Death Masks (The Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher
My rating: 8 out of 10 stars
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he’s getting more than he bargained for.
A duel with the Red Court of Vampires’ champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards…
Professional hit men using Harry for target practice…
The missing Shroud of Turin…
A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified…
Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, who’s still struggling with her semivampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life.
Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging.
This is the fifth book in The Dresden Files series and from a somewhat wobbly start the series seems to have settled into being quite read worthy books as far as I am concerned. They do not quite reach a full set of stars for me but they are definitely good books.
This book interleaves two main threads. The war with the Red Court vampires resulting in a duel for Harry and The missing Shroud of Turin. The latter is really the main thread in this book. It is much more than just a case of a missing artefact and as the story develops the case becomes increasingly sinister.
The book is the usual mix of investigative work, more or less witty dialogues (which can be quiet fun at times, less so at other times), the obligatory romance parts with Susan and outbursts of physical and magical violence. The world building with the various supernatural entities, Harry’s friends etc. is quite well done. I quite like that Susan have become a bit of a bad-ass herself (on the side of the good guys…so far).
I do find it a bit sad that Harry almost always seems to be the weakest card in the deck as soon as the action starts though. Having said that he is a lot better at kicking behinds now than he was in the first books. I would like that he stopped moaning about feeling sick and trying not to recycle his food all the time though.
The book does come to a conclusion but said conclusion have a few loose ends to say the least. It is not exactly a clear cut victory over the principal bad guy although his nefarious plot is foiled…this time.
For me this is a good and read worthy book. The characters are well done. There is an intelligent story. There is quite a bit of action. I will definitely continue reading this series.