In Living Dead in Dallas Charlaine Harris picks up on with the story of a feisty Sookie Stackhouse, waitress and vampire lover. Yes, vampire lover. Her relationship with Bill Compton, Bon Temps’ resident vampire and-by way of his life pre-Civil War-local historian, has heated up. Residents have come to accept Bill as the ideal of the vampire because of the history he claims in Bon Temps, and also because he loves Sookie, resident weirdo. As Bill and Sookie’s relationship picks up steam, she tastes her first battle in the supernatural realm when she comes under attack for possessing telepathic skill and consorting with vampires.
Book two in the Sookie Stackhouse series is filled with developing relationships. Merlotte’s, the local watering hole, draws all town residents. Intrigue sets in when her coworker is found dead in the parking lot of the bar and the local town drunk/policeman, Andy Belleflour, wants to prove his worth by finding the killer. In the meantime, she’s drawn into the vampire world by a favor owed to area sheriff, the attractive Eric Northman. He’s an old vampire with an interest in Sookie for more than just her telepathic skills. En-route to serve in her administrative duties in the vampire bar, Sookie is attacked by a beast in the middle of the forest.
Sookie’s beastly attack is no mere coincidence but a message to the vampires about controlling the area. As she fights for her life, the townspeople of Bon Temps are drawn into intrigue surrounding her coworker’s death. Details reveal that lust filled parties-and a Dionysus worshiping female who embraces frenzy and excess-are the heart of deaths occurring in Bon Temps and the attack on Sookie.
In the meantime, she has been placed on duty for the vampires headed to Dallas to use her telepathic skills. She becomes a businesswoman, negotiating financially with Eric for the use of her skill and time. And Eric further pulls Sookie into the regimented vampire world. Sookie soon finds herself a regular victim of attack over the company she keeps. The vampires have lost an old member, a vampire important to them; and she can interview humans with her telepathy to determine who knows where the head vampire is.
Sookie finds the vampire she is looking for and he is her personal savior but she finds a sad and frustrated man in Godfrey, a vampire far too long for his liking who’s done unthinkable things. He desires to meet the sun for the death he has been craving. He finds friendship and sympathy in her on his suicide mission. Her compassion, her spunk, and her telepathic skills make Sookie more than desirable to Eric Northman who has more than a few reasons for sending Sookie to Dallas to find Godrey. In Dallas, her relationship with him begins.
In the second book of the series Sookie personally develops as she is tasked to use her telepathic talent rather than hide it. She becomes more confident and personally develops as she travels to Dallas and as she fights a variety of battles. Her journey into the supernatural realm truly picks up as she meets other supernatural beings, as sides are chosen in long-standing battles, and as she begins to discover that she is more than even she knows.
Angelic Jones is a freelance writer for Austin Weekly News.