Dead to the World
Author Charlaine Harris
Publisher Ace Books
Publication date May 2004
Pages 320
ISBN ISBN 978-0441012183
Previous book Club Dead
Next book Dead as a Doornail

"Dead to the World", released in May of 2004, is the fourth book in "The Southern Vampire Mysteries", a series of books by New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris.

—First Line

Plot summaryEdit

"Dead to the World" begins in late December, three weeks after the events of Club Dead. Sookie Stackhouse and vampire Bill Compton have broken up after he cheated on her with Lorena, his maker. However, they have remained in communication, and he lets Sookie know he is heading to Peru for a few weeks, in connection with his work on his vampire database for the queen of Louisiana.

Shortly after Bill’s departure, Sookie finds herself working the New Year's Eve party at Merlotte's. On her way home, she sees a figure running for his life along the side of the road. When she stops, she discovers it's Eric Northman, the sheriff of Area Five. Eric is shirtless and shoeless, and has no idea who he is. He has a forlorn look, an expression Sookie has never seen in the confident Eric. Eric does not recognize her, he knows he is a vampire, but he does not know who he is.

Sookie takes him to her home, washes his feet, and calls Fangtasia to let Pam know that Eric is there and find out what's going on. Pam and Chow come straight to her house. They tell her that several nights earlier, a group of witches had come to the bar.

Pam explains to Sookie the true nature of witches revealing that real witches can do plenty of bad things to vampires because witches control magical forces. This group seems to be more powerful than other witches and they either want to take over Eric's businesses or make Eric pay them money to leave him alone. The leader, Hallow, and her brother threatened Eric that they would curse him by turning Fangtasia's alcoholic drinks bad, and cause patrons to trip over the dance floor and sue them, which would badly affect Fangtasia’s revenues. Pam tells Sookie that a witch had come with a message from Hallow saying that Hallow lusted for Eric and asked him if he would entertain her for seven nights, she would only demand a fifth of his business, rather than half.

Eric had refused and suddenly vanished from the office where they were discussing this offer. Eric says he does not remember anything and that he was born the moment he was running in the road. Pam and Chow asked Sookie to keep Eric safe while they solve the problem with the witches. Later Sookie learns through Holly Clearly (another waitress at Merlotte's) that this coven of witches have a lot of power they are willing to use for evil, that they drink vampire blood and that they are werewolves as well. Holly also tells Sookie that this new coven has called all local witches and Wiccans to join them.

Sookie learns that her brother, Jason, is missing and starts looking for him. Sookie informs Alcide Herveaux of the existence of this werewolve/witch coven in Shreveport and heads to Hotshot to speak to Crystal Norris, a shifter, since she was the last person Jason was seen with.

Throughout all these chaotic events, Sookie and amnesic Eric’s relationship grow, and they begin a sexual affair. Sookie is physically and emotionally attracted to this gentle and caring Eric. Sookie is happy to be with Eric, a man who has told her she was beautiful, and who had not only given her sexual pleasures, but also had held her and laughed with her. He starts calling her “lover” and they admit to each other that they have feelings towards one another. This Eric even offers to Sookie that he will stay with her forever, to work and help her, and he tells her that she will never be poor.

The novel reaches its climax when the Shreveport pack, the Area Five’s vampires and the local Wiccans fight together against Hallow and her coven. The coven is defeated and Hallow is kept alive so she could un-hex Eric’s memory loss, and Pam kills her afterwards. But before Hallow can reverse the curse on Eric he and Sookie go back to her house to find Debbie Pelt waiting with a gun. Eric takes the bullet for Sookie who then kills Debbie. Eric discards her body once he has recovered from the gunshot wound. When Eric gets his memory back, he has no recollection of his time with Sookie.

Eventually, Sookie, Sam and Calvin Norris discover that Felton Norris (Calvin and Felton are both werepanthers from Hotshot) was keeping Jason captive because Felton is in love with Crystal and did not want to see Crystal with Jason. Felton has bitten Jason several times and Sookie is afraid that her brother will turn to a werepanther in the next full moon. Calvin decides to punish Felton and it is implied that Felton is killed.

Significant CharactersEdit

  • Sookie Stackhouse: Faerie-Human. Sookie is a telepath; she works as a barmaid at Merlotte's, the local bar. Heartbroken after Bill's betrayal, Sookie cares for Eric who has lost his memory.
  • Eric Northman: Vampire sheriff of Area Five of Louisiana. He loses his memory and falls in love with Sookie.
  • Alcide Herveaux: Werewolf and Sookie’s friend. Sookie tells Alcide that the new witch coven in Shreveport are werewolves.
  • Bill Compton: Vampire and Sookie’s former boyfriend. He travels to Peru at the beginning of the novel, but returns just in time to fight against the witches at the end of the novel.
  • Bubba: Vampire and errand boy for vampires. He fights against the coven of witches.
  • Calvin Norris: Werepanther and leader of his pack in Hotshot. He helps Sookie recover captured Jason and expresses his interest for her.
  • Claudine Crane: A fairy who saves Sookie when she falls asleep while driving home.
  • Colonel Flood: Werewolf and packmaster of the Shreveport pack.
  • Crystal Norris: Werepanther and Calvin's niece. She meets Jason and he asks her out a couple of times.
  • Holly Cleary: Human, barmaid of Merlotte’s and a Wiccan. She tells Sookie where the new witch coven is settled in Shreveport.
  • Jason Stackhouse: Human and Sookie's brother. Felton Norris captures and bites Jason. Sookie is afraid he will become a werepanther in the next full moon.
  • Maria-Star Cooper: Werewolf and packmember of the Shreveport pack. She is badly injured when the pack attacks Hallow and her brother when breaking in to Bill's house.
  • Pam: Vampire and Eric’s second in command. Pam successfully steps up as the leader of Area Five’s vampire when Eric has his temporary amnesia.
  • Sam Merlotte: Shapeshifter and owner of Merlotte's bar. He helps Sookie find Jason.
  • Tara Thornton: Human and Sookie’s friend.
  • Chow: Vampire and Eric’s underling. Chow dies fighting against the witches.
  • Debbie Pelt: Werelynx and Alcide's former girlfriend. She is mean spirited and vindictive. She tries to kill Sookie, but gets killed instead.
  • Felton Norris: A werepanther, but not a full blooded one (he has been bitten) and he is Hotshot’s best tracker. Felton loves Crystal and is angry to find out that Crystal is seeing Jason. He captures and bites Jason until Sookie and Calvin find him. It is implied that Calvin kills Felton as punishment.
  • Hallow Stonebrook: Also known as Marnie Stonebrook. She is a witch and werewolf. She is portrayed as being tall, slim and broad-shouldered with short brown thick hair. When Sookie tries to “listen” in, Hallow senses that someone is reading her mind. After she un-hexes Eric, she is eventually killed by Pam.
  • Mark Stonebrook: Werewolf and witch. He is Hallow’s brother and attempts to take over Shreveport’s supernatural beings’ businesses. He is eventually killed in the attack by the Shreveport pack and Area five's vampires.
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