Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Our final Sookie book begins elsewhere, back in time several months, and in a third person perspective. A businessman who turns out to be Copley Carmichael, Amelia's father, and his driver Tyrese are meeting with a devil in order to sell their souls to get rich again (Copley) and to get the stripper love of his life (Tyrese). Copley has been run thin since Katrina and now he's hoping to be on top again. Things turn around for Copley and he meets with the devil again sometime later in New Orleans at a restaurant and asks him to find a Cluviel Dor. He heard from Amelia that her friend Sookie had one and he wants to make a wish that Amelia will be closer to him and use her witch powers, which he believes in now, at least a little, to make him more powerful. Uh oh. Sookie has already used the Cluviel Dor, which makes Copley mad. Now he wants to ruin Sookie's life. Luckily, Mr. Cataliades happens to be sitting at a table nearby and hears all of this.
In another elsewhere, this time on a beach, a tall man and a medium man, who turn out to be former Fellowship of the Sun Reverend Steve Newlin and sleazy lawyer Johan Glassport get together and also plan to take Sookie down. Steve is approached by Johan and knows exactly who he's talking about when Steve mentions a girl causing his downfall and putting his wife in jail. It seems someone sent Johan to find Steve, but who? And why?
Sookie wakes up the morning after resurrecting Sam and finds him outside and acting very weird because he died, obviously. No one is going to be 100% normal after literally being dead. They both take time off from Merlotte's and everyone thinks they've got something going on because they both called in sick with the flu on the same day. Sookie calls Sam's mom, Bernie, because she thinks Sam needs some help coping. Sookie spends several days away from work eating tomatoes. Before he left for Faery taking all the fairies with him, Niall fairy-blessed Sookie's land and now all her flowers and trees and vegetables are fairy-blooming like crazy.
Elsewhere again, Arlene, Sookie's former best friend who went bonkers for the Fellowship of the Sun and who tried to crucify Sookie a million books ago, is released on bail from prison. Reverend Steve Newlin paid her bail with Johan Glassport acting as her lawyer, and now the two men have plans for her. They tell Arlene that they and some others have been wronged by Sookie, and now she's going to come into some trouble. All they want her to do right now is go into Merlotte's, talk to a few people, and try to get her old job back. Yeah, that's gonna work.
Sookie decides she needs to go see Eric and figure out what's going on with him, but when she gets to Fangtasia, she's pretty much turned away at the door. Pam says not to come back until Eric calls her, so that's not good. She texts later that Eric will see her in a few days. Sookie eats more tomatoes and then decides to try to get herself out of her funk. She cleans up and organizes all the drawers in her room and goes shopping with Tara. While she's out, she sees a young werewolf from Alcide's pack who is afraid of her because of her big magic. Look, she just wants to buy a dress. She kind of explains what happened with Sam and why the werewolf is kind of afraid of her to Tara after they leave and Tara kind of understands and it's kind of nice.
That night, Bill comes by. He heard a little bit about what happened the night Sookie revived Sam and says that Eric is mad and that he has another daughter, Karin, whom we've never heard of but who looks almost exactly like Pam. Bill says that Karin came around asking him questions about Sookie but not really in a menacing way, so that's good. Bill and Sookie talk about the Cluviel Dor and how Eric expected her to want to use it on him and how she probably wouldn't have used it on just any old friend who died right in front of her. As he leaves, Bill tells Sookie she doesn't know herself very well, hinting that secretly deep down on the inside she is in love with Sam.
The next day, Sookie goes to work and we're introduced to another new character, An, who is another waitress at Merlotte's that everyone likes. Kennedy tells Sookie that a former waitress came by to see her while she was out, but didn't say who it was. Since everything is okay at the bar, Sookie decides to walk next door to check on Sam and Bernie is there. Sam is not doing so hot, you know, because he died, and Sookie is a little miffed that he's not back to normal yet and graciously thanking her for bringing him back to life. Sookie has to relay the story of what happened the night he died because it seems he's forgotten that it was Jannalynn who killed him and that she is also dead. As Sookie is heading back to the bar, Bernie says that she and Sookie need to talk later.
In the office, Sookie goes through mail and then Arlene walks in and asks for her job back, just as she was told to do by Steve and Johan. Sookie flatly refuses on account of Arlene trying to crucify her, which is understandable. They talk about Arlene's kids a little and Arlene tries to convince Sookie she's a better person now, but no. You don't ever get a pass on attempted crucifixion. She leaves, grumbling inside her head about how she's got to go tell her two new friends about what happened. Sookie doesn't know who they are, just that they're two guys. Bernie comes by for her chat after Arlene leaves and gets the whole story of Sookie resurrecting Sam. She leaves because she knows Sam is in good hands with Sookie and promises her a life for saving her son.
Elsewhere, Arlene talks with Steve and Johan about completing the task they gave her. They have one more thing for her to do though. They tell her to go inside Sookie's house using her hidden-for-emergencies key and carrying a charm to get past her wards. They want her to go to Sookie's bedroom, get a scarf and return it and the charm to them later that night. Arlene agrees.
When Sookie gets home from work later, she's proud that her house is clean and her drawers are tidy, but hey wait a second. One of her drawers is slightly ajar. Sookie looks through the scarves and belts and other accessories inside but can't decide if anything is missing, though some things are out of place. Oh well. She's got more things to be mad about than that drawer, like Eric for instance. She calls him up at Fangtasia and tells him they need to talk face-to-face but he says he's busy. She's upset that he doesn't appear to care about their relationship at all, but he says she has no idea how he feels.
In the middle of the night that night, Sookie wakes to Eric in her bedroom. He tries to convey to her that he's doing everything he can to keep their relationship but he's got to put up the charade of going through with Appius's marry-the-queen-of-Oklahoma request. He tells her he's leaving someone there to guard her and that the next time they see each other, it's going to be bad, but she needs to remember that he loves her and he's doing what he can to make things better. She gets mad, of course, and then realizes there's someone else in her bedroom. It's Karin, Eric's other child.
The next day, Sookie goes to work and as she arrives, she notices that Bernie is gone and Sam is back to work. Hopefully that means he's back to normal, but uh, maybe not. He's standing outside, staring in the dumpster. Sookie goes to see what's up and is shocked to see Arlene's body in there. Oh great. Another body at Merlotte's. Sookie and Sam honestly think for a minute about moving the corpse elsewhere but decide against it and call the police. Andy and Alcee arrive as well as Kevin and Kenya and they all search around and investigate. It appears Arlene has been strangled to death with a scarf tied around her neck.
Andy questions Sookie and Sam, but they both have alibis for the night before and he really doesn't think they had anything to do with the murder anyway. Alcee on the other hand... They talk about the scarf around Arlene's neck and Sookie said it could be hers but she can't remember the last time she saw it AND DOESN'T MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT THE FACT THAT HER SCARF DRAWER WAS LITERALLY OPEN THE DAY BEFORE. Sookie thinks she sees someone put something in Alcee's car BUT SHE DOESN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT EITHER. The police wrap everything up and Merlotte's is able to open up in the afternoon.
Elsewhere, Johan calls a silky-voiced man letting him know that Arlene's body has been found with Sookie's scarf around her neck, the magic coin Arlene used to get inside Sookie's house has been returned and a magic charm has been placed inside Alcee's car. Johan hopes that his and Steve's interaction with the silky-voiced man is over, but he's not quite finished with them yet.
Sookie's day at Merlotte's is pretty busy. A lot of people come in talking about Arlene's murder but no one thinks she or Sam had anything to do with it. An talks a lot to a lot of people, but always about how Sookie couldn't have killed Arlene, so that's good. Karin comes in as soon as the sun goes down and tells Sookie she's expected at Fangtasia, but it's not like she can just drop everything and leave work, but that's exactly what she does. When they arrive at Fangtasia, Sookie is publicly released from her marriage to Eric in a ceremony involving cutting herself with the secret marriage knife. Eric did say their next meeting was going to be bad, and it was. After, King Felipe tells her she's not allowed to enter Fangtasia again, ever, so she goes home.
Bill's waiting for Sookie outside when she gets home but she doesn't want to talk. Then there's a knock at the door and Sookie opens it, expecting it to be Bill, but it's Eric. He's come by to tell her that he still loves her and they talked the night before about how he was going to have to do everything he did, but she's still really mad about it. He tells her he still wants to keep her and that he's going to secret her away to Oklahoma and essentially keep her as a side piece, but she doesn't want that at all. Then he tells her he should have turned her into a vampire against her will, which is again not at all what she wants. She rescinds his invitation to her house and now their relationship is definitely over.
When Sookie wakes up the next day, she's arrested for Arlene's murder. Elsewhere, Johan talks to the silky-voiced man and tells him it's done. Steve Newlin is pleased with Sookie's punishment, but Johan is worried. The silky-voiced man is coming to talk to them in person the next day and for some reason, he doesn't want to do that.
Sookie's time in jail is not very pleasant, mostly because of her cellmate, town drunk Jane Bodehouse, pukes and shits as soon as she wakes up. After this disgusting moment, Jane tells Sookie that she saw Arlene with two men the night she was killed, which is fantastic, but you know, she's a drunkard, so probably no one will believe her.
They go before the judge and Sookie is happy to see a lot of her friends have shown up to support her. Pretty much everyone who can be outside in daytime is there, except for Sam, which Sookie finds disheartening. The judge decrees that Sookie can be released on bail because, even though Alcee, who's seriously got something wrong going on inside his head, is convinced she's a murderer, there's really no concrete evidence that she's responsible, plus she has a witness that can put her at home during the murder time and Jane saw Arlene with two dudes. Mustapha is there and puts up the bail money on Eric's behalf even though they're broken up and Sookie gets to go home.
Jason takes Sookie home, and on the way, he makes fun of her for being arrested, like any good brother would do, and also tells her that Sam was really pissed at everyone for her arrest and tried to get good lawyers and stuff, which Sookie didn't realize. When Sookie gets home, she checks her voicemail and has a disturbing message from someone she doesn't know, so she calls Andy Bellefleur who comes to take the tape and investigate. She also talks to him about getting Alcee to clean out his car because she thinks there's something bad in there making him mean, but he doesn't want to do that because he's so mean. The logic here is sound.
Sookie goes to work the next day and it's surprisingly normal considering she was in jail for murder the day before. The only person who treats her differently than normal is Sam, which is again disheartening. Sookie tells him about the weird phone message and he's concerned about it and tells her he's got her back. But does he? He's acting really weird. Speaking of that message, when Sookie gets home, she sees that Andy's called about it and has found out that someone broke into an empty house in New Orleans to make that call, which doesn't make any sense. Sookie calls him back and tells him she knows several people in New Orleans, but no one who would do this. Sookie asks Andy again about Alcee's car clean out, but still, he's too mean to ask him to not be mean and clean out his car. After this phone call, Sookie calls Mr. Cataliades and learns that he's on his way to see her and he's bringing some friends. He's got business to take care of with Sookie and now that he's learned about the murder charge, plus some other things that are afoot, he's on his way.
As Sookie's getting ready for bed that night, Bill calls and asks to bring over the guy from the last book that wants to write a true crime novel about Kym, the girl Jannalynn sicced on Eric last book who was murdered. Sookie reads from the author's mind that he lost his job, which Bill didn't know about, and he's really, really into vampires. He's gross about his questioning, so Sookie tells him to leave. Bill apologizes for missing the creep vibes that guy was giving off, then he kisses her on the mouth and leaves. Bill obviously doesn’t understand creep vibes.
Sookie calls Sam the next day to see when she’s supposed to go to work and he tells her not to come in, which, for the third time now? fourth? is disheartening. It's also a good thing because Sookie totally forgot that Mr. Cataliades and friends are coming. The friends include Diantha, Amelia, Bob and Barry Bellboy! They arrive and everyone gets settled in their own rooms. Sookie is excited to see Barry Bellboy after so long, but before they can really talk, telepathically or otherwise, Amelia apologizes again for the Naked Alcide Incident. Sookie's willing to keep their friendship afloat … because of the baby.
Sookie reveals to Amelia and Bob that they're having a baby which they did not know about. Barry and Mr. Cataliades did though, because they could read the baby's mind already even though realistically it's probably way too early for that to be a thing. But hooray! Another baby for Sookie to be wistful about! She and Barry step aside and let Amelia and Bob have a surprise baby discussion and Sookie finds out everything Barry's been up to since the bombing at the Vampire Summit at the Pyramid of Gizeh. Basically he's been up to lots of vampire stuff and deaths and coups, pretty much just like Sookie. He seems to know more than Sookie about vampire politics, though. For instance, he already knows about Eric and Queen Freyda. Oof.
Barry mentions having seen Johan Glassport in New Orleans before they left, but that his brain was blocked off somehow, so Barry didn't know what he was up to.. Both Sookie and Barry had interactions with him at the Vampire Summit and both didn't like him very much on account of him being a sleazeball lawyer and also probably a murderer, but they haven't seen or heard from him since then. Sookie asks if Barry told Mr. Cataliades, and then he comes in and speaks for himself. Mr. Cataliades encountered Johan also who said he was in town doing business for someone who didn't want to be seen. He agreed that his brain was weird and that it was because of a concealing object he had that is probably of fae origin. We all wonder where he could have gotten such a thing…
After this short chat, Mr. Cataliades gathers everyone so he can tell them all why they came together. Obviously they want to clear Sookie's name of Arlene's murder, but there's more. First, he asks Amelia not to tell anyone about her new baby, at least for a few days, and then he asks Sookie to explain everything that happened with Arlene and her murder. After the spiel, they all have a different plan of attack. Amelia wants to find the two men that Arlene had been dealing with even though no one has any who they are. Bob wants to contact a touch psychic and have them see if they can get anything about the murder from Sookie's scarf that was around her neck. Barry wants to talk to the people who were watching Arlene's kids while she was in prison and to the kids, too, in case Arlene might have said anything about what she was up to. Diantha wants to steal the scarf because it's the only evidence they have tying Sookie to the murder and she also wants to investigate Alcee's car to see if there's something in it making him crazy with Sookie rage. These are all mostly decent plans, but before they talk further, Mr. Cataliades suggests they go out to lunch.
While they're eating, Quinn shows up. He read on the shifter internet that Sam and Alcide were both talking about Sookie's troubles so he decided to come help and also show Sookie pictures of his tiger baby fetus because we all know Sookie needs to yearn after babies some more. During their meal, Mr. Cataliades talks about Amelia's dad, Copley Carmichael and what he's been doing in New Orleans. Amelia hasn't had much contact with him but she knows things were bad for a while until suddenly they weren't. Well… that's because Copley sold his soul to a devil. More on that later!
They decide to go to Walmart after this to get groceries and while they're there, Sookie and Quinn see Sam who dishearteningly greets them and flees after Sookie invites him over. Back at home, Mr. Cataliades talks more about Copley and that he was after a Cluviel Dor which he learned about from… Amelia! This is not surprising since we all know that Amelia can't keep her freaking mouth shut. Anyway, after he found out that Sookie used her Cluviel Dor and that that's literally the only one that exists, he's gone mad and wants to kill her because he wanted the Cluviel Dor so bad. Even though this is bad, Mr. Cataliades doesn't think Copley is behind Arlene's murder because he wants to be more violent with Sookie and the murder-Arlene-and-frame-Sookie-scheme seems too clever for him. Great. Just great.
The group breaks up for a bit to do their own things for a while, so Sookie and Quinn go for a walk. He wants to sniff around to see if anyone menacing has been around her house lately. He can smell some fairy, probably just because they used to be in her woods all the time, but then he notices someone walking on her property. It's daytime, so it can't be a vampire, but Sookie doesn't really get any brainwaves from whomever it is. Quinn again thinks it's a fairy, but they're all gone, so there's no way. By the time they get back in the house, whomever it is is gone. They think that maybe it could be a fairy who was left behind, or one that has gone rogue, or one that is an escapee from Faery. Hmm…
That night, Sookie thinks about why Eric would have put up her bail money but can't really figure out why he would have done that since they're not a thing anymore. Sookie and Amelia talk about Eric for a bit but Amelia gets mad at him about him getting mad at Sam and the Cluviel Dor. Talk then unsurprisingly turns to Amelia's baby. Sookie also emails Sam about why he's been so disheartening lately but his only response is to come to work the next day. Quinn also emails about seeing two guys who look familiar at the motel he's staying at, so he's going to follow them.
Sookie goes to work and everyone else sets off to do whatever things they planned on doing to solve the Arlene murder mystery. Work is normal, except for Sam who is disheartening again. Sookie tries to get him to spill about what's going on with him, but he says he can't and Sookie doesn't understand why. She thinks he's acting like he's made a promise to someone to avoid her, but who on earth would do such a thing? After work, Alcide comes by, also wanting to help solve the Arlene murder mystery. He sniffs around and sniffs that Arlene has recently been in Sookie's room, but she had a charm with her in order to get through the wards around her house, so they decide that whomever killed her sent her to get that scarf and probably also to try to get her job back. But who would do that? They don't know so Alcide leaves.
Later, after dinner, everyone explains about their days. Quinn calls to tell Sookie that he recognized one of the guys at the hotel, but then they realized and left quickly. The guy he recognized was… Johan Glassport. Uh oh. After, Quinn tells Sookie that he can't help anymore because he has to go prepare to perform a vampire wedding ceremony… in Oklahoma… whomp whomp!
Barry tells everyone that he talked to Arlene's kids and the person caring for them and the only pertinent information he found out was that Arlene was going to do something that would pay off big for these two guys who got her out of jail, which obviously she did. Bob mentions that the touch psychic is coming the next day and Diantha regales them with the story of turning into a police officer and stealing Sookie's scarf from the evidence locker. Amelia and Bob then talk about doing a new ward around Sookie's house and about how they went around town to see if the two men were staying at a rental property. They also talk about the reason why Sookie's tomatoes are so big and only explain it by saying it's fairy magic. Well freaking duh.
Mr. Cataliades says that the fairy magic is not the only thing Niall left for Sookie when he took the fairies back to Faery. He also sold Hooligans, the strip club Claude owned, and Claudine's house and now Sookie's going to get $3000 a month forever, however that math works. He also mentions that Claude is a prisoner in Faery, but Sookie doesn't necessarily know what that means. She celebrates her windfall with ice cream. She's got rocky road and dulce de leche!
Later that night, Amelia and Bob's new wards are tested when one of King Felipe's goons, Horst, tries to get in and gets zapped, creating a bright blue ring of light around Sookie's house and causing an alarm sound. Bill comes by, having felt the magic, and carries Horst off. Hooray! The wards work! Amelia finally did something right! Right? Everybody goes back to bed. Overnight, Bill leaves a message for Sookie about King Felipe feeling bad about Horst coming over. Bill also said he told Eric that she has a bunch of good friends around keeping her safe, which prompted him to ask if Sam was one of them. Upon hearing that he was not, Eric laughed. Hmm…
The next morning, the touch psychic comes over and does a reenactment of Johan Glassport reveling in killing Arlene and Arlene wondering why they were killing her and not "Snookie." The psychic doesn't know that Sookie is Snookie, but she tells them that whoever that is is in trouble because these guys want her dead. Ughhhhhh, but what's new?
Sookie goes to work after this and takes Diantha with her for safety reasons. Everyone in Merlotte's is curious about Diantha, but Sam knows she's part-demon and asks about her. Sookie tells him that all her friends are staying at her house and he should come too, but he says he can't, which is disheartening #5?
Meanwhile, at Sookie's house, Tyrese comes in and wants to kill Sookie, but she's not there, so he shoots Bob and ties up Amelia and Barry. He tells them he wants to kill Sookie because she took away Copley's only hope of getting Amelia back. He also mentions that he's got nothing left to live for because his soul-sucking wish of getting the stripper love led to him getting HIV and his wish-lover ending her own life. This is a terrible story. Luckily, Sookie, Mustapha and Warren arrive soon.
Back at Merlotte's, it's a regular day until Mustapha comes by and tells Sookie he has been sent to get the items Eric left at Sookie's because he's leaving the next day. Oof. Diantha leaves Sookie with Mustapha and Warren to help Mr. Cataliades with something. When they get back to Sookie's house, Tyrese comes out and shoots her, but Warren also fires. Sookie's been shot in the arm so she's going to be fine, and also Bob's going to be fine eventually, but Tyrese definitely is not going to be fine. He's dead.
Sookie is taken to the hospital where she's pumped full of drugs and mostly everyone comes to see her. Even Sam. And it's not disheartening this time! Though Eric does loom behind him for a little bit to tell Sookie he's leaving and to tell Sam he's not releasing him, but Sookie still doesn't seem to get it. Amelia comes in and talks about Bob staying in the hospital and being transferred to a bigger hospital later, so this is the last Sookie sees of her. Barry comes in, but not Mr. Cataliades or Diantha because they're off doing something. Andy comes by with questions, but Sookie's too loopy on pain pills to be of any good, though she does ask him again to let someone look inside Alcee's car, which he finally agrees to because he "ain't acting like himself," which duh, Sookie tried to tell you. Bill also left her a note, so he came by, too. His note isn’t only an encouraging, get well note, but it also mentions some interesting news that he’ll need to meet with her to discuss.
Sookie leaves the hospital the next day with Jason’s help. Michele and An cleaned up all the blood in her house from Bob’s shooting, so that’s nice, and Halleigh comes by to visit, too. Then, when the sun goes down, Bill comes over and reveals to Sookie what Eric has done. Sookie immediately calls Sam and he comes over, even though he promised Eric he wouldn’t, and tells him why Eric has this hold on him. He had to ask Eric for money for Sookie’s bail because he didn’t have enough, which is sweet, but also because of this he had to promise Eric that he wouldn’t try to “court” Sookie. Eric also had to make some promises to Freyda because she was in the room when Sam went by, so he’s no longer allowed to see Sookie one-on-one and she can never enter the state of Oklahoma on penalty of death. Well, now Eric is clearly and cleanly out of the picture and thus… Sam declares he wants Sookie to be his.
They decide to not start up anything immediately, on account of Sookie’s gunshot and because she literally just broke up with Eric, but they’re potentially going to try this out. Sam shares a note with Sookie that he found on the front door that lets her know that someone put something in her vampire hidey-hole. Surprise! It’s Copley! But how did he get there? Sookie texts Mr. Cataliades to see if he had anything to do with it, but doesn’t get a response, though he did leave a voicemail about he and Diantha running other errands and their search for Copley because he had disappeared. Ta-da! Here he is! Sookie and Sam decide not to take the soulless Copley Carmichael out of the hidey-hole just yet, so instead they snuggle up together and take a nap.
Elsewhere, Mr. Cataliades, Diantha and Andy Bellefleur arrive at Alcee’s house. He violently greets them with his wife, the sweet, sweet librarian cowering behind him. They convince him to let Diantha search his car and of course she finds a weird hex thing that’s been making Alcee irrationally hate Sookie. They burn the hex and Alcee’s on his way back to his normal self. Afterward, Mr. Cataliades sees the text from Sookie, so they return to her house to determine what to do with Copley. Do they kill him? Eh… Sookie doesn't really want to murder anyone today. As they’re pondering, Pam and Karin come by with an announcement. Pam has been made Sheriff! Hooray! Karin reveals that she is the one who put Copley in the hidey-hole and that she has been stationed outside Sookie's house for a year as part of Eric's departure plan. As the vampires leave with forehead and mouth kisses for Sookie, they take Copley with them to do with what they will. Nice! Another thing tidied up! And then Mr. Cataliades and Diantha decide to leave, too, so now Sookie is home alone.
The next day, Sookie slathers up, puts on a bikini and lays out in the sun. She's roasting nicely but then she decides she wants to get her iPod from her locker at work. In-and-out in just a few minutes! And that's exactly what happened. When Sookie gets to Merlotte's, she sees Sam outside working in his yard and they begin to talk, but then talking changes to kissing and kissing changes to sex and now we've reached the end of the in-and-out joke. Wait, except for not. It happens once more. Afterward, they again decide they're not going to take things too fast and Sookie goes home to get ready for their date!
Michele and Jason invited Sookie line dancing after she got shot and she decided she was going to go, so now it will be more fun because Sookie's got a date! They all arrive at the dance hall and Sookie and Jason dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe, but as she's twirling around mid dance step, Steve Newlin and Johan Glassport grab her up and drag her outside. Somehow amongst all the cowboys with guns and the hootin' and hollerin', Sookie's thrown into a van and Steve and Johan jump in after her. But who's driving the getaway van?
Finally the big bad is revealed and he is big and bad. Niall tortured Claude in Faery for the attempted coup and trying to steal Sookie's Cluviel Dor, but, as is revealed later, Niall thought there were traitors in Faery so when they broke Claude out of his imprisonment, they were taken care of while Claude was left to languish outside of Faery. He obviously took this very well and decided to come after Sookie and make her suffer in prison like he was meant to do.
As they drive along, Claude tells Sookie that he paid Johan, who hates Sookie for not saving him after the explosion at the Pyramid of Gizeh and also he just likes torturing women, to come find her and he got Steve to join in because he also hates Sookie because she got his wife arrested. Together they cooked up the convoluted Arlene plan. Finally Sookie really asks why Claude would treat her this way and it basically boils down to the fact that she wouldn't have sex with him. She declares again for the millionth time that he's gay, which really grosses out the good reverend and the lawyer, which of course makes us all mad, but especially Claude. He uses some sort of fairy magic to get his accomplices aroused with each other's penises and then they go bonkers and start fighting in the van. Sookie takes this opportunity to jump. She runs through the cornfields and discovers that a ton of people from the dance hall followed them and have come to her rescue. Claude, Steve and Johan get out of the van, still fighting and then they're all shot by the cowboys. Nice and tidily wrapped up again.
The next day, Mr. Cataliades and Diantha are at Sookie's house with Barry who they found being tortured by Claude and Johan and Steve. The reason why they were torturing him? Freaking Hunter. Claude told Johan and Steve about the tiny telepath and how they could mold him to become whatever they wanted, so they wanted to find him and apparently the way to do that is to torture Barry. Oh well. They're all dead now and no one else knows about Hunter, as it should be. Barry needs help recovering, so Sookie calls up Bernie, Sam's mom, and asks her to watch over him while he recuperates. She said she owes her a life, after all.
Finally, we wrap up our thirteen book series with a wedding. Sookie walks down the aisle and stands next to … Michele! Did you forget about Jason's wedding with all the convoluted craziness happening? Well, Jason and Michele get married and Sookie thinks that she and Sam are going to live happily ever after, too.