Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Necromancer, must leave St. Louis to investigate a disease that is spreading among a small town's residents that could be the result of a zombie bite. Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Necromancer, is still adjusting to life with her boyfriend's Micah and Nathaniel who happen to shape shifters, while trying to continue her job assisting with supernatural cases with the local St. Louis law enforcement and deal with vampire politics. The master vampire of the city, Jean-Claude, happens to be one of her full-time lovers as well. And it is all beginning to be too much for Anita juggle. While she loves all of the men in her life, she is beginning to find there is less time for Anita as she is continuing to tend to everyone else's needs above her own.
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So of course, Anita is once again conflicted and forced to neglect her own wishes when she receives a call from Micah's mother. Anita at first is a little confused by the call since Micah had no real contact with his family and the fact she had never spoken to her ever. Wondering how she even got her number, Anita patiently listens to the woman who is absolutely hysterical. It seems Micah's father, Rush Callahan is dying from a mysterious illness and without much time left, he desires to see Micah. Mrs. Callahan begs Anita to make the trip to Colorado, something she has no real wish to do but knows Micah will need the support. Reluctantly, she agrees.
Later that day, Anita breaks the news to Micah regarding his father. He is absolutely distraught and worried but Anita tells him she has already made the arrangements for travel. Immediately, Nathaniel becomes distant and feels as if he is being excluded. Micah expresses to Anita the significance of Nathaniel coming with them as he is their third in this relationship. Anita agrees. When Anita tells Jean-Claude she will be traveling to Colorado, he insists she take guards with her. With the current vampire population in a state of turmoil and politics getting more convoluted, he worries for her safety. Anita decides to bring a mixture of vampires and shape shifters, as she knows she will need to feed while away. This is due to Anita's ailment that she has contracted known as the ardeur which forces to feed on energy derived from lust which means she must have sex daily to satiate it.
The group travels to Colorado where Anita is met by Mrs. Callahan and explains the truth of the situation. The town has been under siege by rotting zombies and those who are bitten begin to rot themselves. Micah's father had been bitten and was now slowly dying. Realizing that she was brought along not for support but to solve a case, Anita is less than amused. However, she is intrigued by the situation as she has never encountered an actual zombie illness before.
When they arrive back at Micah's childhood home, they are introduced to Ty, Micah's stepfather and Mrs. Callahan reveals that she, Ty and Rush are in the same type of relationship as Micah, Nathaniel and Anita. Therefore, there is no judgment on her part. The group is relieved by the acceptance, and Micah is more than ever thrilled by the prospect of gaining his family's approval.
Later, Anita travels to the local law enforcement and meets a shape shifter named Ares. Together along with a team of officers they take to the streets to hunt down the zombie responsible. However, things don't go according to plan and Anita and the team are ambushed. A rescue helicopter is called in and they are transported to safety, but not before Ares is bitten and Anita watches him immediately go crazy. She has no choice but to put him down, something she hates to do but Anita knows she cannot risk the virus continuing to spread.
Meanwhile, Anita decides to call her old partner and best friend Edward. A skilled killer and having dealt with the supernatural in the past, she knows she can count on him to assist her in this situation. Edward agrees to come out, seeing as he owes her one from her helping him in Las Vegas months prior. While the investigation continues, Micah who runs a Coalition for shape shifers continues to recruit new members. Since the shape shifters from the hyena clan are not involved with the coalition he brings them in as he knows he needs to keep dominance if there is ever to be peace.
Later that week, Jean-Claude surprises Anita by flying into town. He reveals to her that he loves her more than anything and feels it is time they make it official. While he knows she loves Nathaniel and Micah, he wishes to marry her, well technically all of them. Jean Claude wishes there was a way for them to all legally be married but knows the possibilities of figuring it out are slim. While Anita accepts his marriage proposal, her other lovers are not happy. Nathaniel is put out knowing a ring is not in the cards for him and although she has the support of Micah, the proposal has a ripple effect among the men in her life. Anita makes the decision with Jean-Claude to post-pone any preparations until they can figure out how to proceed without hurting anyone.
Edward arrives in to town the next day, and Anita is thrilled to see him and get back to some good ole' hunting. However, this is short lived when Edward reveals to Anita he is currently trying to set a date for his own marriage. He tells Anita he can't imagine anyone else being his best man but her and asks her to fill the role. Anita is honored yet over the whole wedding talk so she accepts in order to move on to business.
After a series of investigations, the two discover that the rotting zombies are being created by Morte D'Amour, a powerful vampire who was once a servant to the Mother of All Darkness, the original vampire who Anita killed a year ago. However, before she died it seems he was able to take some of her power and develop his own skills in necromancy (raising the dead). Anita and Edward track him to the local cemetery and a battle ensues leading to Anita ultimately defeating him and laying the rotting zombies to rest.
Micah, Anita and Nathaniel return to St. Louis where Anita must now face and impending marriage as well as new conflicts in her life with her other lovers. Nothing is every easy for Anita and now more than ever, she wishes she could go back to the simple days of working as a necromancer.
Best part of story, including ending:
This novel in the series was particularly frustrating as the plot is set up to be Anita back to her old case solving ways and then goes absolutely nowhere. The majority of the book was relationship conflict with the mystery being wrapped up in a few pages at the end.
Best scene in story:
I loved when Anita's vampire lover Jean Claude asked her to marry him. It was a moment, many books coming and it was tender and sweet yet you know would cause trouble for Anita's other lovers.
Opinion about the main character:
Anita continues to be conflicted, turning into a shell of her former self as she makes decisions that go against how her character was written in the first place. It is all very frustrating to see a character fall into this trap and be something she isn't.