Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
Book Seven in the Dresden Files
Published May 2, 2006
Cross reviewed on Goodreads
When a killer vampire
threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's
reputation unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he
has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word
before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.
I took a little break reading the Dresden Files when a slew of other series caught my attention. But, Harry Dresden hasn't lost any of his flare as Chicago's only professional wizard-for-hire. Dead Beat kicks off as one of the best of the series so far (in my opinion). It has a justifiable level of action and intrigue from the start. There was a few plot points that I found to not be tied up, but perhaps they're being left open for the future books.
In Dead Beat, Harry finds himself at war with some vampires of the Black Court. The Queen of the Black Court, Mavra, threatens to destroy Harry's mortal companions if he does not help her recover the Word of Kemmler. From this point, the mysterious past of a legendary necromancer named Kemmler takes hold of the plot. Various parties now seem to be after the Word, namely other necromancers, who are trying to complete Kemmler's studies. However, the completion of Kemmler's work quickly turns into an epic power play that shuts down all of Chicago. Throw the Halloween wrench into the mix, and Harry finds himself pitted against uber-powerful necromancers on the one holiday that can empower them beyond his ability to stop.
Down the line, and this becomes my favorite part of Dead Beat, Harry is inducted into the Wardens, the special police of the White Council of Wizards. He reluctantly accepts and then a war erupts. Here, the most action in any Dresden book comes abroad. There is a good three chapters drawing out this battle between the Wardens and Kemmler's students. Fast forward a bit and it turns out that if Harry doesn't stop these students, the ritual they're performing on Halloween will turn one of them into a god. If this happens, there will be no hope of the White Council to stop them.
There ware some fantastic secondary characters introduced in Dead Beat also, namely a cowardly little mortician named Waldo Butters, or just Butters as Dresden calls him. We also get to meet the other Wardens who, in the past, have tried to hunt Harry down for his unorthodox wizardly doings. My favorite secondary character here is not new at all. It's Bob the Skull! A good deal about his past is revealed in Dead Beat.
Like I said, SO MUCH ACTION!
That's about it. Dead Beat was intense, the plot very fast, and overall, an awesome read.
Up next for review:
Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher