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He’s more than a long leather coat,
This review is from: Death Masks (Dresden Files (ROC Paperback)) (Mass Market Paperback)
The fifth in the Dresden Files pits our hero Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only working Wizard – well, the only one in the Yellow Pages at any rate – against the demands of the other world, the underworld and those of his day job as a Private Investigator. The opening chapter sets up nicely the simultaneous conflicting pressures that Harry’s supernatural friends and enemies place on him. And by the second chapter, there has been an attempt on his life and he’s been given notice that the Red Court is threatening not only his own life, but that of those he cares about. Top that off with his human friends and their demands, and a bad day gets that much worse.
All in a days work for Harry, but that’s all the better for those of us following his adventures. Here the central mystery is a couple of gruesome deaths and the theft of the Shroud (that covered Christ’s body until he was resurrected). As events move forward it becomes clear that both are linked. As usual there’s much more to the book than just mystery – fantasy, adventure and an element of romance as Susan turns up in Chicago again also take precedence from time to time. This serves to heighten or slow the pace as required to drive the plot forward. There are no new threats here – it’s essentially the Red Court as we’ve met in the previous 2 books of the series - and the mob has it’s influence too. However the danger Harry faces is very real, unrelenting as the story is told over just a few days, and from all sides. This makes for a fast paced, action packed style that any who have read the series will recognise and appreciate.
While the majority of the players are those known already to Dresden file followers, Butcher has not fallen into the trap of making his story inaccessible to potential new readers. Past events influencing the story are briefly described, but in enough detail that the book need not be read as part of the series, although as a Dresden junkie I do think that because events are so skilfully handled in the ups and downs of being Harry, the books would be best read in order.
I did find the ending of Death Masks left me feeling a bit down – the roller coaster ride of not only the dangers Harry faced but the various emotional storms carried me along and left me a little wrung out. Also, although the danger has receded for a time, like the tide it is inevitable it will resurge again, giving that there is more to follow. Cool.