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Morgan has always been a major thorn in Harry Dresden's side. So of course, he appears on Harry's doorstep, half dead and convicted of murder.

But that's only one of the problems facing Jim Butchers wizard PI in the eleventh Dresden Files Book,. The aptly named "Turn Coat is half whodunnit and half magical thriller, with plenty of explosive magic, hard-nosed wizards, deadly conspiracy and plenty of grotesque monsters and vampires. What's more, Butcher pulls some brilliant plot twists out of his hat, including some that are sure to wrench the heart.

An injured Morgan turns up at Harry's door, hunted by Wardens and convicted of murdering Aleron LaFortier for the Red Court. Even worse, it's an airtight case against him.

But Harry can't bring himself to believe that Morgan could ever do something treacherous (even if Morgan is a big bottom-pain). His investigations take him on an unpleasant tightrope to vampire hangouts and the Council HQ, where he learns that LaFortier's death could -- if left unpunished -- lead to a very messy civil war between the weakened wizard factions. In other words, the Black Council is making a move.

And Harry has problems close to him as well -- a price on Morgan's head, the Binder's ectoplasmic hordes, and a chilling immortal monster of Native American legend called a naagloshii (skinwalker). When the naagloshii kidnaps Thomas and trashes the Raith mansion, Harry must find a way not only of saving his brother and Morgan from certain death -- but unveiling the traitor within the Council as well. Hard to do when everyone is very, very mad at you...

"Turn Coat" is definitely a turning point in the Dresden Files series, where the Black Council becomes a widely-known -- though not widely-acknowledged -- reality, and Butcher is clearly setting up a massive conflict. Relationships are shattered, alliances are strained, personalities are changed, a traitor is revealed and the White Council is more openly threatened by the Black Council. A few people even die.

And Butcher does a pretty brilliant job meshing together fantasy, political thrillers and Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. He fills the story with sharp dark-edged noir prose, fun dialogue ("Mission accomplished, my lord of pizza!"), and some literally explosive action scenes (including a pitched battle on a rainy magical island). But despite the dark, grim cast of the plot, Butcher doesn't forget to add some humor to the mix. Where else can you find a spell that uses Silly String?

What's more, he fleshes out the rather mysterious Council, and shows the motivations and sacrifices that it has been built on, as well as its reasons for being so strict and reclusive. The one problem is that the murderer is a bit obvious, and I expected someone a bit more... important.

Harry proves himself to be the right kind of guy simply by wanting to prove Morgan innocent, and by forging ahead with some really risky magic that even the Gatekeeper blanches at. But his quest for justice takes away some people that he cares about as well, leaving some terrible long-term repercussions for his brother Thomas. And Butcher takes great care to show that while Morgan is annoying and self-righteous, he's also strong and honorable. And once he was more like Harry.

"Turn Coat" also fleshes out the Council considerably, showing them more as real people -- the Merlin eats sandwiches, Mai is revoltingly rigid, and there are even bureaucromancers. And "Injun Joe" shows the incredible range of his power, as well as the sadness of his past. Butcher needs to show a bit more of this awesome old wizard, because he rules.

"Turn Coat" is a brilliant turning point for the Dresden Files series, as well as a painful series of lessons for Jim Butcher's wizard anti-hero. And the battle is hardly over yet.
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on 10 April 2009
Let it be known I am an avid reader. After lending Proven Guilty a few years ago and reading it cover to cover in one afternoon I bought the rest and emerged a week later craving another Dresden novel.

Those who read the series will have their own opinions of course, but I really liked this book, though the ending was sad for Harry I think. Don't worry, no spoilers here.

If you are just browsing and wondering about taking the plunge, don't worry. Grab!

A bit about the series, Harry is a Wizard in Chicago who runs a P.I service and helps the local police with supernatural crimes. A good guy living under a shadow for past deeds trying to do the good thing.

The books have a bit of almost everything, they cover vampires and werewolves, daemons and fairies, wizards and gangsters. I really like them I think mainly because they are not too out there...seems strange to say that about a book with fairies in it but there it was. They have a very gritty feel to them, Jim draws you in and makes you interested with the characters. The books have all kinds of side stories (relationships, funny events etc) and they all come together nicely in a book or as part of story arcs. If you like a bit of magic and mystery/action this is the book series for you.

Highly Recommended 'Dude!' (when you read the book you will get the joke :))
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on 20 February 2014
It is fascinating to see how Jim creates new characters and gets them interacting in ever more interesting and violent ways. The usual friends of Harry the wizard are still there doing a great job. I'm still waiting to find out what happens to the swords. Maybe in the next book. By the way Jim I have already read all the furies of Calderon books but I thought the Dresden files are better.
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on 20 April 2009
The adventures of Harry Dresden continue in this book, and if you've been following the books I will spare you from the recap, and avoid including a paragraph that would effectively be a blurb.

With the events of the last book the White Council has run into hard times, and things turn from bad to worse as they are beset by enemies from all sides and they start to fracture from within.

There is some great character development amongst members of the White Council, Harry's relationship with the werewolves, and Thomas's fight against himself is explored further... and it seems to have turned for the worse.

There is once again, to be expected from Jim great action and mayhem in this book. It's definitely a landmark in the series as things become more sinister for Harry and the White Council than ever before, and the storm clouds haven't even started rolling in yet.

If you're already reading the series, I doubt this review will make much of a impact as you'll probably get to this book eventually. So all I can say is. Pre-order the next one. It's worth it, and in between the wait for new Dresden Files books - read Codex Alera.
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on 14 April 2009
well by the end of the book i was depressed. Depressed on two levels; one i was sad i will have to wait a very long time for the next installment and two because the subject matter wrenched my heart.

Afew deaths here and ends of relationships abound. but thats not to say that the book didn't totally rock it was amazing it arrived Saturday and i didn't leave my bed till it was finished.
this was a darker book than the others and like the last one left you on a cliff hanger - we never really discover what happened to Michael Carpenter ( an off the cuff remark about his physicality was not enough Mr Butcher!) nor was the no mention of my favourite character Marcone! but i did like seeing the more fleshed out characters of the council and the politics at play within it.

This book has a lot of questions that i hope get answered in the next one. Not a book to start with as too much background and this was definitely one for the fans who had read the others first but still great urban fantasy - he is the master.

Im still in two minds on how much i love this book though, like Harry i feel a little alone at the end of it and may need to read it again to pick up on the minutaie but coming on the heels of fab graphic novel backup as well was very disappointed in the whole thomas/ harry dynamic fading.

In all though a wonderful novel and like Harry himself, One needs to read it more than once to get a true measure of it ( him)
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on 13 February 2015
Some time ago, I read the ninth book from Jim Butcher's ''Dresden Files'' series. ''White Night'' was a decent enough book, but did conform to a couple of the more obvious clichés and this took the edge off it for me. But with the eleventh in the series, Butcher seems to have been improving as he goes along and I found ''Turn Coat'' to be far more enjoyable.

Over the years, Harry Dresden has been adept at getting himself into trouble with the Wardens, who uphold the rules of magic he is bound by. This time, however, the boot is on the other foot. Warden Morgan, who has been Dresden's chief persecutor, has committed a crime for which the sentence will be death. He comes to Dresden seeking his help to both hide and clear him. Despite knowing that complicity could mean his own death, Dresden nonetheless agrees to help, believing that Morgan could never have committed the crime he stands accused of.

Dresden's investigations unearth a conspiracy deeper than he ever imagined. It appears that the White Council of wizards may have a rival and hidden Black Council trying to cause trouble and enlisting the help of some members of the White Court of vampires. As if this wasn't bad enough, there is a virtually invincible skinwalker on the scene and it's clearly not there to help Dresden. Add in Dresden's werewolf and faerie associates and there is a lot going on.

This is the aspect of the story I enjoyed most, in that you could never be sure exactly what was going to happen next or who would be the focus of the next page. Dresden is most heavily involved, but there is such a wide range of fantastical beings around, that the styles and attitudes are constantly shifting. There were so many twists and turns that the unexpected was usually the most likely outcome. This helps to keep the reader off balance as much as Dresden was, which helped draw me into the tale, knowing I had something in common with the lead character.

Telling the story from Dresden's point of view also added to the immediacy of the action for me. Seeing through his eyes gives you the best perspective on the story, as most things happened around or to him. We also get to experience the whole range of Dresden's emotions, which run from terror to lust and through most places in the middle. With all the action going on, there are a lot of emotions flying around and Butcher describes these very well, which helped me to feel a great affinity for Dresden.

Dresden is a no-nonsense character, so he doesn't tend to waste time in detailed descriptions of people and places, usually painting in broad strokes. Only when he's under stress or focussing hardest does he go into much detail and this is usually describing actions more than locations or people. But this felt a lot more realistic, as it's how you would see things yourself in such a story, as it's natural you would remember more about the things that require you to concentrate the most. Of course, it could be that his descriptions were most vivid when talking about scantily clad female vampires that helped this appeal to me.

It helped that I really liked Dresden as a character. He's got a world weary air and a dry, self-deprecating and sometimes sarcastic sense of humour, much like my own. There are a lot of parts in the narration where Butcher plays on the series having become a TV show, as there are a lot of lines that I could see working as an aside to camera. These were generally the funniest moments of all and whilst the style may be a bit of a cliché, the lines themselves rarely were.

As good as this was, it wouldn't be any use if the story were poorly written. This far into a series, there are references back to things I've missed, but these didn't impact the flow of the book as much as with others I've read. Butcher is skilled at focussing attention more on the present than the past and I rarely wondered about what I'd been missing. This was the only negative part of the book for me, and it barely counts, having as little impact as it did.

The combination of all these factors made it an enjoyable read, although it does fit nicely into the kind of things I like, which helped. I always enjoy tales of the magical and fantastic and Butcher combines this with a slightly Chandler-esque feel that I also enjoy. Butcher seems to be growing with every book and I'm pleased to see that the more clichéd aspects of the story that I felt spoiled the flow of ''White Night'' are gone here. What's left is an exciting and fun story and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing if he can keep this up. This far into the "Dresden Files" series, "Turn Coat" may not be the best place to start, but it's certainly well worth reading.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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on 7 July 2016
Cover is oddly in very good condition odd given the state of the book on the inside. It is readable but most assuredly is not in very good condition. It has either had something spilled on it or been lying in the damn. Inside the book is warped and stained with water damage. Won't be returning as it is readable and was cheap. However i would suggest more honest descriptions in the future to avoid disappointing customers.
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Wouldn't call myself a massive Harry Dresden fan, have dipped in and out of the books but have been left slightly underwhelmed. maybe I chose the wrong books, because with this I can see why people like the stories so much.
Harry protects an old enemy while mixing it with his fellow wizards and vampires. And an almost indestructable creature is out to kill him too. Amingst conspiracies and fragile alliances, Harry must find out the truth about his old enemy being framed for murder and what the consequences might be for him and his friends.
It all hung together very well and I now see why people like these books so much.
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on 12 May 2015
I dont really know how many times I can say how much I love this series. The stories are now getting more intense as the series progresses. With each new story more conspiracy and more drama from the black council occurs. The plots just get better and better without losing the fact that each book is a fantastic story in its own right not just the underlying themes.
My heart bleeds for Thomas in this one though. :(
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on 11 June 2014
As the series continues, Harry Dresden is becoming ever more the target of the bigger, badder nasties of Chicago. This time tho his help is wanted by a warden, one of Harry's greatest fans, not, Morgan. Excellent reading, couldn't put this series down one I'd started it
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