This is one of those series which has wonderful characters without the writing to back them up. I found Sookie and Bill very engaging, but Bon Temps is a painful place to read about, and it has nothing to do with the supernatural.
Having been born in the very area Sookie is supposed to inhabit, I’ve shaken my head and rolled my eyes over a lot of cultural mistakes Harris has made. Little towns and cities in northern Louisiana do not have many French surnames, due to the fact it’s the wrong part of the state for that demographic. You’ll find mostly English, Scots, Irish, German, but very, very few lost Cajuns or other people of French descent.
Bill has got to be one of my favorite vampires of all the ones I’ve read about over the years, including some of Anne Rice’s creations. He’s dark and deadly, and a great foil to Sookie. Their romance is sexy and readable, and their relationship is interesting.
The other characters, including Eric, Sam, Jason, and others do their part, adding tension and narrative, but breakdown into distractions at times.
Having read several of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie books by now, I wish she’d stopped at the second or third, before she completely lost track of the ball. Too much mundane detail, too much interference by minor characters who contribute little or nothing.