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Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 17) Hardcover – June 2, 2009

385 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hamilton's 17th Anita Blake novel draws the vampire hunter into a game of cat-and-mouse with a particularly monstrous vampire named Vittorio. Aided by sadistic serial killer Otto Jefferies, convenient sociopath Edward Kemper and fanged escorts handpicked by her lover Jean-Claude, U.S. marshal Anita offers her services to Las Vegas, now under siege from Vittorio's army of enthralled preternatural beings. Manipulated by the cunning Vittorio and occasionally misled by coincidental events, Anita employs her insight into Vittorio's condition and weaponized libido as the decisive weapons in this struggle. The book is largely concerned with the melodramatic conflict between hunter and hunter and Blake's soap-operatic love life, but Hamilton does manage some genuinely moving passages, particularly those describing the terror of innocent vampires caught up in the arbitrary and draconian U.S. legal system. (June)
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About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; 1 edition (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425227723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425227725
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (385 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut Octobe 29, 2009. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

247 of 263 people found the following review helpful By J. Stanley on June 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book started out with such promise. I can get past all the angsty stuff, but then 3/4 of the way through the book the plot just dropped. So many threads left blowing in the wind, like the first real suspect in the case Paula Chu - they just left her at the police station halfway through and never mentioned her again. Supposedly belle morte gives Anita a new power, but you never find out what it is. It was like in the last 50 pages Hamilton just got tired of writing and wrapped it up in the most ludicrous way that she could. One of the biggest baddies ever was killed by people not even in the story with a bomb. Then she sets up what could've been a really great villain with great new "allies" (the djinn), but turns him into a sexually frustrated nothing. Brand new vamps have been harder to take out in the past than this guy was - in fact the heroine didn't even actually kill him. Olaf, Edward and Bernardo just kind of disappear. Actually I don't think "the executioner" fired one shot in the entire book. I can deal with everything else, the sex really doesn't bother me in and of it self but as an end all be all to every plot it kind of sucks. Hamilton so could've redeemed herself with this book if she had actually finished writing it. Forget trying to put out at least 2 books every year - just try to get one good one in however long it takes. Please.
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420 of 458 people found the following review helpful By AJ on June 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
WARNING! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

The title of my review says it all : Anita is not back. She's been gone too long, and Ms. Hamilton seems to have forgotten how to write anything but repetitive and distasteful sex scenes. While it's true that there is much less sex in this book, there isn't much of anything else, either. "Skin Trade" was unspeakably dull. It moved at a pace that would make a geriatric snail on Valium look like Jackie Joyner. It took nearly a hundred pages for Anita to get from the airport in Las Vegas to the sheriff's office in the same city.

What was she doing during those one hundred pages? The same thing she always does : getting into pissing matches with any and all law enforcement officers she comes across to prove that she's the biggest and baddest of the men and talking at length about her sex life. Apparently, everyone in the Anita-verse cares far more about Anita's sex life than most of the readers do. It's brought up by every single person she meets, though she's never fired for being unprofessional when she brings her Stunt Penis along on police matters, feeds on unsuspecting police officers, or sleeps with underage boys. In one scene, Anita is told by Edward that the only reason why she still has a badge is probably because she's a woman. Not because she's The Executioner (though we haven't seen Anita kill a vampire without "loving" one to death in about 4 books now), and not because she knows how to do her job, nor because she's more powerful than all the X-men combined. No, it's because she's a woman and could sue if she's terminated. Apparently, the Anita Blake series is a fantasy in more ways than one.
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204 of 228 people found the following review helpful By Ashber on June 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This story had So much potential, in the first two chapters.

Then it turned into something else. As someone who has police officers as family and friends, I find this book offensive.

The police in this story are portrayed right out of a bad, grade F horror movie shot in someones basement.

I thought that this book, of three hundred plug pages was going to blow my mind. Instead, it ended up being more horrific than I thought possible.

Rape is Rape, wither its rolling people with your mind or drugging them, its the same thing. But since its Anita, its okay? No it is not. Shes a ephebophilia. This isn't the first time shes had sex with a minor but since she can't remember and now the boy loves her, its "All good."
Why this keeps coming up in LKH's series,I have no idea but it makes me want to vomit.
Worse, this is either the 3rd or 4th time. I would check but I just dont care anymore and I refuse to reread the drek that LKH has published.

I said this before, that I wasn't going to purchase another LKH book and I'm glad that I didn't. My friend did and wanted to know if I had the same problems with it she did.

I dont like Anita anymore and I don't want to waste anymore of my time expecting the books to get better. There are better writers and they will have my time and money.

Please, dont purchased this thing. Save your momey.
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By D. Josephs on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't going to bother writing a review as most of the prior negative comments pretty much sum up my issues with this book, but I figured if more "real name" posters chime in, perhaps LKH and her publisher will take note.

The first few chapters of Skin Trade actually felt like old Anita Blake. And, to my even-in-retrospect disbelief, in almost 500 pages I bet there is less that 20 pages devoted to gratuitous sex (btw - I love sex, just not poorly written sex that is used as a substitute for a plot). Instead, LKH thumps us on the head over and over again about boys not believing girls can be taken seriously and concludes with a trite ending to super-powerful villains.

I stopped feeding money into the Anita Blake machine a few novels back, but kept up via my public library. No more. I feel sad because LKH's stuff now sucks so bad that I would rather sit through a (insert-your-least-favorite-actor's-name-here) film festival that read one of her books again.

I'm also chapped because I'll probably be doing myself Karmic harm by returning Skin Trade to the library, but I must if I want to check our more books.

Miss Hamilton, if you are reading this, PLEASE make up with whoever was ghost-writing your early Anita Blake books. If not for me, do it for the children.
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