Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Caress of Twilight chapter 38-

And the plot finally drops in the form of Detective Tate in Merry's living room.

She cusses Merry out for making her wait while she had sex with Doyle and Frost, which is what Galen told her was happening. She relents a little bit when she sees how shaken Merry is re:Taranis, but only a little bit, because there was another mass killing the night before.

Folks, our government is pretty fucked up. It's better than a lot of 'em, it's worse than a few others. But even our government would hit the fucking ceiling if a hundred people died of suffocation with no visible source in the middle of a large city. First thought would be terrorism, second thought would be large scale public service failure (leaking gas anyone?) and then there would be mass murderer, and all three would likely result in an evacuation of several blocks while people in haz mat suits walked around with air quality detectors for about a month. THEY ARE NOT TAKING THIS SERIOUS ENOUGH TO BE REALISTIC.

And that's if there was ONE outbreak. Two? They're evacuating city centers, closing schools, and people are making a mass run on gas masks, canned food and guns. Fuck, guys, am I the only person who remembers the Anthrax scare after 9-11? Disgruntled worker sends his boss germs in a leaky envelope (or three, I don't remember ALL the details) and people on the opposite side of the country are taping plastic over their windows. We're focusing on Merry's sex-life and "It's the end of the world as we know it" is blaring in the background.

And what do they discuss? How Peterson (I am STILL reading that as Pearson. What is WRONG with my eyes folks?) is blocking Merry from working on the case. On the one hand, he's blocking Merry from advising on a double-mass-murder. On the other hand, she dosed him with rape drugs. Admittedly drugs that made him attempt to rape her, but it was not something he would have done normally and it's probably a miracle he didn't try to eat his gun when he sobered up. Of course he's going to jump through hoops to keep from having to work with her.

They're both terrible people, but Peterson is less of one. 

Meanwhile, Lucy Tate is portrayed as being a martyr for putting her career on the line for talking to Merry.

This bothers me.

Female roles in this series are disturbing. I will be the first to admit, I am not one to talk, but I do think LKH has a serious virgin/whore complex going in this series. Only instead of it being "a woman is either a virgin or a whore" it's "A good woman is either a virgin or a whore."

And in this universe, "virgin" is synonimous with "victim".

Think about it. You had Catherine, Anita's buddy from Guilty Pleasures, who was victimized by vamps on her wedding day. You've got Lucy Tate, who submits to Merry's lead and is willing to sacrifice herself for the good of others, kind of like the precious virgin Princess throwing herself on the dragon, rather than stealing her brother's sword. Feminine people are villianized in this series when they attempt to fill a male and/or aggressor role without surrendering their female qualities too. It's like LKH is saying "You can either be a good woman and be a victim, or you can become a hero and discard things like ethical morality and lace doilies, but if you try to be a self-posessed woman who also likes skirts and heels? Yeah, you're a horrible person."

Anyhoo, Lucy Tate is sacrificing herself to bring Merry onto the case. Bravo.

The cops have told the public that scene A was a gas leak and scene B was a bad batch of X. Meanwhile the government has done nothing to keep people safe. Again: BULLSHIT. There should be FBI, ATF and Homeland Security crawling over every inch of the city by now.

And then LKH shows us all how little she actually knows about police procedures. Let's take this apart one little bit at a time, shall we?

  • She nodded. “The very first scene probably wouldn’t even have come up on anybody’s radar if it hadn’t been in a ritzy area of town. Just six adults that time, a small dinner party gone very bad. It’d still be floating around on someone’s weird shit pile as unsolved.

Yeah. No. Six dead people at a party would gain notice. Especially if they all died of suffocation. Google "Scott Burnside" to see how the cops react to more than one dead person at a single scene, and how long they'll stick with it until things are solved.

but we never would have gotten it this quickly if one of the first vics hadn’t been friends with several mayors

RIGHT. Cops ONLY try to solve murders when the people involved are high profile important people.

Did you know most of the Green River Killer's victims were prostitutes, runaways or both? And that the cops never stopped looking? Ever? As in the cop who'd been there from day one didn't even have to look at the DNA test to know it was Gary Ridgeway, and he insisted on being in on the arrest so that he could call the family of one of the confirmed prostitutes and be the one to tell them they'd finally gotten the bastard who'd killed their daughter? Because he'd kept in touch with them from the day they found her body?

Cops are plenty desensitized to awfulness, but what we mistake for inaction is actually a lack of evidence. If I were a cop? I'd want to set this book on fire for this conversation.

Anyhoo, Lucy finally mentions that the first scene happened basically on Maeve Reed's doorstep, and that there's a survivor who is Fae. They are asked to interview him, and even torture him if that's what it takes to get info out of him. The chapter ends with Merry calling Maeve to tell her that she's really on somebody's shit list.

(It's Taranis's shit list.)

So they go see the sick Fae and he is, apparently, a very old Sidhe deity shrunk down to about two feet square. There is a lot of going on about how horrible it is that he's scrunched down so small, but because I have no idea who this is (his name is Bucca) I really don't give a shit. Apparently he refused to give up his god-power and in the absense of worshippers or something he wasted away until he was two feet tall.

And then he tells Merry that he's fading and he's afraid of dying, and so he's the one who raised the god-ghosts at Taranis's command.

Yep. We just confirmed something we've known for about six chapters already. and two chapters of this is all I can take tonight.


  1. One of the things that drives me MAD about LKH is that she claims that she gets told frequently by members of the law enforcement community that she's writing them correctly (with a passive aggressive jab that implies no one else does) and she is always always always making the police look like bumbling idiots or sexist dinosaurs. I would be *incensed* if I were a LEO or a relative of one and I read that.

    1. Yep.

      This is the layperson's view of cops, because the layperson doesn't understand that no evidence=no arrest, EVEN WHEN YOU KNOW WHO IT IS. And you only get ONE SHOT at getting the person off the street, and sometimes you lose. So the layperson assumes that the cops don't care, when in reality the cops care a great deal.

      And VERY frequently the "Sexism" reads more like "I know you, Anita/Merry, and I know you are the LAST PERSON ON EARTH who should be involved in this case. As in I know that when it goes to trial your presence will not only be the first thing the defense team asks me about but it will be the thing the defense team uses to get evidence thrown out of court. Your being on this case will DESTROY this case, and I can't say a goddamned thing about it because you're too politically connected for me to throw you the fuck out of my crime scene, so yep, I'm pissed." and the fem in question misreading it as sexism because SURELY someone as WONDERFUL as Merry/Anita won't be thrown out of a crime scene because THEY ARE IN NO WAY QUALIFIED TO BE THERE.

      Seriously. Her being on the cop side of the yellow tape probably violates like, six different rules of chain of custody, and a bad chain of custody=you don't get to present that in court today.

  2. I guess they don't have those kind of legal difficulties in the Anita/Merryverse, since they spend so much time lumbering through crime scenes touching everything and complaining, and Anita got grandfathered into the Marshals after passing a flippin' firearms test. I looked into going into the Marshals when I was in college and it's just a leetle bit more complicated than being a self-obsessed lunatic with a gun who happens to be able to pass basic marksmanship. Also I still can't figure out how Merry would be an effective private detective when everyone on Earth knows who she is.
    If one is purposely writing fluff none of this would be such a big deal, but she seems to want us to take this crap seriously, so it matters.