I have an up-and-down relationship with Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, for all sorts of reasons, but this one is a winner! It has most of the elements that got me hooked on the series in the first place: murder, vampires who don’t sparkle, gobs of horror, detective schtuff, and romance. In Skin Trade, Hamilton finds a balance while working in issues of gender and prejudice, yet the story keeps moving forward. Something is always happening, usually one right on top of the other, which leads to a braided plot that shifts between its angles all the time without letting you get lost or left behind.
My only complaint is the speed of the conclusion, which wraps up a little too quickly. If the novel was less complex and shorter, like her first Anita books, this works well, but a 5-star book got demoted to 4 because of how fast it finishes. Still, a great offering, back to as much of the basics as a series like this can get, and a lot of engrossing fun.