Book Review: Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10) by Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse has finally settled into a relationship with the Viking vampire Eric, and her errant brother Jason seems to have his life in order, too. But all the other people in Sookie’s life – Eric himself, her former lover Bill, her friend and boss Sam – are having family problems. Eric’s maker shows up with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow, the ailing Bill can only be healed by a blood sibling, and Sam’s brother’s marriage is about to take place... or will it? The furor raised by the coming out of the two-natured has yet to settle; some people are just not ready to sit down to dinner with a man who turns into a dog. And Sookie herself is still recovering from her last ordeal. She’s definitely improving, physically and mentally, but she’s always going to have some dark moments now. The werewolves tell her that there have been strange and ominous passers-by in the Stackhouse woods; now Sookie is about to come face-to-face with one of her more distant relatives...

Finally!  After months of waiting and my re-read of all 9 Sookie novels, I got to read Dead in the Family last night!  I sped through this book in about 4 hours, it was just that fast-paced, plus in all of my anticipation I tried to pace myself but just couldn't. 

Well, I think that this was the darkest Sookie novel yet.  Sookie is the poster child for Prozac at the beginning of the book, thanks to her torture by two fairies at the end of Dead and Gone.  She starts to rally but never reaches her usual sunny and cheerful self.  Thanks to her torture and the toll the deaths in the Fae War took on Sookie, she's acquired quite the dark side.  Where before she had hints of being a self-preservationist, now she's just focusing on "looking out for number one" as my husband would say. 

Now, that's not to say that Sookie is turning into a bad person.  She still does good things and thinks about other people.  It's just that all of her actions pass through the filter of "how will this affect me," whereas before she blindly acted to help others without considering the cost to herself.  Sookie does a great thing for Bill, which I found to be one of the highlights of the book.

Charlaine Harris must have read some of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series because this book was the most sexually explicit of them all.  Before, we had PG-13 scenes and maybe a R rated scene every once in a while.  Dead in the Family gets downright nasty several times.  I liked it better when things were left more to the imagination.

Okay, here's my prediction for Sookie's love life.  I think that somehow, she's going to end up with Sam.  There's at least one part in every book where she looks at Sam and realizes either: how much she respects him, how much she likes their ongoing flirtation, what a good friend he is to her, etc.  I think the bottom line will be that Sookie wants to be a mother and Sam can give her children, whereas Eric or Bill cannot. 

Just One Gripe:
Ever since I watched season one of True Blood, every time Bill talks to Sookie I can hear Stephen Moyer (who plays Bill in the HBO series) saying in that horribly fake Southern accent:  "I'm sorry, Sookie."

The Best Thing About This Book:
Sookie's kindness towards Bill.  I hated Bill for a lot of books right along with Sookie and I'm glad that she's gotten over most of those feelings.

Appropriate for a younger audience:
None of the Sookie books are appropriate for a younger audience.  They have too much sex and gore.

Characters:  5/5
Plot:  5/5
Setting/Imagery:  5/5
Originality:  5/5
Ending:  4/5
Total Score:  24/25

Read First:


  1. You are right Kelly - this book was really dark for the fun loving, easy going Sookie I have come to love. I hope the next book gets better for her. I am really glad she has forgiven Bill, also.

  2. Seeing as though i'm am the original Sookie Stackhouse lover, I give a thumbs up to this book. It actually had some funny parts and of course leaves everything open to flow into the next book. We all know it's gotta end sometime but so far its been a nice ride (read). And in case you are a trueblood fan...The HBO series does not hold true to the books but is yet quite addictive and enjoyable. Thanks Kellie....Tanya

  3. You are the original Sookie fan, Hannah!


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