To begin with I have to say that this book is one of my favorites from this series. It is quite true that I have several emotional changes during Anita Blake's books. For several reasons I love and hate this series but the truth is that I have never been bored for a minute while reading one of the series' books!
Why I love the books
1) Anita Blake is a woman who can mesure up almost to every man or woman she comes across either human or supernatural and that makes an interesting heroine at the very least. I may not always like her but I always find her entertaining.
2) The plot in every book is always different enough to be captivating so you never get the idea that you read the same things all over again. The crime stories are always interesting and fresh. Yes, she usually hunts vamps but that's the job description. The adrenaline rush during reading the books is addictive.
3)The gory stuff are really a plus in my opinion...I can see why many disagree but I find it really fascinating the way she doesn't shy away from the disgusting details.
4) The supportive characters are always a major part of the story and are always different enough from each other not to be boring. Again you don't always like them but LKH knows her character development. AB probably has the best bad guys of UF.
What I don't really like about the books
1) The misogynistic comments are a really big downside in the Anita Blake books. Usually the cops but a lot of times Anita herself seem to display a very racist side with comments about other women's behaviour and usually in the books only Anita comes out as a strong female character. Some would say that since Anita can take everyone out either male or female it can't be that bad but the fact is that it is actually that bad. Anita is just too hypocritical. She judges prejudiced people while she displays a highly judgemental and prejudiced behaviour.
2) The sex is just too much. Sometimes I think the books tip the balance between adult romance or erotica and porn! As the books progress the sex scenes become more blatant and frequent to the point that I actually just skip them all.I know that the vampires in Jean Claude's line feed on lust but you can read so many sex and orgy scenes before you've had enough.
3) Asher is actually pretty annoying. He is full of envy, complaints, arrogant in some things and completely insecure in others and he just whines his way through the books.
Why this particular book
1) No sex is the biggest reason. It has an interesting mystery story with much action and NO SEX!
2) Edward is just a favorite! I love all the books in which he has a lead role and it doesn't get more lead than this. He is interesting without all the lust that Anita seems to have for almost everything that belongs in the male category.
3) The plot is more interesting than most the other books, the characters fascinating, the southern pieces seem to give another flavor to the story and the fact that she doesn't have all her lovers in her feet seems to give the book a more adventurous side beside the romance feeling that most of the others have.
4) No Jean Claude, Richard, Asher. In the early books I kind of liked Richard but then he started behaving like a jerk and he never stops the whining, along with Asher they make your brain bleed with all the complaints. Jean Claude is kind of ok but really at some points he gets just as clingy as the other two and you can never tell whether he is a good guy or a bad one (it made things interesting for a while but at some point you get fed up).
Now I know that I seem to like the book for what it doesn't have more than for what it has but it is true that if there weren't so many moments where Anita puts down other female characters it would be an amazing book. Now it has to go with just great!