|Living Dead in Dallas|
|Pages|| 291 (paperback)|
|Previous book||"Dead Until Dark"|
|Next book||"Club Dead"|
Living Dead in Dallas is the second book in Award-winning author Charlaine Harris' New York Times bestselling series "The Southern Vampire Mysteries", also known as the "Sookie Stackhouse novels", and as of recent, the "True Blood novels". The series of books in which the HBO original series True Blood is based, Living Dead in Dallas is the second of thirteen novels in the The Southern Vampire Mysteries collection.
"Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse isn't having much fun lately. In fact, a coworker of hers ends up murdered and no one seems to care. But when she comes face to face with a beastly creature that gives her a poisonous and painful lashing, help from vampires gives her the chance to change things a little."
The books opens with Sookie working the night shift at the bar Merlotte's, and with a drunken Andy Bellefleur. After Sookie calls Andy's sister Portia Bellefleur to come drive him home, Bill Compton arrives in the bar to greet Sookie. Sookie and the other bar patrons chat briefly with the vampire when Portia arrives to take her brother home. After an awkward exchange between Portia and Bill (Portia does not like vampires), Portia allows Bill to take Andy to the car. The siblings soon leave Merlotte's, and Andy's car stays parked in the bar's parking lot. The next day Sookie arrives at work for the lunch shift, and finds Andy's car with the door ajar. Not wanting the car to lose its battery charge, Sookie gets out of her car to push the door closed. When the door refuses to close, Sookie opens it to see why. What she finds is the dead body of Lafayette Reynolds, the short order cook at Merlotte's. Sam calls the police after Sookie tearfully tells him what she saw. After the police question her, we find out about the secretive and dodgy "sex parties" Lafayette had been attending. We also know that whoever murdered Lafayette had sex with him or raped him.
Sookie leaves the bar after her shift is over to go home and get ready for the drive to Fangtasia with Bill, for Eric Northman,he had a new assignment for the couple. On the drive to Shreveport, Bill informs Sookie that he just bought a small shopping center in Bon Temps, and that if she ever needs clothes, food, or a haircut she is to go there since he has instructed the owners of the shops to let her use their services for free. Furious at being portrayed as a bought woman, Sookie yells at Bill. When the car stalls, Sookie gets out and storms into the woods to get away from Bill, and back to Bon Temps. Since both are being stubborn Bill goes the opposite direction to find a mechanic instead of following Sookie. After walking for a short while, Sookie is greeted by feral but beautiful woman in ragged clothes with a snarling razorback hog. The woman tells Sookie that she is a maenad, and that she has a message for Eric Northman. Sensing danger Sookie turns to run away but the maenad claws at Sookie's back leaving deep and long gashes. The wounds where so painful that Sookie could barely crawl. When she hears Bill sifting through the woods to find her she calls out to him, and he comes to her aid, picks her up, places her in the fixed car, and takes her to Shreveport. Once at Fangtasia, Eric gets Dr. Ludwig (a supernatural) healer to tend to Sookie. The doctor tells Sookie that she needs a tranfusion; for the wounds are poison. Soon after the healer begins her work, Sookie tells Eric of the maenad and passes out.
Sookie wakes up in Eric's office with Pam sitting next to her. Pam informs Sookie on the success of the operation, and the two women have a brief conversation. Sookie showers and puts on fresh clothes; when she is finished, she is introduced to Chow, the new bartender at Fangtasia. After thanking the vampires involved with the transfusion, Eric tells Sookie that he has "loaned" her out to the Area 6 vampires in Dallas, Texas. Sookie agrees to go only if Bill comes with her, Eric in turn agrees to her conditions. After the brief meeting Sookie wonders out loud what the message was that the maenad was keen on giving. Chow then explains the history of maenads, saying that they require offerings from people who serve alcohol and if a tribute is not given, the maenad could cause madness and massacre. On her next day at work, Sookie tells Sam Merlotte of the maenad, and her wounds. Sam becomes angry with the vampires for he feels this would not have happened to Sookie had she not associated herself with them. After her talk with Sam, Sookie, begins work only to be interrupted by Portia Bellefleur. Portia had come into the bar to ask Sookie for a favor on behalf of Andy. Portia tells Sookie that Andy is being accused of killing Lafayette, and that she wants Sookie to "listen in" on people to try and find the real culprit. The Bellefleurs have never been kind to Sookie, so as a result she gets angry at Portia's nerve and tells her that she will not help Andy, that anything she does to help solve Lafayette's murder will be for Lafayette... not Andy. Portia leaves the bar abruptly stating her dislike for Sookie in the process. After this exchange, Bill arrives at the bar to tell Sookie that they will be leaving for Dallas the next day. Bill takes Sookie home soon after and the two make love.
The next evening Sookie arrives in Dallas. As she gets off the plane, she is approached by a priest. He is a small man and asks Sookie whether or not she needs help with her "situation". Sookie, who is frazzled by her first plane ride and preoccupied with the responsibility of getting Bill shipped off the plane safely, barely registers what the man is saying and doing. When the man follows her and persistently tries to get her attention, she begins to sense danger. When the "priest" sees Bill's coffin coming off the plane he abruptly grabs Sookie, and begins pulling her away. Though the airport is crowded, no one seems to realize that Sookie is being taken against her will. Trying to get away from her kidnapper Sookie digs her heels into the ground and calls out to the emerging Bill. The priest suddenly drops Sookie and runs as Bill chases him. After this strange encounter Sookie and Bill wonder how this man could know them, and why he had tried to take Sookie. Unable to reach a conclusion the two begin to take in the sites of Dallas. When they reach their destination Sookie is surprised to meet another telepath named Barry. Not wanting to "out" the boy against his will Sookie keeps this fact to herself. Once she and Bill are settled they meet a vampire in the lobby of the hotel named Isabel Beaumont. She informs them that she was sent to fetch them, so soon after they all pile into Isabel's car and drive to meet the sheriff of Dallas. When they arrive, Sookie and Bill meet Stan Davies the sheriff of Area 6. Stan explains what he wants of Sookie. A vampire named Farrell is missing from Stan's nest. Stan wants Sookie to question humans who may be involved in Farrell's disappearance and use her telepathy to find the truth. The first person they bring in is a young woman named Bethany, as Sookie questions Bethany she also digs in the girl's mind. After sifting through a lot of useless information, Sookie finds that Farrell was last seen going into the bathrooms (of a vampire bar called The Bat's Wing) with a "young" blond vampire and wasn't seen coming out. The next to be questioned is the bouncer of the bar. Sookie quickly realizes that someone has crudely erased the bouncer's memory. So he has no useful information. A vampire named Rachel is next to be questioned. She tells Stan that she did in fact see a blond and tattooed vampire and that she saw him talking to a mysterious human outside the bar. After Rachel leaves, Bill asks if the vampires have a computer and leaves the room to use the internet. While Bill is researching, Sookie searches many other brains, none of which have any further information. Bill returns with the blond vampire's name and history. His name is Godfrey and he is a known renouncer. He betrayed his fellow vampires to the Fellowship of the Sun.
Sookie, Bill, and Stan all wonder whether or not Farrell is already dead once they learn he was taken by a renouncer. When Sookie remembers the strange man at the airport she asks how they knew she would be there, and who she was for that matter. As they mull that over they find out that Stan's office had been bugged. After a quick search Sookie finds the bug under Stan's desk and they dispose of it. With the bug gone Hugo Ayres, Isabel's human, hatches a plan for he and Sookie to go to the Fellowship's headquarters during the day to map out its grounds. When the plan is all ironed out a tall blond vampire from California named "Leif" emerges. Sookie and Bill quickly realize this vampire is actually Eric in disguise. In an attempt not to give Eric away, Sookie and Bill leave Stan's presence and head back to the hotel. As they leave Isabel informs Sookie that Hugo will pick her up at 3pm the next day. As Sookie got ready for her and Hugo's mission she watched the midday news on T.V. and was shocked to find Bethany had been murdered. As she watch the Dallas detective who was on the case said that Bethany's murder was obviously a message to the vampires, Sookie turned off the T.V. and suppressed sobs as she continued getting ready. When Sookie was all dressed up in her disguise she went to meet Hugo Ayres. On the drive to the Fellowship Center Sookie and Hugo got their story straight. They decided that they should enter the center as boyfriend and girlfriend. As Hugo drove Sookie found out that Hugo was a lawyer, a lawyer who was famous around Dallas for taking a vampire cases, she also realized that Hugo's thoughts were strangly ambivalent and uncertain. As she lost confidence in Hugo they pulled up to the Fellowship Center. As they entered the building they were instantly greeted by a woman named Sarah Newlin, who introduced herself as wife of the director of the Dallas branch of the Fellowship, Steve Newlin.
- Full Title- Living Dead in Dallas
- Author- Charlaine Harris
- Type- Fiction; Novel
- Genre- Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
- Language- English
- Date of First Publication- 2002
- Publisher- Ace Books
- Narrator- Sookie
- Point of View- Sookie narrates the book from first person point of view.
- Tone- Sookie cannot believe how her once quiet life has turned around so suddenly. She is in awe of a world she had been completely unaware of. She is also learning how to be strong and practical along the way.
- Tense- Past
- Setting(time)- Present (2002)
- Setting(place)- Bon Temps, Louisiana; Dallas, Texas
- Protagonist- Sookie
- Major Conflict- The death of Lafayette; the missing vampire Farrell
- Rising Action- The infiltration of the Fellowship; attending the secret orgy
- Climax- there may be two, the escape from the Fellowship; and the appearance of the maenad at the orgy.
- Falling Action- Sookie's visit to the hospital; the burning of the cabin
- Themes- racism, prejudice, atonement
Audiobooks are narrated by speaker Johanna Parker.