Release Date: May 1, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.
There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.
All good things must come to an end...
And I’m glad that Deadlocked is the second to the last installment in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series because I’m not sure how much more disappointment I could suffer from this series. Sookie Stackhouse has and will always have a special place in my heart but the last few books in this series has left me so utterly disappointed and deflated. Harris had me hooked on the after reading Dead Until Dark and things were great up until book nine. Since Dead and Gone, the series has taken a nose dive (in my humble opinion). Everything that I loved about the series from the very beginning has faded away and we’re left with little hints of what the main characters used to be.
Here’s the short version of what happens in Deadlocked: Vampire King of Louisiana, Arkansas and Nevada, Felipe de Castro, is in town to visit Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area Five. Felipe and his posse are in town to try to get to the bottom of Victor Madden’s disappearance. If you’re up to date with the series, you may remember that Sookie killed Victor in the previous book, Dead Reckoning. During Felipe’s visit to Eric’s home, a mysterious human female is found dead in front of Eric’s doorstop. Mysterious woman also happens to be the same woman that Sookie had witnessed Eric feeding from less than an hour earlier. Human police are involved and with the aide of Bill Compton, Sookie tries to get to the bottom of who might be setting Eric up for the murder. All the while, Eric is preoccupied with entertaining the King while he’s in town and his relationship with Sookie continues to be strained. With Eric frequently absent, Sookie has been spending more time with her boss/friend, Sam Merlotte, which doesn’t make his current girlfriend and werewolf, Jannalynn Hopper. Best friend Tara has just given birth to twins and Sookie’s fairy grandfather, Niall, returns briefly only to take her cousin, Claude, back to fairyland leaving Uncle Dermott to run Claude’s strip club Hooligans. OH! And on top of that, the Queen of Oklahoma is also in town to stake her claim on Eric after Eric’s maker, Appius Livius Ocella, arranged for the two to be married before he died.
After finishing Deadlocked I initially wanted to give it a two cauldron rate but since I do feel a sense of loyalty towards the series I bumped it up to a three. I was mildly amused while reading this book and had to keep repeating “Keep going. You can do it. Maybe it’ll be different this time.” I literally was force feeding myself to finish. Overall, the plot was slow, lacking and no real story development. Not once did I have that, “Oh, this shit is about to get good” feeling. I kept waiting and waiting till I got to the very last page. Finally got to the end and I wanted to scream, "WTF, that's it?"
Being a huge Team Eric and Sookie fan, I had such great hope for this couple. By the end of Deadlocked left me frustrated and saddened by their lack of passion for each other and just a overall lack of their usual character. Sookie had always been a sassy, headstrong, brave, loving type of heroine. She braved whatever obstacles were thrown at her and when followed through with her convictions. But in Deadlocked she seemed defeated, especially when it came to the subject of her relationship with Eric. She was aware of their problems but instead of solving the issues she was more than willing to sweep it under the rug. Not much could be said about Eric. He seemed like only the shell of the Vampire that I grew to love. Like Sookie, he lacked his normal enigmatic charisma. From all the pressures of Felipe’s visit to the fate of his status in Felipe’s Kingdom, Eric seemed as beaten down as Sookie. I would have welcomed the distance between Sookie and Eric is there was good angst built up but these two just looked like two deflated balloons.
Sookie is is a bit more mature with her decisions in Deadlocked and Harris is able to tie up some lose ends with some of the secondary characters. A few characters pop back up to make brief appearances, which kinda of made me think Ok that's just random. Sam Merlotte has glided himself back in Sookie's life and most would have thought that the potential of Sookie and Sam to ever be together died ages ago but Harris digs up that potential. This plot line is what really confused me. Why spend so many book between Sookie and Eric then just let it fizzle at the end? It also doesn't make any sense to me to try to introduce a "new" relationship this late in the game.
As we head for the finish line of this series, Charlaine Harris has gone further and further away from what the Southern Vampire series used to be. I’m not sure if Miss Harris is still writing because she loves and feels passionate about Sookie, Eric and all the other characters in this series or if she’s hoping to bank in some more from the success of True Blood. Whatever her motivations may be, I’m praying that with the next and final book she takes her time and writes a great conclusion for her Southern Vampires. I know there are hoards and hoards of Sookie Stackhouse fans around the world who would like to see Sookie and Eric return to their former glory.
To sum things up in one sentence, Deadlocked caved like a bad soufflé under the weight of all my expectations.