Title: Hit List
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, book 20
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Group
*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books of this series*
“A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, US Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.
But some monsters are very real. The Harlequin have been the bogeymen of the vampire world for more than a thousand years; they are a secret so dark that even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. Now they are here in America, hunting weretigers…and human police.
The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now she needs a new one, and she’s decided that Anita Blake’s is the body she wants. Edward thinks the serial killings are a trap to lure Anita closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted. The vampires call Edward “Death,” and Anita the “Executioner,” but Mommy Darkest is coming to kill one and possess the other, and she doesn’t care how many others have to die along the way.”
Hit list is book twentieth (yes, you read right) in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton.
Anita is in Seattle working as a U.S. Marshall in a serial killer investigation. Weretigers with no-clan affiliation have been killed in a grotesque matter, the assassination had occurred in different cities of the Pacific Northwest, faraway from Anita’s home. Edward is also helping with the case as an U.S. Marshall. Anita and Edward know The Harlequin has committed the murders, but that is information they cannot share with the police or anybody for that matter. The problem is they need to work in-group with the other officials assigned to the case, many of them being rookies.
After some consideration Edward gets to the conclusion that the murders happened to get Anita away from Jean-Claude and her other men, putting her in a more vulnerable position for and easy attack. And of course, Mommy Dearest is behind this. She is the most interested in getting her hands on Anita.
Hit List was better than what I was expecting. It's as if Mrs. Hamilton tried to go back to Anita’s roots, where the books were better.
The Anita in this book is a grown up one. She has learned to control more the “Ardeur” and doesn’t have to feed it all the time…finally! She is coming to terms accepting what she had become, even though sometimes when people call her thing to her face she gets really affected. She doesn’t want to be the monster people picture her to be.
Anita’s main squeezes were conspicuous by their absence. There are just some mentions of Jean-Claude, but nothing mayor, not even a phone call; same with Nathaniel, Micah, Richard and the others.
We learned a lot more about Edward, as always he is a person Anita can count on, but now their relationship is more intimate, I don’t mean they are having sex, because they are not and I don’t think they ever will (I hope), but there is a deep connection between them, almost as family ties. He wants to protect Anita doesn’t matter the cost; he really cares for her and demonstrates it all the time. Edward has changed a lot too, now he has a family and that had made him more human.
We see characters from previous books, as Bernardo and Olaf. Bernardo is the same nice guy, good friend, and handsome flirt. And Olaf is still the psycho creepy serial killer. As always he is interested in Anita, maybe now more than ever. He is even considering having “vanilla” sex if she accepts and starts to date him. He is also testing Anita in different ways every time he can. There is a big and interesting twist in regards to Olaf. I don’t know what Mrs. Hamilton has planned for him, but I just can guess it’s something big.
Nicky also makes a short appearance; he is still Anita’s bride (as Dracula’s). There are some mentions of his past that let me wonder what is behind that and why it was brought to the story.
Maybe you won’t believe me, but this book just had one sex scene, no, I’m not lying to you, just one, no, not one scene of Anita and twenty partners, just one, yes, just one scene with just one partner. I know it's almost impossible to believe, but I’m glad Hit List broke with the orgy marathon rule of previous books. The protagonist of this scene is a new character; his name is Ethan, he is a mixed weretiger. He is a sweet guy who wants to be accepted and to feel he belongs somewhere. He is cute and hot and is going back home with Anita to add to her collection of sweeties (lucky girl).
I really liked Hit List, it wasn’t great but it was good. There are still certain problems that repeat in many of these books like Anita’s predictability, she acts the same way all the time. We know what she is going to do before it happens because it’s always the same thing. There is no surprise factor anymore in this series. Also there is always the male character that hates Anita and picks on her, but at the end nothing happens with him. At least in this book Anita is back to be something more than a public coochie.
The story was a continuation of the plot with Marmee Noir, we had a build up of this story for couple of books and finally is resolved in this book. I was planning to give it a 4 Paws rating, but when we get to the end it lost half a Paw there, because the end was completely rushed, as if Mrs. Hamilton had a maximum number of pages allowed and was writing and realized in the middle of her inspiration that she just had couple of pages more before reaching her limit, so she just went and end it with a machete. Also Marmee Noir is supposed to the most evil and strong bitch in the whole universe and Anita finishes her in a very simple and easy way. I was like… for real? After all this that’s it? As I said before it was a spectacular machete end.
- My voice was as empty and neutral as any I had, just two killers talking shop over someone else's kill.
- "Olaf still thinks I'm his girlfriend or something." - "The couple that slaughters people together stays together."
My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
The Laughing Corpse
Circus of the Damned
The Lunatic Cafe
The Killing Dance
Narcissus in Chains
Other reviews Goodreads