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Southern Gothic with a Twist of Wry
Dead Until Dark
Charlaine Harris
I notice several reviews have gone over the plot, etc. of this book, so i won't particularly talk about that aspect; what i'm going to look at is what either does or doesn't make it unique.

I have some familiarity with Louisiana (mostly New Orleans, but i have ranged out into the countryside), and i have to say that the setting rings true, both as Southern-in-general and Louisiana-version Southern in particular.

The jokes about New Orleans being like a Promised Land for vampires, now that they're "out of the coffin", because of Anne Rice are dead on their target of Rice's overwrought novels. The concept that there would be "vampire groupies", while i hadn't thought about it, makes pefect sense. Certainly, such being the case, there would be vampire bars and vampire-cruise bars, where groupies could make contact with vamps.

The concept of vampires having full civil rights under law, but sometimes finding it rather difficult to get those rights supported has resonances that are reinforced by the Southern setting.

And every book set in the South involving working-class characters has to have a character named Bubba. I *liked* Bubba.

Structurally, this is a more-or-less standard Southern Gothic mystery -- the kind where the killer turns out not to be the mysterious stranger who arrived just before the killings started, but rather the third cousin twice removed of every important character in the book, whose twisted sexual urges as a result of generations of inbreeding drive him to...

Well, you know what i mean -- it's one of Those with neet added dimensions in narrator Sookie's special ability and the admixture of vampires as suspects and victims.

The mystery is reasonably logically resolved, and the author doesn't cheat.

I rather hope for more books in the same setting by Charlaine Harris -- and the ending of this one is certainly open for some ... "interesting" ... sequels.