The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K Hamilton

Rating 7.0/10
Fun and quick to read.

The Laughing Corpse is the second Anita Blake novel, following the young vampire hunter and animator in her work for Animators, Inc., who’ll raise the dead with an animal sacrifice and a fee.

Unfortunately, this time the job they’ve been offered is to raise a corpse that’s been dead a very long time, which requires a human sacrifice. This Anita won’t do, but the client is very insistent, and very dangerous. Another animator has also risen something obscene, too fast for it to be a normal zombie, and horrific deaths start occurring.

Anita is brought in as an expert by the police, but this is unlike anything she’s seen before, and Anita has to unravel who has the power to awaken this killer to stop it from murdering again.

With a strong female lead, who for some reason has a strong penchant for stuffed penguins, this is an action-packed, often gory alternative modern day world where people can hire animators to raise the recently deceased. Only 23, Anita comes across at least ten years older with her slightly world-weary tone, and the pressures quickly start to mount up as she has to deal with a rogue killer and the person powerful enough to raise it, a voodoo priestess who sends her killer zombies at night, and the master vampire of the city, Jean-Claude, who in true vampire style is very French and very stubborn.

This is a more action-packed style of writing than Hamilton’s other series, the Merry Gentry novels, less staring into the deep eyes of sidhe lords and more surveying of mutilated corpses and being attacked by the undead. There’s plenty of cheesy banter here and even if the villains do get a touch cartoony, the vampire Jean-Claude in particular is pretty ridiculous, it’s still fun and quick to read.

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