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This article or section contains spoilers for 2018 novel Serpentine.
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Detective Terry Rankin is an antagonist in the twenty-sixth Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel Serpentine.


About 5' 9" with a slender build. Hair is a "rich chestnut brown," long enough to cover his ears. Eyes are "a brown so dark they looked black."[1]


Rankin first appears in Serpentine as a detective asking questions of Anita and her people. At first he asks Anita about Peter Parnell, and Anita thinks he's asking about Peter's altercation with Dixie Carlitos, but it turns out he's investigating the disappearance of Betinna Gonzales. Due to Peter manhandling Dixie, Rankin now suspects Peter could be involved with Bettina's disappearance.[2]

Rankin later questions Nathaniel Graison with Micah Callahan present. Micah keeps trying to leave but realizes he's unable to do so, and tells Anita in a text. Anita opens her metaphysical links to Micah and Nathaniel, which is enough for Micah to overcome the power holding them there and drag Nathaniel out. Anita, Micah, Nathaniel, and Ru realize that there's a power coming from Rankin, and he somehow used it on Nathaniel to try to get a confession. It's illegal, but hard to prove.[3] Anita, Micah, and Nathaniel decide to stay away from him, and it seems that he's prejudiced against Nathaniel for his past record. Anita later explains to Bernardo Spotted-Horse that Rankin was using powers during the questioning, and also tell Edward.

When they drive back to the hotel, Rankin confronts them, shouting accusations about Anita's people in Edward's face while onlookers record on their smartphones. He uses his powers to almost get a confession from Nathaniel.[4] He nearly rolls Anita, but Anita lets Jean-Claude in to help her, and he readjusts her shields to keep Rankin out while letting her own people stay connected to her, which also helps keep her people safe from him.[5]

Officer Angela Dalton, a psychic, comes over and Rankin uses his powers on her, but Anita's people are able to break her free of his influence enough for her to realize what he's been doing to her.[6] Captain Tyburn pulls Rankin, Anita, and Edward aside, and Olaf joins them. Tyburn questions Rankin's behavior, and Rankin tries to blame Nathaniel with his criminal history. Edward points out that Nathaniel's criminal history is that of a victim, not a perpetrator. Rankin suggests that Nathaniel was "pretty" as a little boy, and Anita and Tyburn both call him on it. Edward asks if Rankin has a connection with Nathaniel, and he denies it but it seems that he's lying. Olaf points out that "many men who say such things would rape women if they thought they would not be caught," indicating that Rankin would want to be a pedophile, which leads to the two men fighting.[7] Olaf throws Ranking across the hallway and hits him hard enough to hurt a human, but Rankin is more than human and isn't as hurt, but he is knocked unconscious.[8]

Dalton asks to speak privately with Tyburn, so he has another officer take Anita, Edward, Olaf, and Bernardo to visit the crime scene. Before leaving, Anita learns from Micah and Nathaniel that Rankin has been controlling Dalton for two years, making her think she's in love with him, and having an open relationship with her in addition to his wife.[9] After visiting the crime scene, Tyburn drives the four of them back to the hotel with Dalton in the car, and they discuss Rankin's history and what he's done. Ranking became a cop in Los Angeles, left there for Phoenix, Arizona, then transferred to Florida. He began using his powers on Dalton when she first transferred there two years ago.[10] They discuss Rankin's powers, and it seems that he used Dalton's broken heart to get into her head, but he had nothing to offer Anita which helped her to fight him off.[11]

When two more women go missing, Anita and the others question Cleo Stavros, who finally admits that her "Uncle Terry" lured the two women into his car and drove off.[12] They find Rankin at his family's old hunting camp with one of the abducted women, Stephanie. Rankin admits to his involvement in covering up Bettina's murder, but he didn't kill her. He likewise admits to using his powers on Angela. He also used his powers on Dixie and didn't realize that she had a crush on Peter, which is partially why she lashed out so much. Rankin's mother was part of the local family that descends from sirens and also suffers from what they believe is a snake curse, and some, like Rankin, still have the magic to bend other people to their will. Because his mother hoped a supernatural father might end the snake curse Rankin's father ended up being a type of European fey known as a "love-talker" who seduces women and children. Rankin admits to having inherited urges for children although he has never touched a child sexually in person, and that he has seen Nathaniel's old videos. Rankin tried to blame the crime on Nathaniel because he needed a fall guy outside of the family. After explaining all this Rankin picks up his gun to commit suicide by cop, forcing Anita to shoot him.[13] The shooting is reviewed, but Tyburn backs Anita and it was declared a clean shot.[14]


  1. Serpentine, chapter 35.
  2. Serpentine, chapter 35.
  3. Serpentine, chapter 41.
  4. Serpentine, chapter 44.
  5. Serpentine, chapter 45.
  6. Serpentine, chapter 46.
  7. Serpentine, chapter 47.
  8. Serpentine, chapter 48.
  9. Serpentine, chapter 49.
  10. Serpentine, chapter 54.
  11. Serpentine, chapter 55.
  12. Serpentine, chapter 62.
  13. Serpentine, chapter 64.
  14. Serpentine, Epilogue.