In the book The Killing Dance Edward assassin extraordinair calls in a colleague called Harley as back up to help Anita out in a pinch except she had to kill him when he began falling into a psychotic episode. As recompence for killing him, Anita had to owe Edward a favour where he could call on her for back up as he had Harley. Edward is now calling in his favor, except not as Edward but as his legal alter ego Theodore 'Ted' Forrester, bounty hunter and country bumpkin.
In Teds home town of Santa Fe there are gruesome murders happening. Some of them skinned and some of them pulled apart at every joint.
Warning this book contains extreme gore, murder, ritualistic killings, torture, and torture and molestation of children. Yeah they went there. This book is very much for adults.
Before all this Anita has spent the last 6 months learning how to protect herself and develop a 'bandaid' over the holes in her aura that were caused by the triumvirate. When together they each fill and strengthen each others auras and are stronger for it but since Anita has decided she needs some distance she has effectively willing opened up two holes in her aura which she's worked at bandaiding hoping that she can go back to her relatively normal life. Distancing herself from friends and lovers alike.
In this book she is forced to realise that the bandaid is literally just that, a bandaid. Whilst facing some of the killers mindless minions it worked through them to psychically attack her and will her to die. If it weren't for a wife of one of the doctors who was also a witch who put up a guarding around her Anita would have died permanently. As it was with the bandaid ripped away and her aura open to attack, she died temporarilly multiple times when the killer willed her heart to stop over and over again.
I love this book but it is so dark. The psyche of pretty much every character in this book took a beating. Either from the bad guys or each other. We meet some truly magnificent characters like Obsidian Butterfly and Olaf. Obsidian Butterfly should really be on the Vampire Council because she is strong enough to hold the position. Whats more is that she passes on a gift to Anita, she doesn't know it yet but she will and it is bad-ass. Whats more she's the first Master of a City that has not harmed a single hair on Anitas head.
Olaf is fascinating in the fact that he both hates and loves Anita and got added to Anitas very short list of humans who petrify her, with Edward being the only other. Anita is the physical embodiment of Olafs favourite victim but is the mental and spiritual emodiment of his dream woman. He both wants to hunt her and hunt with her.
We also get to see a whole new side of Edward or 'Ted'. He is in love, or at least as in love as a heartless cold assassin who lost his humanity years ago can be. Sure Donna and the kids only know Ted "good ol' boy" Forrester and have only maybe seen glimpses of Edward underneath. Sure Edward had only gotten Ted to date Donna as a good source of cover, as a good trustworthy looking cover story should the police ever look into him. But during all the acting something switched and Edward started giving a damn. And when Donnas kids get in trouble Anita is royally impressed.
I'd thought that nothing could be scarier than Edward at his most cold. I was wrong. Edward the family an was downright terrifying.
9.2/10 thrilling, gripping, dark and a key stepping stone in the story that makes Anita grow as a person.
With this series I apologise for the lack of cat photos, I only own e-book versions of this so screen shots and stuff on pixabay will have to suffice. Due to this series being quite long I apologise but there WILL be spoilers.
To better understand the world of Anita Blake, read my world synopsis here