I read ahead. I do not think we are going to make it.
MY BADGE ON its little cord around my neck got us past most of the cops. The few that questioned us recognized my name, or had worked with me before. Always good to be known.EVEN THE TEXT ADMITS ANITA BLAKE HAS NO REASON TO BE ON THIS SIDE OF THE YELLOW TAPE. Seriously. The people who have worked with her before are the ones saying "What the fuck are you doing here?"
THIS SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST CLUE THAT MAYBE YOU ARE NOT A GOOD INVESTIGATOR.
There is banter involving Zerbowski and another cop and Jason, who REALLY has no business being on this side of the yellow tape. Also? Thanks to John Dies At The End it will forever be "Do not duck casually under this tape" tape. Which your main character will always duck casually under because it's DNDCUTT tape.
There is half-assed flirting with Jason that somehow involves Micah, even though Micah is nowhere to be found. Okay. Anita finally points out that Jason is there to catch her if she faints.
At this point? She should be wearing hair restraints, one of those paper haz-mat suits, something over her mouth, something over her shoes (booties or rubber bands, but only if you are Amelia Sachs as played by Angelina Jolie) At this point? She is wearing none of these things. She is wandering around an active fucking crime scene with no hair restraint, no paper suit, no paper booties and thinks she will probably fall face first into prime evidence-collection territory at any given second.
Even Zerbowski is asking why she's here. Text says it's because he's worried about her health. Logic says that he realizes he had a prime chance to not have to explain to the DA why chain of custody got so thoroughly borked and they wound up playing polo with a victim's head or something, and they blew it because Dolph doesn't trust...yeah, we're getting to that.
Chapter eighteen opens with a crucifixion and random norse runes written all over the walls.
Hey, fun fact kiddos? LKH was in the process of converting to Paganism while she was writing these books, and her chosen branch of Fluffy McBunnikins has a heavy seasoning of Norse. So I think it's a safe fucking bet that the info dump about how fucked up the norse runes are in this murder scene (as in they are copied less like a spell and more like ABCDEFG) is here because she was studying norse runes when she wrote this part of the book.
I leaned forward too far and had to put my fingertips out to catch myself. My fingers touched dried blood on the wall. Only then did I realize I’d forgotten my surgical gloves. Fuck.
...Yeah, I'm getting a shot of whiskey. Be right back.
Seriously. HOW. THE FUCK. DO YOU CROSS COP TAPE AND NOT HAVE FIVE TECHS SCREAM "GLOVES" AT YOUR SORRY ASS? I worked in a bakery and we could not set foot inside the work area without having the hair net bag shoved in our faces. Gloves were everywhere. And we were just dealing with bread. Not murderers who need to be put away TONIGHT.
WHY DID THEY LET ANITA ONTO THE SCENE WITHOUT GLOVES? WHY? SHE JUST CONTAMINATED BLOOD SPLATTER. NOW THE DEFENSE TEAM CAN ARGUE THAT THE SPLOTCH GOT BUMPED WHEN ANITA BLAKE TOUCHED IT WITHOUT A GLOVE ON.
And then Anita brings up the whole Christian Witch thing. And I just. I can't.
“Bull-fucking-shit, Zerbrowski, he doesn’t trust her because she’s a witch. She’s a Christian witch for heaven’s sake, a Follower of the Way. You can’t get more mainstream in your occult expert than a Christian witch.”Uh...what? Seriously. What the fuck are you talking about? You honestly expect me to believe that Witchcraft can mainstream in Christianity? Seriously. You really want me to buy that a Christian Witch is going to "win" the acceptance game any more than a "regular" witch is? This is what you are actively trying to do with your worldbuilding?
Did you even bother to ask any Christian witches about this before you typed that up?
Laurel, I could buy that if you had wasted three fucking seconds on this prior to walking onto the crime scene to build it up as a concept. But you've done nothing to differenciate this from the IRL concept, and IRL Christian witches get thrown out of both clubhouses faster than Anita can say "Let's fuck." Pagans see the Christian part, Christians see the Witch, and neither side really wants to have any of that get on their hemlines. And most of
Yes. Magic is real in this universe and the Christian God is a deity of power most excellent, as proven by what happens whenever a vamp gets close to a cross. But you don't get to say "Christianity hates magic" and THEN say "Hee hee, ho ho, Christian Witches get accepted everywhere" and not take time to build that as a concept when in reality things are very fucking different. It's a lazy as fuck assumption, is all I'm saying.
Also? "Follower of the Way" is the laziest fucking title you could have possibly come up with. Yeah, Christian Witches are organized! And they are hyper fundies!
Anyway, after shitting on religion for a few paragraphs, Anita and Zerbowski identify that this is a very rich house. Anita says the fake crucifixion and the runes were to throw everybody off because this dude has money and somebody wants it.
And then I find out that Tammy Reynolds, the Christian Witch, is dating Larry Kirkland, Anita's trainee animator, and I am now pissed. Because Tammy turns into a royal...erm, pain in the later books and it is implied explicitly that it is her Christianity at fault. Because, you know, people in service to the Goddess have to follow threefold laws and Do No Harm and other things like that, but Christian Witches obviously get to ignore the book of rules, laws and examples central to their faith, because Special and Mainstream and Christianity is meaningless restrictive and LKH obviously knows all. And, you know, it's not like God ever brought the fucking roof down on somebody just for disrespecting his drinking cups or breaking an oath they made to God in private. And it's not like somebody swearing themselves into service with a Deity with that kind of history would feel driven to obey and respect that Deity in the way he commands, which in the case of Christianity means not shitting all over other people and their things. And...
Yeah, I could go off on this all night, so I'm going to stop here.
Anyway, Anita says that there is no magic involves and asks if she can go home. Zerbowski just tells her to go to the other crime scene, because nobody's fucked that up yet and they both need to be even. She and Jason leave and the chapter ends.
Well, at least she's shitting on a "safe" subject. Last time it was gay people. So far, this time it's just a little teeny tiny piddling disorganized sect of the largest religion in the world.
...Yeah. It's my sect. I'm pissed.