Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cerulean Sins--Chapter 16



In other news, Laurel K. Hamilton needs to never write another police procedural ever, ever again.

Seriously. No more cops. No more pretending that she gets cops. No more crime scenes.

Jason drives Anita to a crime scene in a rich neighborhood. Because murder is much worse and much more important when it happens to rich people. Right? Anyway, Anita is badly sick from her feeding session with Asher. Jason implies that it's her fault for not sleeping it off, and maybe a little asher's fault for not curbing his bite-y-ness.

And then we get big time basic human fail. Yeah. This isn't even research fail. This is "not having logic" fail.

I got my badge out of my suit jacket pocket. I, Anita Blake, vampire executioner, was technically a federal marshal. All vampire hunters that were currently state licensed in the United States had been grandfathered in to federal status, if they could qualify on a shooting range. I’d qualified, and now I was a fed.
Fail. Fail on so many levels.

First of all, and it's the most obvious thing in the world, ANITA BLAKE IS THE LAST HUMAN ON EARTH WHO SHOULD HAVE A GUN. 

Second...no. It doesn't work that way. "I can shoot" does not equal "I am qualified to work police cases that will eventually be presented to a DA and then to a jury". Folks, I couldn't even get hired as a baker without having to sit through sensativity training, which Anita would flunk out on. Anita, as we will soon see, fails in every way possible when it comes to preservation of evidence, let alone collection. SHE SHOULD NOT BE THERE.

But no. She's brought across the tape because ONLY ANITA can handle magical murder things.

But for me, more than most vampire hunters, there was an extra benefit to having a badge of my very own. I no longer had to rely on policemen friends to get me into crime scenes.

Oh fuck me, that is so...so...

Yeah. Moving on.

Great, he didn’t recognize my name— so much for being a celebrity— and he was going to play ‘don’t want the feds pissing in my pond!’
Okay, look. I read a lot of true crime. I mean, a lot. I am not an expert, but you know what I don't read a lot about? Inter-departmental pissing contests. There are a few books that show the locals getting pissed at the feds, but it's less "pissing contest" and more "You guys don't know what the fuck you are doing and you're going to fuck up this case and nobody is going to get arrested. At all." because the feds don't usually show up until the cops have to start using their toes to count the bodies. Or they have reason to believe the murderer crossed state lines. And even in that case they shove a lot less than the media implies. Reason being that human beings are dying and they want to stop this from continuing.

So yeah. This is kind of disrespectful of law enforcement on every level.

Then clothing is described, and it must be said: this is the first book I've read in a while where Anita shows up to a crime scene wearing something that couldn't be charitably described as "it'd get you thrown out of a club."

the officer in front of the crime scene continues to obstruct Anita. I am reading this as "you are an idiot and I don't want you fucking up our chain of custody" instead of "EW GIRL" which is probably what LKH intended. (I think the first question any judge in St. Louis asks now is "Was Anita Blake at the scene before X was bagged". And if the answer is yes, it gets thrown out of court. See the scenes where she and the other officers played "Catch" with human body parts.)

Anita finally points out she can't be kept out of the crime scene, because badge. Cop does not take obvious route, which is "Hey, we have to confirm this--GUYS GRAB WHAT YOU CAN AND FIND REASON TO LOCK SCENE DOWN BEFORE SHE GETS HERE" and instead says that Jason can't enter the crime scene because he is not a fed.

Anita flashes her vampire bite.

I have no idea what this should accomplish, but it throws the door guy enough for her to get into the crime scene.

End of chapter.

I'm going to bed now.


  1. Yes, all of this. All of it. Somehow LKH thinks she is the specialist snowflake for knowing how to use a gun in a safe manner and somehow that is all it would take to get into the Marshals, as though they weren't a highly trained force that requires training and schooling and whatnot. But she never gets called in by the Marshals, she just uses the badge to waltz into crime scenes, and later I seem to remember she decides that they don't have to do paperwork either (presumably because that would be boring.) Was "bounty hunter" not a cool enough job description? Because that would get her much of what she wants without having to piss all over an actual hardworking agency in the process.
    She is such a LEO fangirl, and yet clearly without the slightest idea of what it is to enforce the law. Pleh.

    1. And that's the part that drives me INSANE. I've read SO MANY CASES where the cops spend months following the guy around, they know it is their guy, they know their guy is going to do something bad all over again, and there is nothing they can do because the evidence they need just isn't there.

      If I am reading a book and my first thought is "That would get the entire case thrown out of court" and that does not immediately happen it is not a well researched book.

    2. It's just insanely frustrating. I wouldn't mind so much if she acknowledged that she has no idea what she's doing, but she insists that she's the only one doing it right. And for crying out loud, she reads tons of books on serial killers (as has been documented on Lashouts) shouldn't she at least understand basic procedure by now? Willful ignorance pisses me off more than anything.