This one caught me on the back foot! An unofficial synopsis has surfaced for Deadlocked, thanks to risingshadow.net:
With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard — especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.
I’ll address the elephant in the room first, which, of course is this:
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder.
I’ve been reading around today and already there’s a sense of hopelessness and rising panic at the suggestion of more Bill in this book. I get that. The collective outrage over True Blood (a wound that is still very raw for many), and the fact that so many book Eric fans feel insulted and ripped-off and completely BILL’D TO THE GILLS from the show – it’s little wonder that any mention of Bill teaming up with Sookie in these final books is bound to have us reaching for the vodka and imbibing it undiluted, and in liberal quantities.
But I see nothing here that makes this book any different to any other – Sookie is always teaming up with someone to fix something for another one of her suitors. That’s part of the basic roadmap of this series, at least in the last three books. In Dead in the Family, Sookie teams up with Jason to help Alcide, going so far as to take a drug against her better judgement…and she also goes well out of her way to help Bill. In Small Town Wedding, she teams up with Sam to help solve some big problems at his brother’s wedding. In Dead Reckoning, she teamed up with Sam again – Eric’s main rival at this point - to solve his firebug problem. We haven’t forgotten this, have we?
With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack.
I seem to recall the general consensus this time last year being that this excerpt from the Dead Reckoning synopsis could well be the dreaded set up for a Sam HEA. As it turned out, Sookie placed Sam in the box clearly marked “Dear Friend” in Dead Reckoning and we all survived another book. So let’s all back away from the cliff…at least for now.
Bill is not going to swoop in at the last minute, people. He’s not. Though I completely get that most of us are so completely and utterly over him thanks to True Blood that the mere mention of his name in the context of the books is now enough to get hackles raised. This is a shame, I think, because I still see Bill’s involvement in the books as being at an appropriate level for a character who’s had his shot, but who remains a strong influence in Sookie’s life.
My gut feeling remains as it always has – what we’re seeing in DR and the next book is the set up of multiple obstacles to a Sookie/Eric pairing, obstacles which are necessary for the characters to grow enough to make a vampire/human HEA workable. At this late stage in the series, I fail to see any other point to continuing a relationship which, if it was not planned to be endgame, could have been neatly and conveniently snuffed with the breaking of the blood bond.
Anyway, moving on to more important stuff. Important, blonde, Viking stuff.
I am absolutely THRILLED to bits to see Felipe FINALLY making his first appearance since From Dead to Worse. It’s no secret that I love this character so I’m dying to know why he’s visiting – obviously this is to do with Eric’s disposal of Victor, an act that I don’t see Felipe being too upset about after Victor caused him so much grief. So if Felipe isn’t coming to punish Eric for Victor, I think we’re left with a couple of possibilities – his visit is related to the messy Freyda business, or else he is coming to make Eric a proposal of his own. Felipe’s territory is now very large (even the synopsis goes to pains to point this out, see above) and I’m still sticking by my oft-repeated prediction that Eric will unwittingly find himself in contention for more power after proving to Felipe that he can take care of business.
Speaking of Freyda it’s probably safe to say that she’s Sookie’s new enemy, and the party responsible for Eric being set up with a dead body in his yard at the most inopportune time. It looks like Freyda’s about to play hardball with Eric; but it wouldn’t be the SVM if everyone got what they wanted without a bit of bullying and arm twisting along the way. Sookie and Eric will deal with her, probably with Felipe’s help because Eric always wins…eventually.
Name me one time when he hasn’t.
I think that’s enough of my first impressions – now let’s hear yours!