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The Killing Dance (1997)

de Laurell K. Hamilton

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5,251621,649 (3.86)52
With a price on her head and professional hitmen on her trail, Anita Blake--vampire killer, zombie reanimator, and expert on the supernatural--receives unexpected assistance from an alpha werewolf and a master vampire.
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Synopsis: 'Anita is faced with a new challenge- a professional hitman. For vast sum of money, someone is paying professionals to kill her – and kill her quickly. In many ways this is far more terrifying than anything she has faced before – she has faced witches and werewolves, vampires and even faeries all with murderous intent, but never a coldly professional human killing her for business. And never one willing to use modern technology to do it.
She and Edward have to find a way to keep her alive and, for preference draw out both the hitmen and the person paying for them so they can be put out of business. Permanently.
Alas, she can’t focus on anything so simple as a death threat – not with werewolf politics playing such a large role. Tensions between Richard and his pack leader, Marcus are getting ever higher, with the pack splitting in half between the two contenders. Richard could defeat Marcus – but the only way to be the new king is to kill the old one – something Richard refuses to do. Marcus and Raina have no such compunctions and are doing their best to use his morality – and his vulnerable people – against him.
There’s also a visitor in town. Sabin is a vampire who has given up blood and has suffered from a virulent disease because of it, rotting alive. It’s hoped that Anita’s powers as a Necromancer may be able to cure him. But to do that involves Anita exploring her powers with both Richard and Jean-Claude and discovering how their magic can work together – which could also be useful in making Marcus and Raina back down.
And of course, there is the big relationship conflict. Anita and Richard go ever closer but Jean-Claude is still there, demanding equal time. Anita has to make her choice – and deal with the fallout of it when she does. To say nothing of the standard dramas of vampire politics, new arrivals and the drama they can bring.'

Review: I saw that coming...I knew who had hired the hitman. In any case, the plot hung together well and was interesting. I do wish Anita would dump Richard and get rid of the angst. ( )
  DrLed | Nov 16, 2021 |
Things are getting very complicated in Anita Blake's love life. She's been dating both Richard and Jean Claude for some months now and the sexual tension and jealousy is really ratcheting up. Tensions are also running high in the local wolf pack, where Richard is still trying to orchestrate a bloodless coup. Anita's pretty sure that this naïve approach will end with several someone's dead, and Richard's self-righteous attitude about killing is beginning to grate.

Naturally, because nothing is ever simple, someone has taken out a contract on Anita's life. Edward's come into town to act as her body guard. She tries hiding out at Richard's house, but eventually has to move in with Jean Claude for maximum safety. Neither man is happy, but they eventually try joining forces as a triumvirate to consolidated enough power to back down Richard's alpha. They are also hoping to use this harnessed power to cure an ailing vampire who's come to Anita for help.

Eventually, Marcus, Richard's alpha, is revealed to be the source of the contract. Although Richard kills him, Anita knows the feud is not over while his mate still lives. Richard won't hear it and traumatizes her by changing to wolf form on top of her. Heart broken and conflicted, Anita returns to the Circus of the Damned and has sex with Jean Claude. Richard and her pretty much break up. And then they all get kidnapped by the conspiracy of forces that have been behind all the recent trouble. It will be up to Anita to find a way to save her lover and her other boyfriend before they are all sacrificed in a complicated necromantic ritual.

By this time in the series Richard is really starting to get annoying. I forgot how fast that develops. I'm pretty sure Richard's constant whining is why I stopped reading these books back in the day. Still, this is a pretty solid installment in the series because Anita is really starting to come into her own with her necromancer powers. ( )
  Juva | Nov 9, 2021 |
I really loved Laurell K. Hamilton's early Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series books but I did feel like she lost the thread a bit in the middle of the series. I am glad to say that it seems like she is focusing more on the story line and less on the sex of late which makes the books better in my opinion. I think Anita is a great character and Laurell K. Hamilton can write a great plot but her overly complicated sex scenes can somewhat take away from the book. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
Edward helps Anita fend off hit while Jean Claude and Richard compete for her, she sleeps with both of them by end
  ritaer | Jun 20, 2021 |
I love the way the author keeps you guessing. The will she won't she of whether Anita will have sex with the vampire or the werewolf, or both. Plus the noir feel. I love how something that happens at the beginning of the book and seems like a separate plot line all comes together at the end.

I generally don't like first-person novels, but the author does it right again and again. ( )
  jezebellydancer | Mar 6, 2021 |
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To Paty Cockrum,
fan, friend, fine artist.
You should see the pictures
she sends me of Jean-Claude.
She really is
the voice of temptation.
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The most beautiful corpse I'd ever seen was sitting behind my desk.
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With a price on her head and professional hitmen on her trail, Anita Blake--vampire killer, zombie reanimator, and expert on the supernatural--receives unexpected assistance from an alpha werewolf and a master vampire.

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