His Grace, the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, is being dragged against his will, at the demand of his wife aHis Grace, the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, is being dragged against his will, at the demand of his wife and to the great amusement of his colleagues, on a lovely country holiday at Lady Sybil’s family estate, Ramkin Hall. Actually, it’s now Vimes’s estate -Sybil “had transferred all the holdings of her family [...] to him in the old fashioned but endearing belief that a husband should be the one doing the owning”. Poor Vimes, however, can’t quite settle into his position as a member of the aristrocracy, as he demonstrates by trying to treat the servants as equals, to their complete and utter horror.
And of course he can never stop working. Whatever Sybil’s hopes for her holiday with her husband and young son, you couldn’t beat the copper out of Vimes with a truncheon. From the moment he arrives he can’t help but look for something amiss. And of course he finds it. And a hell of a lot of trouble. But Sam Vimes wouldn’t be Sam Vimes if he wasn’t pissing someone off in the quest for justice. In Snuff he boots the aristocrats off their comfy cushions by investigating their suspected involvement in slavery, smuggling, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and murder, (especially after they try to frame him for the latter).
Pratchett’s Discworld novels typically feature some kind of social commentary and with issues like those it’s particularly heavy here. Vimes has always fought against discrimination, particularly between classes and species, and thanks to him the Watch includes dwarves, trolls, vampires, werewolves, an Igor and a Nac Mac Feegle.
In Snuff it’s the goblins’ turn to get the equal rights treatment.
It's got great ingredients for an entertaining read - a feisty, sexy heroine, demonic vampires (with another twist on the vampire mythos), a relentlesIt's got great ingredients for an entertaining read - a feisty, sexy heroine, demonic vampires (with another twist on the vampire mythos), a relentless pace and loads of action - but it just didn't work for me. I didn't like Cheryl, the writing got on my nerves, and it has a strong Christian theme which didn't bother me too much but did nothing to win my favour. On the positive side, the plot is serious, and not just a front for a supernatural love triangle, which seems to have become the cliche of vampire fiction these days.