Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Book Spotlight: Sucker Punch by Laurell K. Hamilton

Sucker Punch
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #27
By: Laurell K. Hamilton
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
For over 25 years, Hamilton has treated readers to her signature blend of chilling mystery, pulse-pounding action and sizzling sensuality. With more than 20 million books sold, Hamilton is a true literary powerhouse. 

 Over the years the tough-as-nails heroine, Anita, known to vampires as “The Executioner” has evolved from a legal vampire executioner to a badge-carrying U.S. Marshal, necromancer and a metaphysical power far greater—and far deadlier—than many of the supernatural beings she’s battled. 

In SUCKER PUNCH, Anita faces her most unusual case as a Marshal: determine if a wereanimal that’s already been caught and arrested for murder, and marked for execution, is actually a killer. When Anita arrives in a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she knows her investigation won’t be easy. Prejudice against wereanimals runs deep and the local community members are eager to make someone pay. 

There is plenty of evidence that young wereleopard Bobby Marchand killed his uncle in gruesome fashion, but something seems off about the murder, so Anita is called in to give her expert opinion. With escalating pressure from the locals and fear in the community growing, Anita races against the clock to find the truth. Do the Marshals have the real killer or are they about to execute and innocent man?

Excerpt from SUCKER PUNCH 
by Laurell K. Hamilton:

     We drove for a few minutes in companionable silence. 
     “It’s a dark night up here,” I said. 
     “The cloud cover is thick tonight, but if it clears off, you’ll see stars here like I’ve never seen outside of the desert or the ocean.” 
     “It’s not just cloud cover, Newman. Last night was the dark of the moon, and tonight won’t be much brighter. If Bobby Marchand has been a wereleopard—sorry, Ailuranthrope—for this long, he shouldn’t even shift form this far from a full moon.” 
     “It’s one of the things that bothered me enough to try to delay executing him, and don’t worry. I’m having trouble remembering all the new terms, too. Besides, we know that Bobby Marchand is a leopard, so we don’t have to use the generic terms between us.” 
     “Great. I appreciate that. I hate the new vocabulary. Do you have the warrant of execution in hand already?” 
     “Yeah, the judge e‑mailed it to the sheriff’s office and got it signed through DocuSign just hours after the body was discovered.” 
     “I remember when getting the warrant faxed over was high‑tech,” I said. 
     “Yeah, it’s all high‑tech most of the time now. Fast and efficient, maybe a little too efficient.” 
     “How much time is left on the warrant?” I asked. 
     “About sixty hours out of the original seventy‑two. I should have called you sooner.” 
     “Should isn’t helpful, Newman. Concentrate on what we can do here and now. Second‑guessing yourself just eats up your energy and time.” 
     He glanced at me, then back at the road. “Maybe, but they’ve started to get really picky on extending the timeline on a warrant of execution.” 
     “Yeah, since they stretched the window for a warrant from forty‑ eight to seventy‑two, they don’t like extending the time unless it’s a live hunt where you can’t lay hands on the murderer, and you’ve got this one locked up in jail. There won’t be grounds for more time, and if you don’t pull the trigger in a timely fashion, it will be seen as refusing to perform your duty as a marshal of the preternatural branch, and that will be a career killer.” 
     “Better my career than an innocent man’s life.” 
     “You told me you don’t believe he did it, but we didn’t have time for you to tell me all your reasons over the phone.” 
     “No, I needed you here ASAP so you could help me figure out what’s wrong with this case.” 
     “I’m surprised that the first police on scene didn’t just kill him on sight. They would have been able to make a good case for it being a clean shoot.” 
     “If they’d found him covered in blood right beside his uncle’s body, they probably would have, but he was in his bedroom passed out. I’m not sure they’d have even suspected him if he hadn’t had blood all over him.”
     “I looked at the crime scene photos you e‑mailed me. First glance, the victim was clawed to pieces. Why wouldn’t the local cops suspect the only wereleopard living in the house with him? I’m not com‑ plaining that they didn’t jump to the conclusion, but it’s simple cop math to think it.” 
     “Like Jim said, Bobby is a local boy. He’s well‑liked. Doesn’t drink too much, doesn’t do much of anything to excess, and his family is rich enough that he could afford a lot of excess.” 
     “A lot of shapeshifters are careful about doing anything that will lower their control of their inner beast, like drinking or drugs or even strong emotions,” I said. 
     Newman nodded. “Which means that Bobby is careful and doesn’t take chances with his beast.” 
     “He sounds like a model citizen,” I said. 

Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Laurell K. Hamilton, 2020.


  1. oooo great cover and i do love a good vampire story

    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. I just read my first Anita Blake story the other day in an anthology and now I want to try the series. Stunning cover!

    1. I need to read one of her stories! I love this cover too :)

  3. I love this series but haven't read this book yet. I plan to soon though.

  4. Okay, this cover really stands out to me for some reason! And I love a good supernatural read!

  5. I know so many readers who have loved this author and sadly I just haven't grabbed her up...but love this teaser.

    Thanks for sharing! And that cover---whew! Gives me the chills just looking at it.

  6. The Anita Blake series has been on my radar for a while, and I read a short story just a little while back from this series. I am curious, but I wasn't thrilled to find out she has more than one lover even though she's engaged.

  7. Oh boy I just bought it can't get enough Anita, Thanks Lindy


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