Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Zombie Animator is put on assignment unexpectedly when her coworker, Larry Kirkland is called off his case in Philadelphia due to his wife's pregnancy. Never looking to turn down work, Anita looks into the case which is fairly routine and involves raising a witness from the dead in order to testify in an investigation. While nothing seems out of order, Anita begins to suspect there could be something amiss as her cases usually do.
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Meanwhile, back at home, Anita is still adjusting to living with her two new boyfriends, Micah a were-leopard and Nathaniel a were-panther, two shape shifters and both apart of her new polyamorous lifestyle. This is something Anita still struggles with ever since developing her new power—the ardeur. The ardeur is a metaphysical energy devouring force, much like a vampire must feed off of blood, Anita must feed from sex every few hours. Knowing she needs to feed, Micah offers to take the trip with her. Not really wanting the extra company, Anita reluctantly agrees.
While on the road, Anita learns more of Micah's passed, something he has kept from her as he struggles to find his own identity in his new world and living situation. Micah shares with Anita that he narrowly survived a wereleopard attack that murdered his family. He has been haunted with this for years and the fact he has become what killed them is even more mentally anguishing. Micah also struggles with the fact he has hurt his previous girlfriends in the past due to his extremely large penis.
Arriving at their destination, Anita is surprised when Micah reveals he has made hotel reservations. They have a romantic evening and Micah continues to confess to Anita his reluctance to sleep with her and feed the ardeur as he is petrified he may hurt her. Anita explains she has no problem with the enjoyment of man who is large and in charge and the two make love for the first time.
Finally, Anita makes it to the job she went Philadelphia for to begin with and raises the witness where she learns that the dead witness was framed for murder by the defense lawyer on the case, Arthur Salvia. The zombie attacks Salvia and kills him with Anita being cannon fodder and knocked over the head. After she comes to and sees the carnage, she realizes the price that power can pay and that zombie raising is sometimes not clean and tidy. She returns to Micah and together with a newfound understanding, drive home.
Best part of story, including ending:
I found this particular novel in the series lacking in plot momentum and more focused on interpersonal conflicts between characters. While not always a bad thing, sometimes some action to move the story forward is necessary.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when the zombie witness being raised calls out the defense lawyer as the man who framed him for murder. It was sweet revenge at its best.
Opinion about the main character:
Anita is currently doing a 180 character-wise as she used to not have sex at all and now she is going to town in every book. While this one was more tamed down, I am finding her acting out of character more often and it is a betrayal to her characterization.