Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dresden Files 05: Death Masks (Butcher, Jim)

Rating: 5
Year: 2003
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? Yup.

Harry Dresden, wizard and detective, doing an appearance on a local talk TV show, finds himself face to face with Duke Ortega, one of the most notorious and highest-ranking Red Court vampires. Ortega's using the show setting for protection: since the Red Court and wizards are at war, there wouldn't be anything to keep Dresden from wasting him if Ortega just knocked on his apartment door.

Ortega wants to talk and make a deal.

He wishes Dresden to face him in single combat. If Harry refuses, he'll see his friends and allies and some former clients assassinated. Dresden agrees to kick Ortega's ass. If he wins, Chicago will become neutral territory as long as those friends, allies and clients stay there. If they leave, they're prey.

The other special guest is a priest who has come from the Vatican to hire Dresden to find a bit of stolen cloth, the Shroud (yes, that one)! It was stolen a few days earlier and tracked as far as Chicago, where someone's apparently hoping to buy it.

Another snag: "Gentleman" Johnnie Marcone seems to have put out a hit on Dresden!

As if that's not enough, there are some new demons in town: Denarians. Remember those 30 pieces of silver? They're real, and each one contains a Fallen angel. If you take up one of the coins, you're open to the influence of that demon--and you get super powers!

They're after the Shroud.

On Harry's side is Murphy the cop and the three Knights of the Cross: Michael (the sword-swinging carpenter), Shiro and Sanya.

Plenty of action, suspense, and fun. Dresden delivers one amazing, well-deserved beating to one of the bad guys. The third time through it seems a bit over-the-top; there's a lot of that in the series, but it's so much fun I don't even care!

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