Laurell K Hamilton goes old school with Anita Blake in the 20th book in the series. Hit List is more monster hunting and vampire slaying and a lot less wicked sexual powers and Ardeur induced orgies. This is a good thing.
The story opens up with Anita and Edward investigating a series of murders where weretigers are the victims. It seems that the Harlequin are following the orders of Marmee Noir and that they are still after Anita.
The story takes place far from Jean Claude and Richard and the rest of the cast of thousands that make up Anita’s harem. As usual when away from home, Anita suddenly remembers that she needs to feed the Ardeur and grabs the first available supernatural stranger to have sex with. There is a brief moment when it appears that Anita and Edward will have sex, and Edward shows his previously nonexistent soft side.
Olaf shows up and there is the usual talk about how someone should just kill him and have done with it. But Edward still likes having Olaf around, as he is good at what he does. As Hit List ends we are given one more reason Olaf should be put down.
Anita is stronger, faster, and more powerful than she used to be. She accidentally breaks Olaf’s wrist. Her wounds now heal so quickly that she can’t even get normal medical treatment. She is slightly weaken by not feeding the Arduer quickly enough, or she would not have needed any medical treatment-as it is there is something about the bone and muscle not lining up correctly.
One thing leads to another and Anita is once again face to face with the Mother of All Darkness, surrounded by Harlequin, and tied up waiting to be rescued. The finial battle is a bit of let down, but it could hardly have been otherwise. Anita is simply unstoppable.
I liked Hit List better than the last few books. I would like to see a bit more weakness in Anita, since it seems unlikely for there to be any more powerful monster than The Mother of All Darkness wandering around waiting to do battle.
Laurell K Hamilton is not a great writer, but she is a good one.