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The laughing corpse

by Laurell K Hamilton

  Print book : Fiction  |  Berkley hardcover ed

Anita Dabbles in VooDoo   (2011-11-21)

Very Good

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by VagabondCT

Dolph calls Anita in to help with solving a series of murders of several families, which are particularly gruesome because some of the victims are very young children, and all with parts of the body missing and presumable consumed. She finds that she must deal with VooDoo and its chief local expert, Dominga Salvador. Calling upon her . . . friend, Jean-Claude to assist she confronts the issue and discovers a skeleton in the closet of her friend, Manny. Zombies are a strange and varied breed. Supposedly soul-less and obedient creatures, but ones that are not capable of laughter.


Great victories often require great sacrifice, and that sacrifice might require one to endure much pain. Anita faces pain and potentially death or worse to end the death and dismemberment of families.




Anita is asked to raise a long-dead relative of Harold Gaynor, but refuses, because it would require human sacrifice, which is something that Anita refuses to do. The murders of the families appears to be zombies and to find out about this killer-zombie, Anita interviews Dominga with her friend, Manny, who she discovers used to be an intimate of Dominga. Anita learns two disturbing things. That Manny used to be involved in human sacrifice and that Dominga is putting the souls back into the zombies she raises, which keeps them from decaying. This offends Anita, because she believes that even the dead should have rights. Anita and Dominga depart from the interview on bad terms, with Dominga having threatened Anita to have a 'visitor' some evening.


While investigating Harold, Jean-Claude, the new Master of the City accompanies Anita to the Tenderloin to find the Prostitute Wheelchair Wanda, the ex-girlfriend of Harold. Anita brings Wanda back, and invites her and Jean-Claude into her apartment. Anita convinces Wanda to tell about Harold and why he might want to raise his ancestor.




Dominga sends a visitor, two zombies, to kill Anita, who Anita is able to destroy. Then Dominga has her kidnapped in order to force her to get into the zombie animation-with-a-soul business with her. It was Dominga raising an ancestor of Harold's who had been into voodoo that had caused the killing spree. She also can raise parts of several dead and meld them together to create a creature with multiple limbs and mouths and heads. Now, forced into the circle of power, Anita fails to kill the helpless Wanda, but rather kills Enzo and Bruno, who had been holding her down. Two human sacrifices give Anita the power to raise all of the dead in the graveyard who she then directs to tear apart Dominga and later, Harold.  

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