On the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series

Death's Got Your Back

When Edward and the Big Bad Heavies Are on Your Team

By Vera Nazarian

Olaf: I’ll take the head.

Anita: I’ll take the heart.

–Obsidian Butterfly

When you’re Anita Blake, U.S. Marshal and legally sanctioned Vampire Hunter, you have one hell of a complicated relationship with everyone else in your world. There’s rarely any time to get to know the other, so you shoot first and ask questions later.

You have regular run-of-the-mill enemies, really serious enemies, and super-badass enemies. And when the monsters themselves call you “The Executioner”–stressing “The” and adding capitalized emphasis–it’s not even a matter of an inability to have friends, it’s simply that for everyone’s sake you can’t afford to have any. Besides, all the men you get intimate with are not always easily definable as friends or lovers, and you prefer things to remain vague that way.

But work still needs to get done. And in your lonely, friendless line of work. . .well, that’s when you have to take unsavory sides, make alliances. You agree to temporary personal ceasefires with people (okay, not always people) you wouldn’t normally trust to be in the same room with you without a loaded gun. . . . And such dangerous compromise not only sucks O-Neg but blows undead chunks.

But it makes for great story.

When Laurell K. Hamilton started writing the now wildly popular Anita Blake books, beginning with Guilty Pleasures, she brought to life an amazing and fascinating character and arguably created a previously unseen archetype, that of a hardboiled law-woman with a ruthless attitude and supernatural abilities. These days, pale Anita knockoffs  …

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