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The Laughing Corpse (1994)

de Laurell K. Hamilton

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (2)

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5,874781,382 (3.88)71
The early Anita Blake novels find new life in trade paperback-as perfect collectibles for long-time fans or as great ways for new readers to sink their teeth into the series. In The Laughing Corpse, a creature from beyond the grave is tearing a swath of murder through St. Louis. And Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead...  … (més)
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Synopsis: 'Anita and her manager, Bert Vaughn, visit local millionaire Harold Gaynor who explains that he wishes to animate and question a 300 year old corpse, and that he will pay millions of dollars for this job, as well as supplying the "white goat" necessary to accomplish the task. Although Bert hates the idea of giving up so lucrative a job, when Anita explains that the "white goat" is a euphemism for the human sacrifice necessary to animate a corpse that old, Bert refuses the offer.
While trying on bridesmaid's outfits for her friend Catherine's wedding, Anita receives a call from Dolph, the head of the area's supernatural crimes unit. She visits the murder scene, and sees the remnants of a family, which she deduces was torn apart by an undead creature of some sort, possibly a flesh-eating zombie. One of the children is missing and possibly alive. In Anita's opinion, there are only two local people powerful enough to raise and command a flesh-eating zombie - herself and vaundun priestess Dominga Salvador. A third candidate, Peter Burke, recently died. Anita agrees to set up a meeting with Salvador to sound her out on the crime.
Salvador is a very evil and powerful vaundun priestess, and reveals that Manny was once a vaundun priest and Salvador's lover, and that Manny has committed human sacrifices. In return for Salvador's promise to investigate who is behind the murders, Anita agrees to view a demonstration of Salvador's technique for capturing the souls of the dead and installing them in zombies, preventing the zombies from degrading and allowing further punishment of the dead. Salvador proposes that Anita become her partner, and that they create ensouled zombies for profit.
That night, Anita wakes to find two zombies in her apartment, apparently sent by Dominga Salvador. She is able to fight off the zombies, but she and her apartment are both damaged. The next day, the threats on her life continue, as two thugs attempt to kidnap Anita and her friend, investigator Ronnie Sims. They question the thugs and deduce that they are working for Gaynor.
Dolph authorizes Anita to show John Burke his brother Peter's effects, in an effort to question Burke further about his possible involvement in the murders. Burke and Anita find a magical gris-gris in Peter's possessions, as well as a charm from the charm bracelet Anita found at the mystery gravesite. Burke explains that the gris-gris was made by a powerful vaundun practitioner, that it involved a human sacrifice, and that it contained a portion of the maker's own power and would increase the power of any animator who possessed it.
Anita, John Burke, and the police confront Dominga Salvador with the gris-gris, which crawls towards her of its own power. Salvador refuses to admit that the charm is hers until Burke points out that if she does not, it will become his property because it was found in his brother's effects, and that he can use it to take a portion of her power for himself. At that point, she admits that the charm is hers, but absorbs it bodily without warning or ritual, which frightens Burke, who did not believe that it was possible. Salvador's grandson, Antonio, then confesses his role to the police, apparently because he was supposed to have taken the charm from Burke after his death and fears Salvador's revenge for failing in his mission. On the strength of the confession and a videotape of the events relating to the charm, the police arrest Salvador.
Gaynor and Salvador (who has been granted bail by a judge under her influence) tell Anita that they intend to force her to raise another relative of Gaynor's, and that Wanda will be the sacrifice. When Anita refuses to assist willingly, Salvador leaves her zombie chimera to guard Anita and Wanda and begins a spell to compel Anita to obey her orders.
Anita tells Gaynor and Salvador what she has deduced - that Gaynor wished to raise one of his ancestors to find the treasure, but that Salvador, unwilling to perform a human sacrifice in front of witnesses, instead created a gris-gris that allowed Peter Burke to raise Gaynor's ancestor. However, because Gaynor's ancestor was an animator, he rose as an uncontrollable flesh-eating zombie.
Although Salvador is angry that Gaynor didn't tell her that his ancestor was an animator, she continues with the plan. With Enzo and Bruno holding Wanda ready for the sacrifice, Salvador then commands Anita to "raise the dead." Anita follows that command literally, taking the offered machete and killing Enzo and Bruno instead of Wanda. The power released by two human deaths, combined with Anita's own power, allows Anita to raise and control every corpse in the cemetery. She orders the zombies to kill both Salvador and Gaynor, then lays the zombies to rest. Jean-Claude arrives, and explains that, as the undead himself, he felt Anita's power, but remained at a distance until she interred the zombies, apparently out of prudence in case Anita decided to use the zombies to kill him and free herself of her status as his human servant.

Review: This was another page-turner. I'm beginning to really like Jean-Claude. ( )
  DrLed | Nov 15, 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 |
animator re-animated becomes super killer zombie
  ritaer | Jun 12, 2021 |
I really enjoyed the first Anita Blake book, so I was happy to get the second one on audio from the library. It was good to learn a bit more about the necromancer/vampire slayer/police consultant. This book had more of an eeeewwwwww factor for me than did the first book, but I guess that's zombies for you. Vampires are just less icky than zombies. ;) I thought it was interesting that Anita has specified that she wants to be cremated when she dies so can be neither raised from the dead nor turned into a vampire. I wonder if I can specify that in my living will? You know, just in case.

Anyway, I didn't like this book as much I did the first, but I think it was more because it was gross. It certainly kept me engrossed; I looked forward to listening to it every time I had a chance to do so. I think I have the third book sitting on my computer, so I'll be starting that soon. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
Although the "gore score" was a little higher than I'm usually comfortable with, I did really enjoy the audiobook version of this book. It took me through a day of housecleaning (which is one of the reasons I finished it so quickly). I liked Anita Blake's character, although she's occasionally a bit *too* sassy. However, she's a strong and charismatic heroine and one with interesting abilities, and just flawed enough to be human. The plot is fast-paced and engrossing, with lots of thrills, chills, and action, and the book is populated with many interesting characters. Recommended for anyone who likes urban fantasy. ( )
  sdramsey | Dec 14, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Laurell K. Hamiltonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
White, CraigAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

The early Anita Blake novels find new life in trade paperback-as perfect collectibles for long-time fans or as great ways for new readers to sink their teeth into the series. In The Laughing Corpse, a creature from beyond the grave is tearing a swath of murder through St. Louis. And Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead...  

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