‘Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has a sort of ‘disability’. She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. Not until she meets Bill: he’s tall, dark and handsome – and Sookie can’t ‘hear’ a word he’s thinking. He’s the guy she’s been waiting for all her life.
But Bill has a disability of his own: he’s a vampire. Worse than that, he hangs out with a seriously creepy crowd with a reputation for trouble – of the murderous kind.
And when one of Sookie’s colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she’ll be next…’
Dead After Dark is the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, or the Southern Vampire series as it was originally called, but I don’t think many people referred to it as that (it’s not the greatest series title, is it?).
This book was somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine, because I felt at parts that I really shouldn’t be enjoying it, and yet I couldn’t put it down half the time. The story follows Sookie, a telepathic waitress from Bon Temps as she deals with murders and vampires and the fact that everyone thinks she’s crazy.
It would be wrong of me to say that I thought Sookie was a great protagonist, because honestly, she’s kind of annoying. No one wants to start a book where within the first paragraph or so, the character’s talking about how attractive she knows she is. It just seemed like such a contrived way of squeezing in her physical description early on, and to me it was just unnecessary. Surely the fact that she’s a telepath would have allowed for this kind of description from those that found her attractive, rather than making her seem a little vain in the very first meeting.
The plot line itself was pretty good, and who doesn’t love a good murder mystery! The thing I give Ms Harris the most props for is the fact that I genuinely didn’t figure out who that murderer was until around the same time that Sookie did, and I really liked that. In a way, it gave you more of a connection to her because it sort of felt like you were working it out together. Also managing to keep that quiet and not making it totally obvious from the beginning who it was has got to be pretty tough, so way to go, Charlaine!
I will say that since reading this book, I have since spoiled the ending of the last book in the series, number 13, and that has put me off slightly from continuing on. I’m sure I will at some point, but it’s no longer top of my reading list!
Since reading this book, I’ve also watched the TV adaptation, Trueblood, and I must say that I much prefer it to the books! I don’t think I’ve very said that before, but there’s something about the dynamic of the show that the books are just lacking, and from what I’ve seen so far, it appears that it’s quite loosely based on the books, which could mean the ending I’ve been dreading to read might not even come close to happening – yay!
Definitely one for the older audience, I’d still say this book was a pretty good read and would recommend it to those looking for a modern but slightly more traditional kind of vampire coming out of the coffin!