After reading the first book in this series, "Guilty Pleasures", I decided that Hamilton was a good writer, but that if somebody wanted to read novels about vampires they should try Anne Rice first. Now that I have read the second book in the series I realize that Hamilton is clearly among the best in the genre.
Anita Blake has a job unlike anyone else, she is an animator and vampire slayer. Therefore, she raises the dead and executes vampires that have broken the law (vampirism on itself is legal in USA). Anita's physical appearance is peculiar considering her job; her height is five foot three inches and she weighs a hundred and six pounds! She also has a black belt in judo and has been marked twice by the master vampire of the city, Jean Claude, who is in love with her.
In this installment of the series, Anita is offered one million dollars, by one of the most wealthy and powerful men in the city, to raise a two-hundred-and-eighty-three-year-old zombie; task that requires a human sacrifice. After she denies doing this, half of her problems begin. The other half has to do with the gruesome murder of a couple and the disappearance of their child. It is clear that the murderer is not human, but...is it a vampire, ghoul, zombie? Anita sets out to help the police in their investigation and ends up requesting the assistance of Señora Salvador, the most powerful voodoo priestess in the Midwest.
The different story lines come together to make a highly entertaining book. For those who have read the first book in the series you will also get a glimpse of some further aspects of Anita's past, like information about her mother and grandmother and some "secrets" about her tutor during her first steps as an animator. The action is fast-paced and Anita usually refreshes the mood with witty jokes and comments in situations that are definitely gruesome.
I really cannot wait to read the next book in the series, "Circus of the Damned".