Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and mother. Her bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels include "Narcissus in Chains," "Obsidian Butterfly," "Blue Moon," "Burnt Offerings," "The Killing Dance," "Bloody Bones," "The Lunatic Cafe," "Circus of the Damned," "The Laughing Corpse," and "Guilty Pleasures." She is also the author of "A Kiss of Shadows" and "A Caress of Twilight." She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family."
Vampire executioner Anita Blake is back in her 15th appearance, still spending most of her time dealing with her lycanthropy as she tries to avoid shifting into any of at least four animals. Belle Morte, the oldest vampire and the queen of darkness, is even more interested in Anita and invades her dreams, soliciting her as a potential human servant. As if that weren't enough, the St. Louis "Kiss" has aroused the attention of the Harlequin, a group of vampire enforcers who work in secret to discipline and execute those who run afoul of the Vampire Council. Hamilton uses a stream-of-consciousness style that would have benefited from tightening, but there is more plot and character development than in the last several installments. About halfway through, she drops the vampire politics, sex, and shapeshifting problems to tackle the renegade Harlequins and their animal and human servants. A huge cast of characters, both new and those returning from earlier books, could be confusing for listeners new to the series. The production quality is good, and Cynthia Holloway is a first-rate reader. Note, however, that there is graphic sex and violence. Recommended only for libraries that collect erotica and have significant Hamilton fans.-Janet Martin, Southern Pines P.L., NC Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.