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Sookie Stackhouse is a telepathic waitress in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Her ability to read minds keeps the normal people away from her. They fear her ability, even those who claim not to believe in it. However, the vampires and other supernatural beings flock to her.
Her brother, Jason, has recently been bitten by a werepanther. Once he makes his first shift, Jason finds that he enjoys his new ability. Problem is that a sniper has begun shooting the local shifters and Jason's new brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Sookie and her friends have until the next full moon to find out who the real sniper is.
Sam, Sookie's boss, is one of the shifters who has been shot. Unable to tend his bar, Sam has Sookie go to Eric for a temporary bar tender. Charles, a vampire, begins work the very next night. Charles is soon protecting Sookie. Seems someone is trying to kill her for simply associating with supernatural beings. If all this is not enough, the local packleader has died. Sookie must attend the funeral, as well as, witness the competition that will select the new packleader.
**** The vampires Bill and Eric take a back seat and play only secondary roles in this installment of the series. Focus is kept mainly on the shifters and the sniper. Author Charlaine Harris has a winning series with this cast of characters! Harris makes the night come alive with her imaginative, supernatural, and dark shrouded community. As usual, I find myself longing for Sookie's next adventure. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 30 September 2006
Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series is just getting better and better. I loved the first book, Dead Until Dark, where Sookie got together with Bill Compton, her next-door neighbour who happens to be a vampire. Charlaine Harris introduced us to some of the not-quite-normal people in Sookie's town of Bon Temps in this book - Sam the Werewolf bar owner being one of them. Once Sookie got together with Bill, Sam showed his interest.

In the third story in the series, Club Dead, Sookie and Bill split up after he was unfaithful. This rather spoilt the book for me (I like happy endings and it rather negated the happy endings of books 1 and 2) but more characters were introduced, such as Alcide Herveaux, a Werewolf, who were possible love interests.

In the fourth book of the series, Dead To The World, Eric Northman the Viking vampire finally got into Sookie's underwear, not that he could remember anything about it after the event (amnesia is so inconvenient).

Dead As A Doornail is the fifth book and it starts where the fourth left off. Eric and Sookie's fling is over (and Eric has his memory back, but amnesia now about what took place when his memory had been wiped by the witch) and Jason has been bitten by a Werepanther and is awaiting his first full moon.

This story has lots of complex plot threads and different strands within it which make it interesting. There's Jason's new situation which is immediately made worse by the discovery that someone is shooting shape-shifters and he is a suspect. Calvin Norris, head of the Shifters in the village of Hotshot, is in hospital having been shot himself but tries to protect Jason - mainly because he's after Sookie. And this is the first hint at one of the significant themes of the book - Sookie is becoming mighty attractive to all the men around her. Alcide Herveaux, the werewolf whose former girlfriend Debbie tried to kill Sookie at the end of the last book (and was in turn shot dead by Sookie and buried by Eric) is trying to persuade Sookie to have a more permanent relationship with him. Eric is hassling Sookie to try and find out what took place when he had amnesia and still trying to get into her underwear (not knowing that he already has); Bill Compton, although not featuring much in this book, still wants to get back together with Sookie; and Sam the shifter is being a support to her because he loves her.

Wow! This woman has SIX dishy men after her. Well, none of them are just men - they're all shapeshifters or vampires or whatever. This made me wonder somewhat - granted, Sookie's sweet and nice and caring (although also a disaster area) but is she REALLY that appealing? And can't she choose, rather than stringing them all along (even Calvin Norris who seems rather old for her)?

Anyway, on with the story. Or several stories. Sookie's house is burnt down and she's rescued by Claudine the fairy. She had a bodyguard in Charles Twining the Vampire English bartender, but also has every other male in the vicinity trying to rescue her. She's trying to keep Jason safe, work out who's killing the shifters, keep herself financially stable, avoid becoming beholden to Eric, work out her feelings for Bill (who she seems to find the most comfortable of her beaux) and avoid becoming part of Alcide Herveaux's wolf pack. Phew!

Despite all this going on, the book works well as a leisurely read. Sookie comes across as a nice, simple girl - with an incredibly complex life. She's definitely becoming wiser about the world although her ability to choose and stick with one man is rather suspect.

And at the end we meet a seventh applicant for Sookie's attention, the enigmatic Weretiger Quinn, who I suspect is going to feature in future. This section of the book seemed slightly strange to me, tacked on after the resolution of the main plotline (who's killing the shapeshifters) but is probably a set up for a future book.

If you liked any of the previous Sookie Stackhouse books you'll certainly appreciate this one. If you're fed up (as I am) with the direction that Laurell K Hamilton took in her Anita Blake books this is a refreshing return to the fun side of the vampire world with sex but not sex mania.
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on 12 June 2006
Despite the supernatural characters and 'incidents' that appear in this book, it is pleasantly down to earth in tone and language. I am not saying the language is bad or the tone is bland; it is entirely the opposite.

The flow of the story does not go away from the details of everyday life as they do sometimes in stories that have heros and heroines in them. Buffy is all cool and glamour but I do like something a little more practical than just one destined saviour of the world.

Sookie is no saviour and she does not slay vampires. However, she is down to earth, hardworking and sweet. She goes through life with cheer (most of the time) and the ability to be thankful for what she's got, instead of wanting and wanting and wanting. I am not saying that she is a saint because she is not. She gets jealous; she gets mad; she gets violent but it is all part of her very human nature, just like you or me. I love her for it. If you dislike first-person narratives, which I normally do, you won't dislike this one but it relates, it really does.

Just another note, Ms Harris sure has a sense of humour when she was naming the twins that appear in this book. Come on, two pairs of twins; one pair named Dixon and Dixie; the other pair named Claude and Claudine:) I loved it!
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on 7 June 2006
This is the best Sookie Stackhouse book yet.

With each edition of the marvelous Southern Vampire series, author Charlaine Harris expands the repertoire of characters and environs of the supernatural world of telepath Sookie Stackhouse. At first we readers were confined to the warm intimacy of Sookie's first love Bill Compton, a vampire of considerable seduction, and to Sookie's tiny peripheral world of her boss Sam the shifter bartender, her brother Jason, and a few assorted other extraordinary characters of Bon Temps, Louisiana. Each installation in the series has expanded on that initial narrow world to bring us weres, witches, and the power structure of the Gulf Coast vampire community. What would have been far too complicated a fantasy world to explain in one lump narration effortlessly unfolds thanks to Harris' patient revelation.

In this, the fifth and arguably best volume yet, we are introduced more fully to the world of the weres, in particular the secretive shifter community of Hotshot, a neighboring town to Bon Temps. Sookie finds herself once again inveigled in multiple intrigues. A sniper has set his deadly sights on area shifters, and Jason has fallen under suspicion. Sookie must solve the mystery before the next full moon, and her task is complicated by the killer's targeting her as well. What really goes on in the close, apparently inbred community of Hotshot? What role does the seductive fairy Claudine play? How can Sookie help her friend Tara out of an apparently abusive relationship with a sinister vampire? Sookie must walk a diplomatic line between her various allegiances: to Eric the owner of Fangtasia, to the Herveaux clan of shifters, and to her old love Bill, and all the while stay true to herself. Now she is truly a woman, capable of great maturity and bravery.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 November 2005
I thought this was better than the others, it had every one involved plus some new as well. The vamps, don't take a back seat, but are in it all way through, but these tales are focused on Sookie, as they are about her and her life with her supernatural friends, so cant understand why peeps would think they were about the vamp scene pals all the time. I love the shifters and find myself wanting to join all the fun with them....
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Dead as a Doornail is the fifth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by popular American author, Charlaine Harris. As a newly-minted shifter, Sookie’s brother Jason is causing her concern: first she worries about how he is coping with his involuntary were-panther state; then, when it seems that someone is out there shooting shifters (already three shot in a few days), she worries for his safety, both from the shooter, and from those shifters who suspect Jason himself.

Life is never dull in Bon Temps: Sookie has had to beg help from Eric (in the form of a bartender/bouncer) when her boss Sam is incapacitated; Private Investigators are nosing around, inquiring about the whereabouts of a shifter whose body Sookie is certain won’t be found; Sookie attends the funeral of the Shreveport Packmaster and finds herself an integral part of the ritual that decides his replacement; someone decides to set fire to Sookie’s house with her in it; and she finds that returning books to the library can be more dangerous than she ever imagined.

In this instalment, Sookie finds herself being kissed by, or otherwise intimate, with no less than six men, while there are three people trying to kill her. All the usual characters make appearances, a few new ones appear, with Harris even bringing in a couple from her Lily Bard series (Jack Leeds and Lily Bard Leeds) and the reader learns a bit more about the Sookieverse. Several climaxes and plenty of laughs in this instalment.
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on 14 November 2013
I am really enjoying the True Blood books so far, but this one sort of slowed down a bit for me. The baddie was too obvious, you pretty much knew what was going to happy from the get go.
Still enjoyed the read but was hoping for a little bit more on this one.
You didn't seem to get the interaction between the charactures as much in this one aswell, but hey few more to go yet!
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on 27 January 2015
Enjoyed this series of books greatly and the only reason I stopped buying them was due to the fact they decided to change the covers for the actors in the show which as a collector is really annoying.
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on 20 September 2013
This series should come with an addiction warning! As each one comes to an end, I'm left wanting the next. Adjectives run out - the stories are simply great and how Charlaine Harris keeps it up has me, as a writer myself, green with envy!
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on 13 March 2013
This is a great series - I usually go for high fantasy/sci-fi but I actually ordered one book and got this series as a mistake. Not dissapointed as I am really enjoying the books and I have started watching the tv show too!
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