This is a review of “Skin Trade” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is the 17th novel in The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series.
“Skin Trade” follows on from “Blood Noir“.
Anita is at her Animators Inc office when she receives a package. And it’s no ordinary package. It’s a human head. Sent from Las Vegas. Anita calls the authorities of Sin City to make them aware, but it seems as though they were expecting a call. A local serial killer has left her a message in the blood of his victims. Just great.
Anita has dealt with this guy before in St Louis. He likes to kill strippers, and he’s a vampire that goes by the name Vittorio. It seems although he’s upped the ante in Las Vegas. Several police officers and the local vampire executioner have been murdered preternaturally. Anita knows she’s gotta help catch this guy before he kills again. So she slips away from St Louis while Jean Claude is the dead to the world in his day sleep.
But she won’t be alone, Edward aka “Death” aka Ted Forrester will be there in his capacity as vampire executioner and Federal Marshal. So too, will serial killer and government spook Olaf aka Federal Marshal Otto Jeffries and Federal Marshal Bernardo Spotted-Horse. And her newest animal to call, weretiger Crispin, lives in Vegas, handy if she needs a snack for the ardeur.
Vegas is different to St Louis. They have their own psychics and magic practitioners on their SWAT team, and the Master Vampire of the City is an old time mob boss, his wife Queen of the White Were Tiger Clan.
Can Anita catch the sicko who mailed her the head? Can she work a police case without any horrible metaphysical stuff going down? Can she avoid Olaf and his crush and creepy advances? Can she steer clear of Marmee Noir and her need to call were tigers of all colours? And will she make it home to Jean Claude and all of her other sweeties?
I liked this one. Finally Anita is more like she used to be. Helping police to solve crimes, attending preternatural murder scenes and solving mysteries. I always enjoy having Edward in the mix, and Olaf makes things … interesting. There was still some sex, but mostly, Anita is back to the way I like her.