3.5 out of 5 stars
As much as I wanted to REALLY like this book, I just couldn't. It is an enjoyable book, don't get me wrong, but after the action and fast paced last couple of novels, this book just didn't live up to my expectations. In Dead in the Family, Sookie is recovering from her brutal attack that happened during the war with the fairies. She and Eric are settling into a normal relationship pattern, and she's come to terms with her feelings for him, admitting that she loves him and wants to be with him.
Of course, nothing that simple can happen in Bon Temps and/or around Sookie. This time, family issues cause stress on her relationship -- both from her own family, in the form of her 5-year-old nephew and fellow telepath, Hunter, and from Eric's sire and brother, who come into town without warning in need of help. More plot tension is also provided when "ghosts" from the past pop up again to cause trouble for Sookie, and add even more drama to her life. You can't help but feel sorry for the poor girl.
We say goodbye (at least temporarily) to series regulars like Amelia, Sookie's roommate, but meet other new and interesting additions to the Bon Temps community -- like Judith, a vampire "sibling" of Bill's who bears a surprising resemblence to his Civil War-era, human wife. Throw into the mix, werewolf problems and you have just too many small stories going on. This book felt like Harris was trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends and setting the stage for the next book. All in all, a good summer read, it just doesn't have that "wow" factor that fans may be expecting.