by Laurell K. Hamilton

Berkley, $27.95, 325 pages

It is usually a cause for celebration when your favorite author releases their newest book. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Hit List is the 20th novel in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. Anita and her partner Edward are investigating a string of werelion murders. It seems that the Harlequin, a dangerous group of assassins, are trying to find the rare gold werelion to add to Mommie Dearest’s collection. On top of that, Anita knows that Mommie Dearest, the oldest and strongest vampire “alive,” is looking for her and wants to take possession of her body and put to use all of Anita’s powers for her own evil vampire agenda. Hamilton sets up the beginning of the story in a way that recaps much of what occurred in the past. Yes, it’s only a chapter out of the whole book, but diehard fans just want to jump right into the juicy new adventure. Fans that have followed the Mommie Dearest and Harlequin plotlines will find the final resolution to be anticlimactic. It could have been fleshed out more and overall, fans will likely be left wanting more. Here’s to hoping that the next Anita Blake story gives fans more of what they’re looking for.

Reviewed by Kathryn Frankin