"Club Dead", released in May of 2003, is the third book in Award-winning author Charlaine Harris' New York Times best selling series "The Southern Vampire Mysteries", also known as the "Sookie Stackhouse novels", and as of recent, the "True Blood novels". The series of books in which the HBO original series True Blood is based, Club Dead is the third of thirteen novels in the The Southern Vampire Mysteries collection.
In this third installment, telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse's vampire boyfriend, Bill Compton, is kidnapped while on a project for the queen of Louisiana. Sookie sets out to investigate with the help of the handsome Shreveport werewolf, Alcide Herveaux. Sookie finds out that Bill is being tortured by his vampire mistress and maker Lorena. With the help of Alcide, Eric and the vampire Bubba, Sookie is able to save Bill, but is shocked by his infidelity.
Club Dead takes place at the beginning of December. Bill is working on a computer program and tells Sookie that he will have to travel to Seattle, alone. Days later, a werewolf attacks Sookie at Merlotte’s, but Bubba, who has been sent by Eric to protect Sookie, kills the attacker before he can seriously hurt Sookie. Later that night, Eric, Pam and Chow inform Sookie that Bill has actually been in Mississippi because Lorena, Bill's former lover (and maker, as you later find out), had summoned him. Eric tells Sookie that Bill had called saying he was shortly going to come back to Bon Temps, but did not tell Sookie, so he could arrange her future care before he saw her again. Eric also tells Sookie that the queen does not know about Bill’s disappearance and that Eric needs to produce Bill’s project by its due date without compromising his life and his job. Eric thinks Bill is still alive in Mississippi and believes that Lorena has betrayed and kidnapped Bill. Eric cannot interrogate humans and vampires that are under the protection of the vampire king of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, without starting a war. He asks Sookie if she is willing to go to Jackson and “pick the brains” among the king’s human employees and Sookie agrees to go.
Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf (Were) from Shreveport, is sent by Eric the following day to take Sookie to Jackson and to help her circulate among the supernatural community. In Jackson, Sookie not only has to deal with the vampires of Mississippi, but she becomes entangled with a bounty hunting werewolf pack. In Sookie’s first visit to a vampire bar called Josephine’s (also known within the shapeshifting community as Club Dead) she learns that Bill has been captured and that Russell Edgington might be involved. She personally meets Russell when a bar patron and bounty hunter werewolf named Jerry Falcon mangles her because Sookie rebuffs his sexual advances. On the same night, Sookie meets Debbie Pelt, Alcide’s ex-girlfriend and a shapeshifter who is mean-spirited and jealous at seeing Alcide with another woman (despite Debbie being at the bar for her engagement party to another man). The next day, Sookie and Alcide find the dead body of Jerry Falcon stuffed in the closet. It is later discovered that Bubba had caught Jerry entering Alcide’s home and killed him.
On the following night, Sookie, back at Club Dead, gets badly injured when Steve Newlin and another fanatic of The Fellowship of the Sun (the vampire-hating organization, introduced in "Living Dead in Dallas") try to stake Betty Joe, Edgington’s second in command. Sookie gets staked instead and she is quickly rushed to Edgington’s mansion. Eric, in disguise, is there to help her as Alcide turns into a wolf to pursue the escaping Steve Newlin. After her wounds have been treated by a vampire, Eric gives Sookie his blood, to help her heal quicker, and they share a sexy moment. Bubba, who has been following Sookie from Bon Temps, informs them that Bill is being tortured in Edgington’s pool house.
Sookie and Eric quickly form a plan, to be carried out in daylight while all of the vampires are sleeping and the Werewolf guards are inattentive due to being tired from their activities of the previous night (which was a full moon). Sookie rescues Bill and kills Lorena in the process. Back in Alcide’s parking garage, with Bill sleeping in the trunk of her car, Sookie is pushed into the trunk by Debbie Pelt. At dusk, Bill, who has been deprived of blood and sleep for several weeks, wakes up and, maddened by bloodlust, feeds on Sookie, mangling her neck and then raping her. His consciousness awakes partway through and he apologizes and withdraws from Sookie. After such a long day, Sookie asks Eric to drive her home, but her night is not over as they are attacked at a gas station on the road from Jackson to Bon Temps, and then she is severely hurt when she finds werewolves waiting for her in her own home. Eric and Bill kill them all. The novel ends with Sookie breaking up with Bill and then rescinding her invitation to her house to both Eric and Bill.
Characters in Club DeadEdit
- Sookie Stackhouse - Human, telepathic waitress who works at Merlotte's
- Eric Northman - Vampire, Sheriff of Area 5, owner of Fangtasia
- Bill Compton - Vampire, Investigator of Area 5, kidnapped by his maker Lorena
- Alcide Herveaux - Werewolf, helps Sookie by taking her to Jackson, Mississippi to find out who has kidnapped Bill
- Bubba - Vampire, errand boy, helps protect Sookie
- Debbie Pelt - Shapeshifter, ex-girlfriend of Alcide, has a grudge against Sookie
- Pam - Vampire, co-owner of Fangtasia, Eric's second-in-command and child
- Russell Edgington - Vampire, King of Mississippi
- Tara Thornton - Human, Sookie's friend, dating Franklin Mott, a vampire