Even if Charlaine Harris had not already announced the imminent end of her Sookie Stackhouse series, you would still know after reading this book that Sookie's story is drawing to a close. Deadlocked is really the beginning of the end, answering questions, wrapping up storylines, and setting us up for our long-suffering heroine's happily ever after.
As the book begins, there's a storm cloud sitting over Sookie's relationship with Eric. Will he stay with her or will he agree to marry the Queen of Oklahoma? And even more pressing, will he survive his King's inquisition into Victor's disappearance? The King's arrival coincides with the death of a were-woman on Eric's front lawn in an elaborate set-up to frame him. But why? In turns, it seems like vampires, shifters, or even the Fae could have something to do with it.
But this book is about so much more than that. Like I said, Harris is tying up loose ends. From the aftermath of the door closing to Fairy, to what's going on with Alcide's pack. From Tara's babies, to Bill's lingering love for Sookie. From that magical fae wish, to whatever happened to Quinn. Even a shout-out to Barry the Bellboy. And Sam --who I've long believed will be the man holding Sookie's heart when everything is all said and done-- we get some movement on his story too.
I like this feeling that we're headed toward something. The ending was big and I have to say, at least for me, surprising. I enjoyed the book, but the resolution of the fae storyline was not fleshed out enough for me. I needed a better explanation for that bombshell. And I felt like the Eric-Sookie drama has been drawn out too long. I've always loved Eric, but at this point, there is nothing left of the relationship for me to root for. I guess that's the whole idea, but the point felt belabored.
I do think this one is stronger than the last two installments. I believe that the last book is going to give Sookie the happy ending she deserves, and this one gets us half-way there.