WARNING: Potential spoilers involved.
I just finished Affliction, Laurell K. Hamilton's latest installment in the Anita Blake series. Interesting enough, this year is 20 years of Anita Blake. Wow, how time flies when you are having fun!
At 570 pages, this is not a 'summer read on the beach' type book. And, as usual, with all the action taking place in only 48-72 hours, you are exhausted by the time the book is over, but in a good way.
Micah, one of Anita's main men, is called home because his father is dying a terrible death from a bite from a rotting zombie. Anita and Nathaniel accompany him as support, also knowing their presence could cause even more family trauma.
With a hospital full of cops (Micah's father is a sheriff) and religious zealot family members, this reunion is even more unpleasant. Not to mention there are zombies feeding on people, people disappearing and the presence of a master vampire causing havoc.
While Micah sees to his father and a hopeful reunion with his immediate family, Anita and her men are called upon to assist (reluctantly on both sides) local law enforcement officials in solving the latest problem. Edward/Ted is called in when Anita is hurt (but not for long) and you know, if Edward/Ted is involved, it's going to be good.
As usual, you are lead panting along until the last 50 pages of the book. I do have to say that while Hamilton writes some of the sexiest scenes around (and has for years - move over Shades of Grey), her story is what it is all about. In fact, there are times I want the sex to be over (although Nicky and Dev in a shower with me---sigh) and to get back to the action. That's the sign of a good book in my estimation.
The ending left me wrung out. As Anita calls on her powers which have been building, you find yourself holding your breath and lending your powers so she will be successful. Jean-Claude makes an appearance and a surprise revelation. Some tears will be shed, both in sadness and in joy.
The downside of this book is that after I finish it, I now want to go back and reread the last few books. But the good news is that Hamilton is working on the next Merry Gentry book, which will be out next year. The bad news is that I have to go back and reread those too. And they are all in storage.