I'm gonna double up on chapters as often as possible, though, because holy shit I almost forgot how much LKH likes to drag.
Oh, and as for how my weekend went, I somehow forgot that it's the Fourth next week. We got slammed. Good slammed, but also "too tired to pick out a new book" kind of slammed.
Right. So let's just dive in, shall we?
We open with a Halloween Wedding. Not Anita's. It's Larry Kirkland and Tammy Reynalds, animator and Christian Witch/Detective, respectively. Anita, naturally, is one of the groomsmen. Grooms people. Because Heaven forbid Anita Darling have to spend 300 bucks on an ugly orange dress for her friend's wedding. Oh, and GOD FORBID she have to put on makeup. Oh, no. She's just as unruly as all the men are, the wedding planner hates her for being so manly manly manish, and have we properly established that all Anita needs is a penis of her very, very own?
Frankly I kind of like the idea of having female groomsmen, especially if said fem is the groom's very best buddy, but there's "Hey, I'm here to represent and support my former student and fellow co-worker in a spirit of mutual respect and dignity, and also, I happen to look great in a tux" and then there's this. ANITA IS MORE MAN THAN GIRL. DO WE UNDERSTAND THIS YET Y/Y?
Oh, and this chapter also exists to shit all over Tamnmy during her own wedding.
They’d done something with her hair so that it was smooth and completely back from her face, so that you could see just how striking she was. I’d never really noticed that Detective Tammy was beautiful.Every time Tammy does something at her own wedding it's a subtle negging, just like in that bolded part there. First we have the "OH GOD ORANGE IS SO UGLY" criticism of the Halloween wedding color scheme. Then we have the description of Tammy in her wedding dress. In the next chapter we also get to criticize her for having bad taste in ornaments and being clumsy. This is this character's freaking wedding.
THIS IS THE FIRST FUCKING CHAPTER OF THE BOOK. SEND HELP.
The double standard is alive and well. The woman is supposed to be beautiful on her wedding day, the groom is just supposed to stand there and not embarrass himself, or her.*sighs*. On the one hand, I agree that the beauty standards for women are terribly skewed, mostly unhealthy and almost entirely unnecessary. On the other hand, girls get princess dresses, flowers, kickass shoes and fire-engine red lipstick, whereas the traditional fancy guy wear begins and ends with "black suit." Also? Anita? Darling? Honey-Bunny Bear? Sometimes women like to conform to the traditional gender role. Yes. It's constricting as fuck when you don't want to be there, but it can be rather fun if you're playing that game because you want to. Being a "liberated woman" does not give you the right to decide that I can't play that role, and it sure as fuck doesn't give you the right to shit all over another woman's wedding just because the woman employed traditional beauty standards and decided to wear lots of makeup. She's not conforming to traditional gender roles because, sweetheart, you're standing on the groom's side of the aisle and you're wearing a tux. Your friend wants to play dress up and you don't. It's her wedding. She went out of her way to accommodate your lifestyle. Shut up and deal.
Oh, and Tammy is four months pregnant, as previously established, and this is theoretically a shotgun wedding, judging by the look on Daddy's face.
...yeah. You can't arrange a traditional church wedding on this scale in four months, unless you are Satan and you own a minister's soul. And that's just the "booking the church" part. So either Tammy and Larry can work miracles, or the pregnancy is a side effect of the wedding prep, and not a cause.
And of course, we take time to dump on Richard, who "Dumped me because I got along better with the monsters."
The first time he dumped you, it was because you promised you would love him forever and never leave if he would just shift in front of you and accept his dark side, and the second he shifted in front of you and accepted his dark side you ran the fuck away and gave Jean Claude a blow job. The second time it was because you fed your mystical sex thing on him when he told you multiple times that you could not. Shut up, get therapy, be really thankful the law doesn't define "forced envelopment" as a crime (yet), and leave Richard alone.
Eventually we get to the point of this chapter, which was apparently to put Micah, Nathanial and Anita all into tuxes together at a party. We get a drool-y description of how perfect Micah is perfect perfect, even though a. Anita knows nothing about his human side and b. he raped her the first night they met.
...at least this is better than the "slit up to my waist on both sides" dress Anita wore to some date with Jean Claude. I have no problem with what a character chooses to wear riiiiiiiight up until the character starts whingeing about, say, how hard it is to put a gun back into your waist holster when you're wearing it under your dress and you decided to go commando. If you want to be provocatively dressed, do so. If you want to make it easy to use your weaponry, we've already established you look great in a Tux.
And then we have Detective Jessica Arnet drooling over Nathanial:
Jessica Arnet was a few inches taller than Nathaniel’s 5' 6", so she had to look down to meet that lavender gaze. No exaggeration on the color. His eyes weren’t blue, but truly a pale purple, lavender, spring lilacs. He wore a banded-collar shirt that was almost the same color as his eyes, so the lavender was even more vibrant; drowning beautiful, those eyes.
You know, it took me five years to understand that Elizabeth Taylor's eyes were violet and not blue. And I still don't see that marked a difference between most green eyes, most blue eyes and most violet eyes.
Anyhoo, Jessica decides to give Nathaniel a hug instead of a handshake, and because Nathanial is so precious passive, he doesn't let go, or ask Jessica to let him go because that might hurt her feelings. Aw, isn't it precious. Someone so eager to please that he will allow himself to be pawed via unwanted sexual advances just so he won't hurt someone else's feelings. And of course the only way to fix this is for Anita to stake her claim on Nate by pawing him in front of Jessica, while simultaneously thinking about what she's going to do when she has to dump Nate, because he aims so hard to please and he so obviously loves Anita.
LKH can go fuck herself for writing that. Also, for writing that as a stripper, Nate should be used to getting pawed by random people.
End of chapter. In the next chapter, we find out that the wedding reception is skeleton themed, and that Tammy Reynalds is too tall for her own decorations.
Jessica Arnet sits next to Anita and they trade barbs for a while. Basically it's "Is Nathanial yours?" "Technically yes" repeated for three pages.
Then Dolph calls Anita and asks her to come to a crime scene. Apparently they are on speaking terms because Anita talked his son until putting off conversion into undeath for a while. Because, you know, him having an honest-to-god psychotic meltdown in the precinct office and physically assaulting Anita is the kind of thing you can blow off with a little paperwork. Anita heads off to the crime scene.
Next chapter: Anita feels guilty for heading off to the crime scene, because looking at a murder victim is so much better than dealing with social stuff and that makes Anita a terrible person.
The victim is an exotic dancer of some kind who stepped out for "air", or probably a cigarette. I will give LKH kudos for one thing: There is no veneer of "Oh, she asked for it" like there was with Nate. Very small kudos, because she did do that bullshit with Nate, but good behavior ought to be rewarded. The victim has been drained by multiple vamps, shoved behind a dumpster, and then displayed so that somebody would find her.
And of course, we take a break from the crime scene so that Anita and Dolph can have a pissing contest RE: Jean Claude. Can he be sure that Anita won't cover up a crime JC's people committed? None of JC's people would do this, he'd kill them (Note: Anita does not say no.) Oh, so JC is a murderer now? Oh, Lay off, Dolph. Work out your issues on your own time (Again: Not a no)
This accomplishes nothing, because even the little bits of backstory we get from the dialogue were already explained in the preceeding paragraphs.
In the next chapter, we explore the body. Anita figures out there were a minimum of seven vamps draining the body, and that leaving the body here was a statement. Dolph makes the jump to serial killer, probably because the ritualistic posing of the body suggests some kind of fantasy at work, and that type doesn't usually stop with the first one. Anita assumes this means Dolph has info he's not giving her, because actual good policework is asking too fucking much.
The chapter ends with Anita worrying over her friendship with Dolph. Because being dragged up a staircase, having your face shoved in bloodstains, and then having a table thrown at you in an interview room are not at all indicators of a toxic personality that should be avoided at all costs.
...I should have gone with the dino book, shouldn't I?