Well, this is a turn up for the books!
That is to say, that with finishing Hit List, the most recently published in the Anita Blake series, I have finished a project that has lasted me just shy of two years. That was, probably obviously, to read one Anita book each month, every month, until I’d caught up and now I have. Time well spent? Hmm, that’s debatable, I suppose given that some were only novellas and the story in others, particularly the later books never seemed to match those of the earlier. On the other hand, it’s nice to see Anita evolve and get more comfortable with her powers and get over her hangups with having sex and actually enjoy it.
This point alone got the series out of the doldrums of where they characters seemed to spend entire chapters in a therapy session before having sex and then having another therapy bout afterwards. Fortunately, Hit List isn’t like those middle books. So much so that Anita has no problem falling into bed with a were-tiger that she’s only just met.
This is after, not a therapy session, but a rather ugly fight with another were-tiger but this one works not for the Red Clan but for Marmee Noir, the Mother of all Darkness who, despite being blown up, still wants Anita’s body to possess. You have to admit that that is a pretty impressive feat.
Hit List therefore has several things going for it; Anita and Edward teaming up to fight the Harlequin, Marmee’s goons who are trying to capture Anita in several good action scenes, some uncomplicated sex, no whiny-Richard and no Ma-freaking-petite!
As I’ve only given this four and not five stars, you may guess that there were elements that I didn’t like and that boils down to the fact that, in my opinion, LKH doesn’t like women all that much. This seems to be evidenced by the fact that the only other female marshall on the case is injured in the line of duty and may end up losing her badge and also that one of Edward’s goons is back; Olaf. Of all the characters that I wish would die, it’s him. I’d have loved to see Claudia, my favourite were-rat, take him apart in a previous book. Alas, it’s not to be and some innocent doctor may end up paying the price. Yes, I care about the characters, even the side characters. I’m a squeamish reader for stuff like that, I’ve already admitted this. Would I feel the same if Olaf was, say Olivia, who preyed on male victims? Don’t know. Probably not, but there we go.
However, the main reason for marking this down was that the conclusion was too abrupt. At eighty percent through, the characters are still hunting for the bad guys when all of a sudden, they turn up, kidnap Anita like originally planned but she some turns the tables. All in the last part of the book.
On the whole Hit List was a satisfying read. Not great, but better than previous Anita offerings.