Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Necromancer, must travel from St. Louis to Myerton, TN when she receives a call that her ex-boyfriend, Richard has been accused of rape. Anita Blake, Federal Marshal, Necromancer and Vampire Hunter has always been a woman about the job. A successful necromancer for one of the best agencies in St. Louis as well as friend to the Master Vampire of the city, Jean Claude, Anita continues to find herself at odds when it comes to balancing her personal life, work life and the constant barrage of vampire politics. So when her ex-boyfriend's brother, Daniel calls she is less than excited, especially due to the nasty break up she and Richard had experienced weeks prior. The problem was Richard was a werewolf who hated himself and even though Anita could accept him, he refused to love both the human side and his monster side. This resulted in so much conflicted, Anita had to end it with him to save herself any more heartache.
Daniel, Richard's brother, alerts Anita that he has been arrested in the small backwater town of Myerton, TN and has been charged with rape. Daniel slightly accuses Anita that he would never have been in Myerton if she hadn't broken his heart, but Anita lets the dig slide as she is more worried about Richard. When she asks Daniel what he was doing it Myerton, he explains that he was studying a clan of trolls who lived in the area as part of his master's degree program. He was also looking for a female to become the head of his clan in what is called a lupa. Anita feels a slight sting of jealousy about this as the thought of Richard sleeping with another woman simply infuriates her.
Anita asks Daniel what she can do to help and he explains that Richard has refused to get legal representation and is being completely unreasonable. He asks Anita if she can please come from St. Louis to talk some sense into him. Anita agrees knowing the only way he will get out of this mess is if she is there to knock him into next Tuesday. However, Jean Claude is less than enthusiastic about Anita going to Richard's aid. He expresses his worry but Anita assures him her relationship with Richard is over and she knows that he can trust her. Jean Claude asks her to take his two good vampire friends, Asher and Damian as well as some shapeshifter leopards in case things go south. Anita reluctantly agrees, assuring him this has nothing to do with the supernatural.
Of course, that is the farthest thing from the truth. When Anita arrives she is summoned by the Master of the City of Myerton, Colin, who expresses her presence is a threat and he views her as an intruder into his territory. Anita expresses she is only there to assist Richard but Colin believes she is lying. He demands that she leave or there will be consequences.
Later, Anita meets with Richard who expresses to her he did not rape anyone and is being framed by the local police. Anita asks if it is possible he could have done it while in wolf form which enrages Richard as feels that Anita has now abandoned him and no longer has any trust. Anita explains that is not the case and that no matter what she will assist him in his case. Richard is able to be released on bail and together they begin to investigate the issue.
Meanwhile, Colin is furious Anita has yet to leave his territory and invades Richard's wolf pack with his vampire servants. Realizing he is not going to back down, Anita and the wolves attack the vampires. The brawl is bloody yet quick as Anita puts her skills to the test and dispatches all of the vampire servants. She then sets her sights on Colin who mocks Anita knowing she has no power in which to kill him. However, Anita has a plan and shoots his human servant, a human who is linked supernaturally to a vampire's vitals. This act kills Colin. Realizing what she has done she calls Jean Claude who is worried as the act could send out the message to other city masters that he is trying to usurp other areas of land for himself. Anita apologizes but Jean Claude assures her he understands she did what she needed to do.
As the investigation into Richard's rape charges continue, Anita realizes that she still has feelings for Richard and loves him. He expresses he still loves her too but knows that her heart is still tied to Jean Claude. Anita admits that she loves Jean Claude and he is not someone she can give up in her life. Surprisingly, Richard understands having matured over the weeks since their breakup. He informs Anita he has asked Jean Claude for permission to date Anita and if it would be possible for them to be a trio. Much to Anita's shock, Jean Claude had agreed. Thrilled that she can now have the two most important men in her life, Anita and Richard celebrate by making love. As they have sex, Anita finds herself disturbingly connected to Jean Claude and feels a rush of power transferring from her to him. Later that night, she questions Damien and Asher about the power transfer. They reveal to her that Jean Claude while a vampire who feeds on blood can only feed on lust. Thus, when Anita was having sex he was gaining power.
Anita is furious about this revelation and contacts Jean Claude and demands to know the truth. He admits to being able to feed off Anita's lust and that due to them being connected supernaturally he is able to draw power from her. Anita explains how violated she feels and reveals to him that Richard could never know or they would be at risk of losing him forever. Jean Claude agrees and they decide to keep it quiet for the time being.
Back on the investigation, after digging around town with Richard, they both discover an art collector named Frank has been studying in the same area as Richard. Through more research, it becomes apparent that Frank is behind the rape allegations as he wanted to get Richard out of the picture so he could continue his own research without the interference of Richard. When Anita confronts him, Frank flees.
Revealing her evidence to the local police, the charges against Richard are dropped and he thankfully is free to go, however; their trouble is not over when Richard receives a call that his mother and brother have both been kidnapped by Frank. When Anita tracks them down she finds that both Richard's mother and Daniel have been beaten beyond recognition and raped by Frank. In a rage, Anita goes on a rampage and kills Frank's men that assisted him, ending with Frank herself.
As Richard and Anita travel back to St. Louis, Anita is disturbed by her actions, wondering how many more lines she must cross before she too becomes a monster. Richard assures Anita that she did the right thing and that it was Frank who was the monster, but Anita worries that she has now abandoned all ethics and morals. How can she represent the law when she herself takes matters into her own hands? Anita knows that the time will come when she will have to choose between the police and her supernatural life, and she fears what decision she will make in the future and at what cost.
Best part of story, including ending:
The pace of this story was fast and furious. Right from the beginning it hits the ground running as Anita must deal with one problem after the other. While the resolution was abrupt and ended within a few pages, it was a thrilling read.
Best scene in story:
The scene where Richard, Anita's ex confesses he still loves her and even went to her other lover, Jean Claude for permission to date her was a beautiful moment. Anita had never stopped loving Richard and the fact the two of them could be together with no fear was a reader's wish come true.
Opinion about the main character:
Anita is a strong woman with a cynical approach to life which leads her to second guess the men who love her. I find that as a reader you can relate to Anita as she struggles to find balance in all the different aspects of her life.
Anita faces up to her feelings for an ex-fiance while caught up between the local Head Vampire and a man hunting for a religious artifact.
The review of this Book prepared by Lisa Smith
Anita Blake travels to Tennessee to save Richard from a murder charge and gets involved in pack politics while she is there.
The review of this Book prepared by Christine G.