"Some zombies are raised. Others must be put down. Just ask Anita Blake.
Before now, she would have considered them merely off-putting, never dangerous. Before now, she had never heard of any of them causing human beings to perish in agony. But that’s all changed.
Micah’s estranged father lies dying, rotting away inside from some strange ailment that has his doctors whispering about “zombie disease.”
Anita makes her living off of zombies—but these aren’t the kind she knows so well. These creatures hunt in daylight, and are as fast and strong as vampires. If they bite you, you become just like them. And round and round it goes…
Where will it stop?
Even Anita Blake doesn’t know."
It’s a typical day at work for Anita Blake, if your day job is raising the dead, and being a U. S. Marshal for the preternatural branch. One phone call changed everything. It was from the mother of one of her live-in boyfriends. Micah Callahan’s father was in the hospital and he was dying. Micah had been estranged from his family for years, but now, his mother wants Anita to bring the prodigal son home for a last good-bye.
Anita thinks it’s going to be a tearful trip down memory lane, until she learns that Sheriff Callahan was attacked on the job by a zombie. The bite is rotting him from the inside out, as if it’s turning him into a zombie while he’s still alive, but Anita knows zombies and they aren’t contagious. But something is killing Micah’s father, and he’s not the only victim. And there are the missing persons, far too many to explain away. While Micah deals with his family, Anita is pulled into a case so terrible she has to call for back up from friends and lovers that are no more human than the some of the monsters they’re hunting, and even that isn’t enough. Edward, Death himself, comes with badge and flamethrower to watch over his friend, Anita Blake, while she fights for her life and the lives of those she loves.
Anita receives a phone call of Micah's distressed mother, asking her to please come visit, because his father, Rush Callahan, is dying.
After making arrangements Micah decides he needs to take Nathaniel along, he will introduce him as their significant other. Of course guards are needed, which include Nicky, Dev, Domino, Bram, Ares & Lissandro.
Anita & Micah learn upon their arrival that Rush has been bitten by a rotting zombie.
After some family conflict with Micah's aunt, they go to his mother's house where they meet his siblings, which causes Micah's mother having to explain that she, Rush and Ty (Micah's stepfather) have a similar relationship as to Micah, Anita & Nathaniel's.
While Anita and all the law enforcement agents present go vampire/zombie hunting, Ares is bitten by one of the rotting zombies. While trying to transport everyone out with a chopper, Ares loses control and starts killing. Once on the ground Anita kills Ares, but a bullet that went through him, hit her, making her gain hyena.
Jean-Claude arrives in town and asks her to marry him after mentioning that if there was a way for all of them to get married, he would. As Micah had said this earlier to her and Nathaniel, she accepts. Still having to practicallities of such a ceremony this is later put on hold when plenty of her lovers are disappointed they would not be getting a ring.
Some of the methods of how Micah gets other animal groups to join to Coallition are mentioned: just talk, and softer methods of persuasion but also fights for dominance.
When Edward arrives he mentiones trying to set a date for his marriage and asks Anita to be his best man.
They learn that the source behind the rotting zombies is Morte D'Amour, who was presumed dead but took some of Marmee Noire's power into him, her necromancy.
Anita outmonsters him at a cemetary.
There is no specific time marker in Affliction, but it takes six months or more later in the same year as Kiss the Dead (May), which would place it November or December.
- Same year as Kiss the Dead, six months or more later. Affliction, chapter 16: "We had a zealot try to blow up one of Jean-Claude's clubs this year." Affliction, chapter 39: Regarding Asher in a new territory, "How long ago did he fuck up this badly?" / "Not quite a month." / "So he was well behaved for almost five months, and then suddenly he starts trying to commit suicide by werehyena?" Dead Ice, chapter 22: "Is it totally lame to say that we missed Asher when he was gone for six months?"
- Over a year since Bullet. Affliction, chapter 48: "I still haven't gone out in public with Jade on my arm even though she's been in my bed for over a year." It's more accurately been about a year and half.
- Three years since Narcissus in Chains. Affliction, chapter 41: "Micah Callahan, Nathaniel, and I have been living together for three years." Also stated in chapter 12 and chapter 14. It's more accurately been about three and a half years.
- Inconsistency referring to the time since Obsidian Butterfly. Affliction, chapter 20: "I honestly didn't know how much the government knew about Edward and Olaf's reality, but Van Cleef had helped train all three of them and some other men who the four of us had met about four years ago." Obsidian Butterfly and Narcissus in Chains take place one month apart, so they should be referred to as being about the same amount of time ago. Both occurred three and a half years ago.
Other time-related information:
- Anita Blake is 30 years old. Affliction, chapter 24. Note that Anita's age in the novels has some inconsistencies, and she has been 30 years old for more than a year since Hit List; see the inconsistencies section of the Timeline article.
- Micah Callahan is 30 years old. Affliction, chapter 19.
- Nicky is 31 years old. Affliction, chapter 22.
- Jean-Claude is over 600 years old. Affliction, chapter 03 and chapter 39.
- Mephistopheles aka Dev is 23 years old. Affliction, chapter 14.
- Beth, Micah's sister, is 22 years old. Affliction, chapter 14.
- Twain, Micah's half-brother, is 14 years old. Affliction, chapter 14.
- Hawthorne, Micah's half-brother, is 12 years old. Affliction, chapter 14.
- Frost, Micah's sister, is 6 years old. Affliction, chapter 14.
- Fen, Micah's brother, is 4 years old. Affliction, chapter 14.
- Peter Parnell in 18 years old. Affliction, chapter 82.
- Anita Blake
- Micah Callahan
- Nathaniel Graison
- Nicky, accompanies Anita as a bodyguard
- Morte D'Amour
- Mephistopheles aka Dev, accompanies Anita as a bodyguard
- Ares, accompanies Anita as a bodyguard
- Bram, accompanies Anita as a bodyguard
- Ethan, was going to accompany Anita as a bodyguard, but ends up staying in St. Louis
- Mary, receptionist at Animators, Inc.
- Asher (mentioned)
- Micah's family:
- Rush Callahan - Micah's father who is gravely ill, a sheriff
- Beatrice "Bea" Morgan - Micah's mother
- Ty Morgan - Micah's stepfather
- Jeremiah "Jerry" Callahan - Micah's brother
- Beth Callahan - Micah's sister
- Twain Morgan - Micah's half-brother, Bea and Ty's son
- Hawthorne Morgan - Micah's half-brother, Bea and Ty's son
- Frost Morgan - Micah's sister, Bea and Rush's son
- Fen Morgan - Micah's brother, Bea and Rush's son
- Micah's extended family, mother's side:
- Bertha "Bertie", Micah's aunt, Bea's sister, married to Jamie, Essie's mother, a member of the Shepherds of the Flock
- Jamie, Micah's uncle, married to Bertie, Essie's father, a member of the Shepherds of the Flock
- Esther "Essie", Micah's cousin, daughter of Bertie and Jaime
- Micah's extended family, father's side:
- Juliet, Micah's cousin, Bobbi's daughter
- Jody, Micah's aunt, Bobbi's twin sister, Rush's sister, runs a farm, lives with her significant other Ginger Dawson
- Bobbi, Micah's aunt, Jody's twin sister, Rush's sister, Juliet's mother, a lawyer
- Monty, Bobbi's husband, a judge
- Ginger Dawson, Jody's significant other of five years
- Micah's grandfather and Rush's father, saw Ty kiss Rush's hand at the hospital and does not approve
- Micah's grandmother and Rush's mother, also does not approve of Ty and Rush
- Local law enforcement in Colorado:
- Deputy Albert "Al" Truman, went to high school with Micah
- Sergeant Michael Horton, a Colorado state trooper
- Sergeant Ray Gonzales, with the Boulder PD
- Detective Rickman "Ricky"
- Deputy Gutterman
- Commander Walter Burke
- Corporal Price
- Detective Connor, Rickman's partner
- Ranger Becker
- Travers, friends with Little Henry
- Officer Bush, with the Boulder PD, vomits when the first body is found
- Pete, presumably a Ranger like Becker, killed by zombies
- Officer Connors, makes inappropriate comment about Anita's bra and panties when Ares is wounded
- Officer Perkins, medic
- Lawrence, chopper medic
- Marshal Susan Hatfield, a preturnatural marshal who receives the warrant of execution
- Yancey aka Swan, a member of SWAT who visits the hospital in support of Anita, spoke with Hermes of St. Louis SWAT
- Baker, injured in the zombie attack and killed in the helicopter incident
- Billings, injured in the zombie attack and had his hand torn off in the helicopter incident
- Detective Robert "Bobby" MacAllister
- Captain Jonas, of Boulder PD
- Deputy Marshal Chapman, Hatfield's former boss when she was a regular Marshal
- Detective Foster
- Machet aka Machete, a member of SWAT
- Wilson aka Willy, a member of SWAT
- Sergeant Brock aka Badger, a member of SWAT
- Lindell aka Paris, a member of SWAT
- Shrewsbury aka Berry, a member of SWAT
- Vampires in Colorado:
- Fredrico, the Master of the City, an ex-conquistador
- Alfredo "Alfie", meets Anita and team at the airport
- Dr. Cross, attends Anita in the hospital
- Other characters in Colorado:
- Dr. Rogers, attends Rush Callahan in the hospital
- Dr. Shelley, coroner at the hospital
- Henry Crawford, goes missing while searching for a missing hiker
- "Little Henry" Crawford, an EMT, goes missing while searching for a missing hiker
- Macintosh "Mac", hospital security
- Miller, hospital security
- Dr. Aimes, attends Little Henry in the hospital
- Brenda, a nurse who attends Little Henry in the hospital
- Other characters from St. Louis:
- Brunhilda "Nilda" - a werebear and a former member of the Harlequin, she is initially assigned to be one of their bodyguards but stays in St. Louis after a breakdown
- Mischa aka Graziano, a vampire and a former member of the Harlequin, he has sworn to Jean-Claude
- Goran, a werebear and a former member of the Harlequin, Mischa's animal to call
- Seamus, a werehyena and a former member of the Harlequin, Jane's animal to call
- Jane, a vampire and a former member of the Harlequin, Seamus's master
- Other characters:
|Anita Blake Series|
01. Guilty Pleasures • 02. The Laughing Corpse • 03. Circus of the Damned • 04. The Lunatic Cafe • 05. Bloody Bones • 06. The Killing Dance • 07. Burnt Offerings • 08. Blue Moon • 09. Obsidian Butterfly • 10. Narcissus in Chains • 11. Cerulean Sins • 12. Incubus Dreams • 13. Micah • 14. Danse Macabre • 15. The Harlequin • 16. Blood Noir • 17. Skin Trade • 18. Flirt • 19. Bullet • 20. Hit List • 21. Kiss the Dead • 22. Affliction • 23. Jason • 24. Dead Ice • 25. Crimson Death • 26. Serpentine • 27. Sucker Punch (novel) • 28. Rafael
|Short Stories||Magic Like Heat Across My Skin • Blood Upon My Lips • The Girl who was Infatuated with Death • Those Who Seek Forgiveness • Selling Houses • Beauty • Dancing • Shutdown • A Girl, a Goat, and a Zombie • Wounded • Sweet Seduction|
|Comics||The First Death • Guilty Pleasures & Handbook • The Laughing Corpse • Circus of the Damned|