Fangs for the Fantasy's Reviews > The Laughing Corpse

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
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Apr 01, 12

Read in March, 2012

There are a new series of gruesome murders in the city and Anita, on retainer with the Spook Squad, has been called out to investigate some of the most blood saturated, brutal, violent crimes she’s ever had the displeasure to see.

And she sees a flesh-eating zombie – whether out of control or wilfully set on people by an animator, voodoo priest or necromancer. Either way, people are dying and being eaten and Anita needs to get some answers before she sees more bodies. Except investigating requires crossing some of the most powerful and dangerous magical practitioners in the US – enemies who are happy to send a murderous zombie through your door at night.

Then there’s the added problem of Harold Gaynor. Extremely wealthy man and an extremely ruthless, dangerous man who wants a zombie raised – a zombie that’s so old that only Anita can reliably raise it. But it’s also so old that a human sacrifice will be required – a line Anita will not cross. Of course, Harold doesn’t take no for an answer and is more than willing to use any methods he can to persuade Anita

And then there’s Jean-Claude, Vampire Master of the City to whom Anita is bound with 2 marks. He wants her to play his human servant, her defiance is weakening his political power – but she wants nothing to do with the vampire.


We have another intriguing mystery here that, again, didn’t come together until the end of the book. The clues were there, repeatedly and variously throughout the book, but it was only at the end that you could see how they all fit and how they were all interconnected – even the seemingly two separate, parallel plot lines coming together to be part of the same mystery. I often forget reading the later books just how elegant and interesting these early books where and how well done the detection was. I was confused, but never bored, curious but never lost.

And I like the world, especially given the age of the book. The diversity of beings, the complete integration into the world and the fact that they have always been integrated – there has never been a hidden conspiracy of supernatural – is well done and interesting. It ensures there is always something more to learn and something more to see.

I like Anita’s voice. Yes she does over-describe things a lot and it can be repetitive. But it can also be funny, snarky and informative, her internal monologue being a way to expound upon the world around her. I think it’s very easy to bog a book down with this kind of writing – and we’ve certainly seen it as a problem in other books – but this flows. It’s not overdone, or not consistently so and if it does incline itself occasionally to being overly descriptive or unnecessarily purple, it’s not in a bad way.

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