort of let escape because I was too busy flooding my office with sex fluids."

“No, but it would be an awfully big coincidence if you’ve got an officer who’s missing a head, and I’ve got a head in a box sent from your town that superficially matches your downed officer. I just don’t buy a coincidence that big, Sheriff.”

Now note here that the sheriff hasn't actually SAID that it's an officer, or that it's one of his men. He merely implied that he knew who it was. But then, LKH seems to believe that the only people who have perilous lives are

  1. Anita
  2. Supernaturals
  3. Cops/military.

In roughly that order, of course. And she doesn't seem to realize that most cops are not like her loopy heroine - they aren't "on" all the time, they don't have giant egos about their profession, and they do have lives outside of being cops. Unless you're Henry Spencer, but that's the exception that proves the rule.

He sighed, then coughed; it was a thick cough. Maybe he was just getting over something.

Why do we keep hearing about this guy's raspy voice?

"We’re holding back the fact that we’ve got a missing head and badge. We’re also holding back from the media that there’s a message on the wall where my men were slaughtered. It’s written in their blood, and it’s addressed to you.”
“To me,” I said, and my voice sounded a little less certain of itself than I wanted it to sound. It was my turn to clear my throat.

Well, who else would it be for? Never mind that you'd expect this guy would have eluded quite a few people on his nationwide killing sprees - the only one he wants is Anita. Cuz she's that awesome. Nobody else matters.

“‘Creepy,’ that’s the best you can do? This vampire sent you a human head. Will it mean more to you if I tell you it’s the head of our local vampire executioner?”

I'm amazed that LKH is admitting that other vampire executioners actually exist, and that Anita is not utterly unique.

But wait, between this dude and Anita's old mentor, she also gives off the impression that no other vampire hunter could possibly do their job without being maimed or killed. Only Anita is tough enough. Because obviously when you need an evil superstrong superpowered superspeed vampire killed, you're going to ask for a clumsy, big-boobed woman who solves all supernatural crises by falling on her back with her legs in the air. Or kisses. Or the power of love.

Anyway she starts asking random other questions that don't really seem to add anything, like if any other people had "souvenirs" taken or whether the dude was with the SWAT team.

“All warrants of execution are considered high risk, so SWAT helps deliver the message.”
“Yeah, they’re talking about that in St. Louis, too.” I was still unsure how I felt about them forcing me to take SWAT on vampire hunts.

This is another clumsy attempt to prove that Anita's so tuff she doesn't need any help killing vampires, despite the fact that the only vampires she manages to kill act like they've been lobotomized so she can take them down. Ooooh, she's so tuff she doesn't need the SWAT team! She's a one-woman SWAT team on her own!

The sad thing is that this whole idea makes SENSE. These vampires are supposed to be superhuman in every respect and no one person could realistically kick their asses. Bringing the best manpower on hand to help take them out is a smart, sensible and realistic way to get the job done. And in a universe where vampires existed in a modern society, such a measure would undoubtedly be enacted from the very start.

Then again, I'm sure Anita's opposition to the idea of being required to bring a SWAT stems from her need to be the center of attention, and to be viewed as the strongest tuffest person evah.

Part of me was happy for the backup, and another part was totally against it. The last time SWAT had backed me, some of them died. I didn’t like being responsible for more people.

Because of course SHE ALONE would be in charge and SHE ALONE responsible for all the hardened professionals. It's such a tragic surprise if one of them DIES on her watch, even though they're trained to deal with horrendous situations that she would sit down and bawl about.

It couldn't possibly be that the SWAT team would be babysitting her while they did the hard work so she could chop off someone's head. No no, she would be taking care of them. Because she's so tough and manly. Riiight.

Also, it was always a chore to convince them I was worthy to put my shoulder beside theirs and hit that door.

And here we have the smallest violin melody of the day - in case you don't know, Anita Blake is the constant victim of sexism. People don't dislike her because she's a bloodthirsty amoral abrasive hypocritical power-mad little slut who is involved various powerful extralegal organizations and has no specialized training or knowledge - it's because she's a short woman. That's the only reason.

“What the hell did you do to this vampire to make him like you this much?”

She's Anita. Every male in this series frantically lusts after her and is just dying to get in her supersonic (as in, how fast they are discarded) panties.

“I have no idea. Maybe let him get away and not chase him. Oh, hell, Shaw, you know there’s no logic to these nut-bunnies.”
“Fine, serial killers. Dead or alive they operate on a logic all their own. It doesn’t make sense to the rest of us because we’re not nut-bunnies.”

Which is yet another lazy way of avoiding an actual exploration of a bad guy's personality. One of the things that fascinates people so much about bad guys is how they tick and what makes them act as they do - and no, the logic of a serial killer is not necessarily outside the realm of a normal person's imagination. LKH just wants us to think that her Mary Sue has some sort of special insight.

Also, nut-bunnies? Wut?

“I’ve looked up the articles, but frankly, I thought you’d take credit and not mention the police.”
“They went in with me. They risked their lives. Some of them died. It was bad. I don’t think I’d forget that.”

How terribly generous of her. Granted, Anita treats the police like shit and doesn't really care about mere mortals' lives, so I'm amazed she didn't take credit.

“Rumor has it that you’re a publicity sl—hound,” he said, changing the word he was going to use to something less offensive.

Given that she threw a bitchfit in one of the earliest books because some secretary failed to recognize The Executioner, I'd say the rumors are correct. Actually, using a pretentious title like that is a bad sign itself.

I actually laughed, which was a good sign. I wasn’t completely in shock, yea! “I’m not a publicity hound, or a publicity slut, Sheriff Shaw. Trust me, I get way more media attention than I want.”

Oh how humble! How amazing she is! She doesn't want all the attention that is lavished upon her, just like a Hollywood star!

I shrugged, realized he couldn’t see it, and said, “I’m involved with some pretty gruesome cases, Sheriff; it attracts the media.”

People check out gruesome cases for the gruesomeness, not because they give a damn about the people who investigate or are involved in them. It has to be a truly shocking and mind-blowing case for it to really stick in people's minds.

And no matter what LKH clearly wishes would happen, the people involved in such cases are NOT treated like movie stars, with constant speculation on their love lives and photographs in tabloid news.

“You’re also a beautiful young woman and are dating the master of your city.” “Do I thank you for the beautiful comment before or after I tell you that my personal life is none of your concern?”

... and of course, everyone is DEEPLY interested in who Anita is dating.

And no, her personal life is EVERYBODY's fricking business. For one thing, she's dating a vampire with massive extralegal power and the position to have people be tortured, killed, and so on and so forth; another one of her boinkees went on a killing spree that was hushed up because He's So Speshul To Her. She's dating a vampire mafia don, only all moral defects are excused away as "they're vampires and that's how it works for them, and mere mortals can't understand." Insert "Italians" instead of "vampires," and you can see how ridiculous it is.

And I don't know about you, but if I were a cop I would be VERY concerned about this. Not only about the lack of morality that being WereQueen and Vampire Power-Behind-The-Throne implies, but because it would be impossible to immerse oneself in those worlds and still be uninfluenced. Not to mention loyal enough to law and justice to put them ahead of Vamp/Were politics.

So yeah, if I were a cop and she was coming stomping onto my turf, and expecting my men and women to be involved with her vampire-related disasters, I'd be concerned about her. In particular, I'd worry that she had some sort of history with Vittorio (especially since she claims to have no knowledge of why he'd send HER ALONE a severed head) and possibly deciding, "Hey, Vittorio's sins have been washed away by my divine netherbits! I'll kill anyone who touches him!"

“It is if it interferes with your job.”
“Check the record, Sheriff Shaw. I’ve killed more vampires since I’ve been dating Jean-Claude than I did before.”

Well, technically this is true, because "before" is only a few books into the series, and "since" is everything since then. It's like saying she's been in more novels since she's been dating Jean-Claude than before it.

As for what's in the fictional narrative... WAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! As if she even had time to kill vampires! When she isn't shagging them, she's pantomiming their needlessly elaborate politics. But since people have been criticizing the Anita Blake series have complained that our alleged "vampire hunter" "heroine" has suddenly become rabidly pro-vampire and no longer gets off her back to kill vampires. Vittorio escaping her without any retaliation was considered a prime example.

LKH's reply: "NYAH NYAH NYAH Anita's totally more badass and has totally killed more vampires NOW than when at the start of the series when she did stuff other than have sex and prance around in sexy clothes. I'm just not showing you what she supposedly does! So there! BLEEEAAAAAAHH!"

“I heard you’ve refused to do stakings in the morgue.”

Excuse me, why the hell is she called a "vampire hunter" if the only vampire stakings she allegedly does are to people who are already tied up and unable to escape? She doesn't hunt them, she doesn't apprehend them, she just kills them when other, tougher people have done all the work and then preens about how hardcore she is.

And for that matter, why is being a licensed executioner such a big deal? Apparently any moron with some upper body strength and a basic knowledge of anatomy can do it, and it would probably be better to have someone with tactical skills and intelligence. I'm pretty sure most cops are better qualified to do this shit... but then, Anita has to be SuperSpeshul.

“I’ve lost my taste for putting a stake through the heart of someone chained and helpless on a gurney.”
“They’re asleep, or whatever, right?”
“Not always, and trust me, the first time you have to look someone in the face while they beg for their life . . . Let’s just say that even with practice, putting a stake through someone’s heart is a slow way to die. They beg and explain themselves right up to the last.”

The disturbing part is that she ever HAD a taste for it. Then again, this is the character who once rhapsodized about how performing a human sacrifice is better than sex. And she wasn't very disturbed by this fact - she merely acknowledged it, didn't even say it freaked her out.

And pray tell, why would they even bother getting a person to do executions that way? Wouldn't using a mounted and aimed crossbow or something be a better way of quickly and as-painlessly-as-possibly killing a vampire? For that matter, why would they do it when the vampire is conscious? Wait till sunrise and eradicate them painlessly when they're "dead for the day." But then Anita can't be "touched" by them begging for mercy.

“But they’ve done something to deserve death,” he said.

Well, every non-wussy vampire in the series has, including Anita boytoys. But y'know, it's okay when THEY do it. Her magical private parts wipe away all your sins. And if someone holds you responsible for anything you did - like murder - they're obviously horrible people.

Then to demonstrate that humans are Evil Mean Bastards who pick on the poor defenseless evil vampires, Anita rants about the "three strikes law" for vampires and how they get killed for only three offenses of any kind with no defense. Of course, this makes absolutely no sense - why would vampires "come out of the coffin" as legal persons if they're not treated with basic rights?

And for that matter, what the hell could humans do to enforce this? We're supposedly inferior to vampires in every way, yet LKH expects us to believe that vampires are being threatened by OUR laws? LKH needs to read some Hideyuki Kikuchi if she wants a realistic view at how a world with vampires would turn out.

The most ridiculous aspect of this scene: the sheriff has conveniently forgotten all knowledge of vampire laws when semi-realistically, every cop would know them. It's so Anita can play Big Cool Expert and Moral Authority.

“Technically, no, but I just don’t do the stakedowns. I had stopped doing them before the vampire executioners got grandfathered into the U.S. Marshal program.”

.... which LKH clearly thinks gives you a license to kill.

He still thought all vampires were evil monsters, so he’d staked her without a qualm. Mallory sort of scared me. There was something in his eyes when he looked at any vampire that wasn’t quite sane.

So Whorenita is admitting that she was an evil insane psycho at the series' start, when she also thought of all vampires as evil monsters and also staked them without a qualm. Then she started boffing that, hence her magical moral change. Maybe this is LKH's attempt to show that people who want Anita as she once was want her to be evil and crazy and all that.

It's like a motivational poster: SEX: Unless you have it with somebody, you won't care what happens to them.

“I’m sorry, Sheriff, you got me thinking too hard about the shoplifter.”
“It’s in the news that the family is suing for wrongful death.”

Interesting, little Miss Morality doesn't seem terribly bothered by this, despite her qualms about killing the woman. Kill a defenseless innocent? Oh no, she couldn't do that. Allow someone else to kill her and then not bother fighting for basic legal rights for the allegedly helpless vampires? Yeah, that's fine.

“You don’t talk much, do you?”
“I say what needs saying.”
“You’re damn quiet for a woman.”

Because of course all women chatter and flutter and burble like blithering idiots. Only men are Strong Silent and Stoic.... like Anita! And of course all police officers make sexist comments like this, because all cops treat women like inferiors, because all cops are men or lesbians.

“You don’t need me to talk. I assume you need me to come to Vegas and do my job.”

Job. I remember when she had one of those.

“You sound angry.”
In my head I thought, Better angry than scared. If I could stay outraged, maybe I could keep the fear from growing. Because it was there in the pit of my stomach, in the back of my mind like a black, niggling thought that would grow bigger if I let it. “Wouldn’t you be pissed?”

Not everybody gets 50 miles for every gallon of rage. For one thing, people who stomp around in a constant stew of rage not only inspire continuous hatred from people around them, but they're the last person you'd wanna be with in a bad situation. Rage clouds your mind and senses and makes you do stupid things - apparently everything LKH knows about rage she learned from fighting animes, where you get a power-up if you get mad.

“I’d be scared.”
That stopped me, because cops almost never admit that they’re scared. “You broke the rule, Shaw, you never admit you’re scared.”

After all, LKH is the expert on cops and how they think. She has such a dangerous edgy life, after all.

“I’ve seen more men dead at one time. Hell, I’ve lost more men under my command.” “You must be ex-military,” I said.

So if you're a cop and have seen a lot of dead people, you automatically must be ex-military. Hear that, cops? You're all lightweights if you just went straight into being a police officer, according to the gospel of the SuperManly Macho Asskicker Extreme Anita Blake.

“Ex-special teams?” I made it part question, part statement.

  1. Wrong. It's not a statement because it has a question mark; additionally, the PUNCTUATION makes it a question, not Anita.
  2. And what the hell is "Special Teams?"
  3. Does she mean Special Forces?
  4. The only "Special Teams" I can find anything about are FOOTBALL units.
  5. I suppose we can consider LKH the great source of all things military-and-police-related, because after all, she can name-drop their terminology and get it wrong.
  6. For crying out loud, I just saw this term being used on Psych! It's a comedy/mystery show with no military stuff in it whatsoever, and it can manage to get the most basic and best-known terminology right where LKH can't.

“Do I ask what flavor, or just let it drop"

Strawberry with chocolate sprinkles. Seriously, what the hell is a "flavor of military"?

I tried for a joke, but Shaw didn’t take it that way.
“You’re making a joke. If you can do that, then you don’t get what’s happening.”

Or at least she's not taking it seriously enough. Which she isn't - she's busy posing as a military expert, contemplating moral dilemmas that she doesn't really care about, and waving around her imaginary penis.

And who says "You're making a joke"? It would be a lot more natural if he said, "If you can joke around, you don't get what's happening."

Shaw, actually caring about the business, says that most of his unit has dropped into comas for no apparent reason. Apparently a psychic claimed that it was magic that dropped them,

“When you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,” I said.

Stagger back in admiration of how literate and smart she is. Come on, everyone knows that quote. Is there a literate person who doesn't? I'd be more impressed by "If you were asked to prove that two and two made four, you might find some difficulty, and yet you are quite sure of the fact."

“Then you still don’t get it, Blake. You just don’t.”
“Okay, let me be blunt here. Something about my reaction wasn’t what you expected, so you’re convinced that I don’t get the seriousness of the situation."

Maybe it's because she keeps making stupid jokes that aren't funny, after this poor overstressed underrested man had a bunch of his people killed and even more drop into comas. She's NOT taking it seriously, and apparently Anita is annoyed that he's dared to chastise her for it.

Then again, it's just more of LKH's attitude that cops and military aren't REAL people. You shouldn't give them any compassion, or sympathy, or express any measure of support in any way. No, they're basically Terminator robots in her mind, only more sexist.

"You’re ex-special teams, which means to you, women are not going to measure up."

Well, more men than women play football...

Oh wait, she means Special Forces, which is the actual military term. And of course, being a military person means you're a total sexist douchebag who dismisses an entire gender because they aren't as tuff and deadly as you. Wait, that sounds like someone we know...

"You’ve called me a beautiful woman, and that, too, makes most cops and military underestimate women."

Because of course, all female cops and military personnel are ugly mannish lesbian hags, because they wouldn't be taken seriously if they were pretty and feminine. Obviously men only respect women who act like men.

"But special teams, hell, you don’t think most other military men are up to your level, or most cops."

They aren't. It's not arrogance - it's a fact. "Special" doesn't mean that they get little gold stickers on their tests.

"So I’m a girl; get over it. I’m petite and I clean up well; get over that, too."

I can assure Anita: nobody gives a damn how short you are, what your genitals are, and how well you "clean up." She gives people plenty of valid reasons to hate her.

"I’m dating a vampire, the master of my city; so what?"

So in a cop's mind, she's already compromised. Would you want a PI who's dating a mafia don to help you take out some other Mafia person?

"It has nothing to do with my job or why Vittorio invited me to come hunt him in Vegas.”

And in his place, I'd be wondering if Vittorio was another one of her boinkees. But I'm cynical that way.

“Why did he run in St. Louis? Why didn’t he run here when he knew we were coming? Why did he ambush our men and not yours?”
“Maybe he couldn’t afford to lose that many of his vampires again,"

"Fear me because I'm so tough! Tough and manly! I'd kill sooooo many of his vampires that he's skeered to come back here! FEAR MY IMAGINARY PENIS!"

And the obvious answer is: Carrie Vaughn put out an urban fantasy/mystery about TA DA! werecats and evil vampires in Vegas! What other city could LKH even consider using?

And you know what's even funnier? There's a parody character who makes fun of the Anita Blake-style "tuff manly" heroine.

“I called around, talked to some of the other cops you’ve worked with, and some of the other vampire executioners, about you."

I can easily imagine what they had to say. I know what I'd be saying.

“You, they thought he ran from you. Our Master of the City told me that the vampires call you the Executioner—that they’ve called you that for years.”

Swoon at how dangerous and awesome Anita is! They gave her a silly clunky nickname! They're all so scared of a tiny clumsy woman with butt-length hair and freakishly huge Pamela Anderson boobs! FEAR HER, I SAY!

“He’s been around years longer than me, but I’ve got the higher body count. Think about it.”

I am thinking about it. Lessee, on one hand we have the dude who has a fanatical hatred of vampires and wants to wipe them out, and has been doing that for MANY years with regularity. On the other, we have a dense-as-a-brick klutz who considers vampires superior to humans, and spends most of her time having sex with them, having them cater to her whims, and tiptoeing through their ridiculous social customs and etiquette. Not to mention doing the same time-consuming routine with each were group.

Yes, obviously the klutzy vampire-groupie nympho would have the higher kill count. It makes such beautiful perfect sense!

“Two, I think his hatred of vampires makes him less effective when hunting them. It makes him miss clues and not think things through.”

Yet seething with rage 24/7 doesn't have the same effect. Riiiiight.

“So you just kill them better than anyone else.”

And she's tuff and manly too! And has a vast assortment of metal penises! Swoon!

“I’ll be honest, Blake, I’d feel better if you were a guy."

Mm-hm, sure. Right. A cop would totally say this, opening himself to lawsuits, sexual harassment suits, and other such fun activities.

"I’d feel even better if you had some military background. I’ve checked you out; other than a few hunting trips with your dad, you’d never handled a gun before you started killing monsters. You’d never owned a handgun at all.”

And now she refuses to shut up about them and how they match her outfits and fit into her tiny baby-sized hands, etc etc etc. Guess how you can spot a poser!

“Our Master of the City is cooperating fully with us.”
“I’ll just bet he is.”

Why wouldn't he? Shaw seems far more reasonable than the All-Devouring-Lovecraftian-Mawcooch of St. Louis.

after an unfortunate metaphysical accident. The unfortunate accident had ended with me pretty much possessing one of his weretigers, Crispin.

And by "metaphysical accident," she means a gang bang. We need a codebook for this series:

  • Metaphysical accident = magical gang-bang
  • Special Teams = Special Forces
  • Cop = Racist Sexist Asshole
  • Military = See "Cop"
  • Woman = Pathetic Crying Weakling
  • Gun = substitute penis
  • Human = See "Cop."
  • Seduction = probably rape.

He’d taken Crispin back to Vegas with him, but it wasn’t because the tiger wanted to leave me. He was disturbingly devoted to me.

Naturally. Where else will he find a vagina that is tight and wet, while also having a special commuter's lane?

It wasn’t my fault, honest,

Of course not. She didn't KNOOOOOOWWWW...

Lately, some of the powers I’d gained as Jean-Claude’s human servant seemed to translate into attracting metaphysical men. Vampires, wereanimals, so far just that, but it was enough.

And poor wittle her, doesn't she just hate having all these hottie supernaturals that she lusts after having sex with her? Good thing her "powers" haven't provided anyone macho, fat, bald or human.

“Blake, you still there?”

How many times is she gonna space out on the phone? Shaw's the one who's living through a nightmare on very little sleep.

“You should be. He’s old-time mob. Don’t take this wrong, but if you think my opinion of women is low, then old-time mobsters think worse.”
“Yeah, yeah, you just think women can’t cut it on the job. Mobsters think we’re just for making babies or fucking.”

Which is fairly hilarious when one considers that we later find out that his wife is one of the most powerful people in Vegas. So... no, I'm betting he doesn't think that.

I don't think LKH realizes how she sabotages her own writing.

He made another laugh sound. “You are one blunt son of a bitch.”
I took it for the compliment it was; he hadn’t called me a daughter of a bitch.

Because of course being called male insults means you're a Tuff Manly Man. It also makes so much sense to refer to a woman as a "son."

If I could get him to treat me like one of the guys, I could do my job.

Right, because getting respect as a human being is all about being a "guy," and being a woman automatically means that you shouldn't be considered worthy of getting it. Thank you for setting feminism back a few centuries, LKH.

“All of it—blunt, a girl, pretty, dates vampires, whatever. Get it out of their system before I hit the ground in Vegas. I don’t want to have to wade through macho bullshit to do my job.”

The question is, do THEY want to wade through macho bullshit to do THEIR jobs?

And of course, they're all SO intimidated by a guuuuurrrrrlll who's blunt and pretty. After all, cops all think that pretty women are blithering idiots who aren't worthy of respect... wait, this is sounding familiar again. It reminds me of someone whose name rhymes with Juanita Stake.

“Nothing I can do about that, Blake. You’ll have to prove yourself to them, just like any . . . officer.”
“Woman, you were going to say woman."

This entire chapter is SO useless. It could have been summed up as Anita saying that she called Shaw and told him about what she got in the mail. Instead it's turned into an excuse to show how macho and tuff Anita is, and to pour excrement all over cops and military personnel because they are what Hamilton clearly wishes she was - genuinely skilled, capable, tough and potentially deadly.

“They’re motivated, Blake, but you’re still a beautiful woman and they’re still cops.”

Because pasty skin, frizzy hair, mall-goth clothes and circus-freak boobs are what beauty is all about.

“We blame the vampires that killed our people.”
“Yeah, but I’m still going to be the whipping boy for some of them.”

Primarily because in any Mary Sue fantasy, the Evil Bad Mean People are always there to be wittily dismissed by the Sue/Stu. Cops serve this function for the AB series.

“The message on the wall was for me. The head came to me. You already asked me what I did to piss Vittorio off. Some of your people are going to say that I pissed him off enough to make him do all this, or maybe even that he did it all to impress me in that sweet serial killer sort of way.”

And they have a pretty good reason to think so, don't they? If I were one of them, I'd even be wondering if - given that she's boffing half the vampire population of St. Louis - he's a POed ex of hers.

And what did she do to piss him off? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. She's never even encountered Vittorio, because she spent that whole book with her legs spread and a dozen new boytoys between them.

They babble about Vittorio's motivations for a moment, and come to absolutely no conclusions at all. Once again, what is the point of this chapter?

I thought to myself, Maybe that’s why he’s dead. Out loud, I said, “I’m bringing phosphorus grenades if I can get them on the plane.”
“Phosphorus grenades, no shit.”
“No shit.”
“They work on vampires?”
“They work on everything, Shaw, and water makes them burn hotter.”

Translation: LKH read something about phosphorus grenades somewhere, and decided to show her Expert Knowledge on the subject.

There's another feeble attempt to convince us that Anita is so tough it hurts by having her reminisce about throwing them at some ghouls, but this entire flashback has absolutely no point except for LKH to show off that she has some vague idea how burning phosphorus works. Especially since we later discover that she not only doesn't use phosphorus grenades, she never uses ANY kind of weapons. It's all posing.

“I saw some run through a stream. The phosphorus flared up around them like a hot, white aura everywhere the water splashed. So bright, the water sparked in the light.”

Ah, so that's the reason - so LKH can write bad poetry. Yeats she ain't. Pass.

I heard my voice utterly cold. I couldn’t afford to feel anything yet.

  1. It's nice to have a complete sociopath as your heroine.
  2. And how can a voice cold?

“I’m beginning to see why the vampires think you’re scary, Blake.”
“The grenades aren’t what make me scary, Shaw.”
“What does?” he asked.
“That I’m willing to use them.”

Lets all flutter and swoon at her scariness! Oooooh, nobody else in the world would be willing to throw a burning grenade at a ghoul! Never mind that there are people willing to repeatedly throw them at PEOPLE... Anita's scarier than them! She throws them at DEAD PEOPLE! Woooooooo, be impressed!

His voice was unhappy with me, as if I’d said something else that wasn’t what he wanted to hear.

Because of course the only reason he could sound unhappy is if it's at her. Heaven forbid he be unhappy for any other reason, like comatose and/or dead officers. Nah, it must be about her because the worst revolves around her netherbits.

He sighed loud enough for me to hear it. “Yeah, I’m your go-to guy.” He gave me his extension and his cell phone number. “We’re not going to wait for you, Blake. If we can catch these bastards, we will.”
“The warrant of execution died with your vampire executioner, Shaw. If you guys kill them without me or another executioner with you, then you’ll be looking at charges.”

Translation: DON'T YOU DARE STEAL THE SUE'S GLORY! She's the only one who gets to kill the bad guy! Those pathetic unworthy cops just stand by and gawp!

“What if I said I don’t need a fucking executioner to remind me of the law?”

I'd say he's right. And he's pointing out the really bad writing.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can. I have a friend with a private plane. That’s probably the fastest way to get to you.”
“Your friend, or your master?”
“What did I say to piss you off, Shaw?”

How dare he be displeased by her boffing and enjoying the financial favors of her vampire mafia boytoy? The nerve! And he should know that Anita doesn't have friends. She doesn't need friends either! All she needs is boytoys and "food!"

“I heard that about you, that and that you’ll fuck anything that moves.”

As long as it has a penis and looks like Lady Godiva... yeah.

Yeah, I’d pissed him off. “Don’t worry, Shaw, your virtue is safe.”
“Why, not pretty enough for you?”

Not pretty enough, not effeminate enough, not gay enough, not spineless enough, and not abused enough.

“Probably not, but I don’t do cops.”
“What do you do?”

We've noticed. I suppose LKH thinks this is Anita reaching the heights of Suey perfection, since in her earlier pre-sex-empress days she proclaimed that she didn't date vampires, she killed them. Now she doesn't kill or date them, she just screws them like a drill.

I hung up. I shouldn’t have. I should have explained the rumors, and how it wasn’t true, and how I had never let sex interfere in a case, much.

Except no matter how often Hamilton denies it, the rumors ARE true, and she DOES let sex interfere in a case whenever LKH decides she wants some bishies to boink. Although she hasn't had an actual case for how long? Five books?

But there comes a point when you just get tired of explaining yourself. And, let’s face it, you can’t prove a negative. I couldn’t prove I didn’t sleep around.

Especially when there seem to be more weres and vamps that she IS sleeping with (or will be soon) than ones that she ISN'T. And what's more, it wouldn't take much digging to find this out.

And kill the bad vampires. Yeah, mustn’t forget that part.

Unless suddenly she needs to have sex. In which case, she can let him get away again. No big deal. Oooh, the ardeur needs feeding! Come here, hot bishie!

Cell phones are wonderful things.

HALLELUJAH! Finally some minor indication that we're actually in 2009, and that cell phones have been in common use for several years! Of course, since Anita's hair, fashion and musical tastes are all firmly entrenched in the 1980s, it doesn't shock me that it took her that long to clue in.

So anyway she calls Larry, a fellow animator/vampire-hunter who seems far more competent and interesting than our whiny sociopathic heroine. As a result, he's always vastly underused, but he's still treated far better than every other heterosexual human male in the series. For now.

He answered his own cell phone on the second ring.

Why wouldn't he? Would she expect him to answer someone else's phone? The whole point of a cell is to keep it with you so you can answer it when someone calls you. Is there some part of this arrangement that LKH has missed?

He’s about my height, with bright red hair that would curl if he didn’t cut it so short, freckles, the works.

So he's a hobbit. And since he's about Anita's height, white and has striking hair, I suspect at some point he'll be infected by a wereprairiedog and dump his whiny evil wife and kid. He will then join the harem as Pet Penis #357.

If he had one fault, other than that I wasn’t entirely a fan of his wife,

She's a tall heterosexual woman, a wife, and a mother. The only other way she could get more contempt from Anita is if she took his last name and decided to quit her job.

He still thought more like a cop than an assassin, and sometimes that wasn’t good in our line of work.

Translation: Assassins are WAY better than cops! Cops are lame. Assassins are cooooooool.

Oh, and what did I have against his wife, Detective Tammy Reynolds?

See above: tall heterosexual woman, wife, mother. All feminine things, thus worthy of the contempt of Anita and the other rabid misogynists of the world.

She didn’t approve of my choices in boyfriends,

HOW DARE SHE! The nerve, not approving of necrophilia and furry sex with abused child-men and vampire mafiosos!

Never mind that before Reynolds and Kirkland got married, Anita threw a big fuss about how she didn't like Tammy and felt "protective" about a grown man who happens to be her height and have striking hair. She's just being a glorious protector - Tammy's being an evil nosy bitch.

and she kept wanting to convert me to her sect of Christianity,

... what the hell? Since when? It was mentioned previously that she's a "Christian witch" and that they tended to be zealous, but she never tried to convert anybody. In fact on the last occasion when she interacted with Anita, Anita treated her like crap when she was asking for help and support. I suppose LKH couldn't come up with any subtlely misogynistic claims about Tammy, so instead she decided to turn her into a rabid religious fanatic belonging to a "sect" of a blanket religion LKH loathes.

which was a little too Gnostic for me. In fact, it was one of the last Gnostic-based forms of Christianity to have survived the early days of the church.

Translation: I don't know what Gnostic means, and I don't know how long various forms (like Manichaeism) lasted, but it sounds cool so I'll pretend to know something about it.

Tammy thought I’d be a fine Sister of the Faith.

Clearly Tammy hates her religion.

Larry was now a Brother of the Faith, since he, like me, could raise zombies from the grave.

YAABI ALERT! A few books ago he was a steadfast atheist, and now suddenly he belongs to the superzealous witch church? It's been only a matter of months.

And note how belonging to this sect doesn't make her hate LARRY, just Tammy.

It’s not evil if you’re doing it for the church.

LKH needs to get some counseling for her loathing of anything that isn't "her," from religion to life choices.

“You need me to cover while you’re gone?” he made it a question.

He didn't need to, because it already was a question.

Part of it was that he was married and had a baby; the other part was that I just felt protective of him. He was only a few years younger than me, but there was something still soft about him. I valued that, and feared it. Soft either goes away in our business or gets you killed.

Translation: I'm saving him for were-infection and inclusion as part of the harem later.

Then she calls Denis-Luc St. John in New Orleans because he got his butt kicked by Vittorio before, so now he wants more. Turns out he's out, and his sister doesn't like Anita or her brother's job. Can't blame her in either case.

And having done nothing but sit on her butt and talk about nothing for a whole chapter, our superpowered quick-to-action heroine finally ends the chapter. Thank God. No, seriously - I'm getting a headache from this thing. And I'm only two chapters in OH HELL THERE'S SO MANY MORE...

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