From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. At the start of Butcher's superlative ninth Dresden Files novel (after 2006's Proven Guilty), hardboiled wizard detective Harry Dresden learns that someone is killing Chicago's minor wizards. Joined by his police friend, Sergeant Murphy, and his Amazonian apprentice, Molly Carpenter, Harry discovers that his brother, Thomas, is a prime suspect. As a Warden of the White Council, at war with both the Red Court of blood-drinking vampires and the White Court of psychic vampires, Harry has to go into action. And there's plenty of that, including a battle with ghouls on the lakefront that turns into a gripping flashback of another encounter with ghouls some years before in New Mexico. The large cast features such finely drawn characters as gangster Gentleman Johnnie Marcone and Harry's first love, Elaine Mallory. This installment is sure to get a lift from The Dresden Files TV series, which debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel in January. Author tour. (Apr.)
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*Starred Review* This time, when Harry Dresden gets a call from Murphy, it's off the record, because she has been demoted, things in SI are politically shaky, and the police have already declared a suicide. Once Harry gets a good look, though, the suicide is clearly a murder with magical intent. As he investigates, hoping as always to stop the killer before more die, evidence points to the worst possible suspect: his half brother. In another complicated case, there are a lot of very powerful players, and with the war between the White Council and the Red Court vampires, politics are played hard and fast. In tracking down the killer, Harry manages to catch the attention of the White Court vampires again, too. On top of all that, he is still teaching strong-willed, occasionally impulsive teenager Molly Carpenter, and the teacher-student dynamic is difficult for him. And oh, yes, Lasciel, the demon trapped in a coin Harry has secured under his summoning circle, is a lingering presence. As usual in the Dresden Files, of which this is volume 9, Butcher puts the characters in a lot of danger, creates appalling moral choices for them, and spins an excellent noirish detective yarn in a well-crafted, supernaturally charged setting. The supporting cast is again fantastic, and Harry's wit continues to fly in the face of a peril-fraught plot. Regina Schroeder
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