If you managed to get through Club Dead without hate in your heart for Bill Compton, this book is designed to remedy that. Yes, yes, there is a lot going on in this sixth installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I will always think of it as the book where Bill became dead to me. (I'll come back to this later.)
Definitely Dead covers a lot of ground. In fact, the first half and the second half felt like they could have been two separate (albeit short) books. The first half doesn't have much of a unifying theme, except that Sookie's life is in transition. The big were-tiger Quinn is in Bon Temps, to pursue a relationship with her. They go out on a date and get attacked by weres. We find out Alcide is moving on with a sweet were woman named Maria-Star. Jason's girlfriend Crystal miscarries her baby. And a whole bunch of other stuf... But the book starts to come together when Sookie is summoned to New Orleans by the Vampire Queen of Louisiana to put her dead cousin Hadley's affairs in order. While there, she befriends a witch named Amelia, gets closer to Quinn, faces grave danger and becomes embroiled in vampire politics at the highest level.
But as many events as we're seeing happen throughout the course of this book (and believe it or not, I left some out!)... the interpersonal relationships are what have stuck with me now that it's over. I'm still sad and disappointed over Alcide. Though his part in the book is small, you feel the end of the possibility of a relationship between him and Sookie. I feel big warm and fuzzies for Quinn. I know not everyone likes him (and his overuse of the word "babe" can't be ignored,) but he is charming and strong... and most importantly, he is good to Sookie. Being a good guy comes naturally to him. There's not much of Eric here, though he is always a treat when he's around...
And then there is Bill. Here we find out the true depths of his deceptions in his relationship with Sookie. Yes, he hurt her with his indiscretions with Lorena. But over the course of the last two books, Sookie was beginning to forgive him and, perhaps, see him as a friend. And then the truth came out. As many tough knocks as Sookie has taken in these books, none have hurt worse than this one. The foundation of her self-worth is badly shaken. And to me, any chance Bill had for a future with her is gone forever. I hope he chokes on a sunshine sandwich. 4 stars.
P.S. If the introduction of Hadley's death leaves you feeling like you missed something, then you probably didn't read "One Word Answer." It's a short story that details Mr. Cataliades' visit to Bon Temps to inform Sookie of Hadley's death and the circumstances surrounding it. It was originally released as part of the Bite anthology and was re-released in A Touch of Dead.