Thursday, January 17, 2013

Narcissus in Chains chapter 41

Last night was one of my rare movie nights. I took a simi-break from editing the next Exiles book and watched End of Watch. If you have not seen this movie yet, and you can stomach violence and enough "fucks" to sink a soundtrack, GO WATCH IT. Seriously. Best three movies last year were Hunger Games, Hobbit, and End of Watch. 

Anyhoo, the movie opens with two cops, Taylor and Z, shooting a couple of gangsters very dead after the credits-long car chase. The movie ends with a bunch of cops shooting four extremely bad gangsters extraordinarily dead after they attempt to kill all the cops in the room (This is not a spoiler, IMHO, as it probably appeared in the trailer). At no point do the cops have to worry about how to explain this to the other cops. They shot bad people in their own  self defense.

Anita should be in the clear right now.

Chapter opens with Anita talking to Zerbowski. You know, I really wonder what this looks like from his POV. Anita has been relatively upstanding and a friend of the department for years, but her romantic connections are only so-so. One of them is the vampire Master of the City, and he runs a large number of sex-related businesses. They can't pin trafficking charges on him, but there's a lot of chatter. The other guy Anita's been dating is Richard, who seemed to be pretty upstanding too, but they got an anonymous tip that he's now in charge of the werewolf gang--they call themselves a pack, but Zerbowski's seen that one before--and they've been kicking up a lot of trouble between the two. Still, Anita's kept her nose clean until recently...and then she was kidnapped and he damn near thought killed, and now she's just been attacked by a bunch of men with way, way more firepower than he would have thought necessary, and she is the one acting like she's got something to hide.

Yep. She's on drugs.

Also? I want Anita to stop turning the wereleopards into children. Caleb is huddled on the end of the couch in a blanket having a minor freak out, and Anita says he looks like a ten-year-old. Given how often Anita screws the people she protects, she should NOT be comparing them to kids.

Anita, being an idiot, goes for the "Someguy" excuse. Cops and ER personel, you see, understand that the most dangerous place in the world is standing on your own porch, minding your own business, and this "Someguy" dude keeps walking up to people and stabbing them, or shooting them, or beating the ever loving shit out of them without any provocation at all. Anita swears up and down that the snakes attacked her for no reason at all, and every cop in the room gives her a long, long look: "That's the best you can do?"

And you know? I have to say this: Dolph is a good cop. The text is trying to paint him as a bad boy, but look at what he has to deal with. A woman who is WAY in over her head with the local heavies gets shot at. This woman is also a friend of the department and of himself personally. So what does he do? Put everybody in seperate rooms and question them. If everybody's being honest, the stories won't change and he can clear everybody without being accused of a bias. If he gets different stories from room to room, he knows something is up. He's trying to run an investigation, not Anita's maid service.

And then...wait. Wait. WAIT A SECOND.

Shapeshifters always change back to their original form in death.
I can't find it right now, so I might be wrong, but I swear I remember Anita saying earlier that dead shifters DIDN'T change back. That excused shootings of shapeshifters in their changed form.

Anyway, this bit of possible continuity break allows Anita to wonder what the hell the snakes really are if they don't change back into humans.

Dolph questions Anita. She tells the truth, up until he asks her why they might have targeted her, and she lies and says she has no idea. Well, first off, you DO have no idea. She thinks it might be because she killed their leader, but she hasn't talked about that, but that's only a might-be. Second...he's your friend. You could have told him the truth back at the station, where you manipulated the fuck out of him instead.

And yeah, we're not going to leave that alone. It's time for us to find out how horrible a human being Anita Blake really is.

See, way back in chapter twelve Dolph questioned Anita, who he'd thought was dead, about where she'd been. Anita, having just been raped mentally by Jean Claude and physically by Micah, decides not to talk but to insist that Dolph is only prosecuting Jean Claude because a woman in his life is sleeping with a vampire. I called her a *turns off robot Susan* bitch *turns on robot Susan* and got shouted at for it, and I accept the word is wrong, but I stand by the attitude. You don't yank on somebody else's pain just to win your arguement.

See, it's not Dolph's wife. It's his son. And the big tragety of all this is that the vamp the kid is dating can't have kids, and his other son and wife can't have kids, so that means NO GRANDCHILDREN EVAR, and Dolph sits down to have a cry.

Here are the options when you cannot have kids:
-Surrogate mothers
-Start a foster home

I mean...FUCK guys, this implies that the only reason to get married is to pop out kids, and that the only kids that count are the biological ones between man and wife.

Anyway, after Dolph has his crying jag he goes hard on Anita again, and starts both drilling her on what happened and going all "anti-non-humans" on her. And THEN we bring the rape back up. Remember, kids, Anita only had sex with Micah once so far, and it was not consensual on her part:

“The heart wants what the heart wants, Dolph. You don’t plan on making your life complicated, it just happens, and you don’t do it on purpose, and you don’t do it to hurt the people who love you.
I have pounded this into the ground, so I'm just going to leave that here.

Dolph then tells Anita to get out, but not before asking advice for how to deal with his undead new daughter-in-law. Because Undead for Dummies apparently does not exist, nor do internet searches, nor do sensativity training for cops, apparently.

Chapter ends. We are over three quarters of the way done with the book. There are twenty chapters left to go.

This does not encourage me.


  1. So, let me see if I've got this right:

    In the real world a cop like Anita would be dirty. Incredibly dirty. So amazingly dirty that even other dirty cops would treat her as though she were radioactive and carrying the bubonic plague. Because really, Anita's level of dirty cop-hood has reached the level of international scandal. Seriously. Sleeping with multiple gangleaders? Involved in human trafficking? Multiple murderer? Torturer!? When this gets out not only will the Feds be involved, her downfall will be played out across the NYT, CBC, BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, Fox...

    But in LKH-land, the only reason other cops might give Anita a hard time is because one of them has problems in his personal life.


    This is what happens when you fall victim to protagonist-centred morality ( You're welcome). Antagonists torture and brand someone with silver chains, then toss them in a filth-encrusted pit to die slowly? Evil! Protagonist tortures and brands someone with silver chains, then tosses them in a filth-encrusted pit to die slowly? Good!

    1. Thing is? Anita isn't a cop. She's a special consultant they drag in to consult on zombies and vampires. Later on in the series she gets grandfathered into the Federal Marshals for some reason unknown to God and Man, but right now? She's a civilian with a room full of dead bodies.

      The cops would be fully justified in holding her as a person of interest for 24 hours and grilling her until she cracked.

    2. Ah, OK. I had that wrong. I thought she started as a US Marshal. In which case there's absolutely no reason for her not to be in jail awaiting trial right now. Would you set this lunatic's bail at anything less than a million dollars?

      Also: "Later on in the series she gets grandfathered into the Federal Marshals"

      For the love of God HOW!? It's not as though she's secretive about her criminal activities or associates. The US Department of Justice should be investigating her, not giving her a job.