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White Night [Hardcover]

Jim Butcher
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 3 2007 Dresden Files (ROC Hardcover) (Book 9)
A sensational addition to the Dresden Files adventures-from a USA Today bestselling author.

Professional wizard Harry Dresden is investigating a series of deaths in Chicago. Someone is killing practitioners of magic, those incapable of becoming full-fledged wizards. Shockingly, all the evidence points to Harry's half-brother, Thomas, as the murderer. Determined to clear his sibling's name, Harry uncovers a conspiracy within the White Council of Wizards that threatens not only him, but his nearest and dearest, too...

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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more complex Harry Dresden. Sept. 25 2008
By GinRobi
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Murphy calls Dresden to the scene of what is being classified as a suicide. But something doesn't feel right. And with his own brand of investigation, manages to find a hidden message: one that even the police would never have found. A message for him. Exodus 22:18. `Suffer not a witch to live.' Murphy things perhaps a religious fanatic. Harry doesn't think so.

As Harry investigates, he's finding more of the 'supernatural underclass' are turning up either dead or missing. And he doesn't like the looks of things. A security tape points right at Thomas, Harry's half brother, and Harry refuses to believe it. His brother wouldn't do that. But finding Thomas is an investigation in itself ~ Harry can't find him and he's started to get worried.

As Harry delves deeper, he and Murphy are targeted more and more, and he's suddenly thinking of a bigger picture. There's more to these supposed suicides, he's sure of it.

Without warning, Elaine pops into the story, surprising Harry with the actual amount of strength she has as a wizard. However, she's keeping a low profile; she doesn't trust men, refuses to be controlled by them again, and is staying on the down-low, refusing to call attention to herself. She wants nothing to do with the Wardens or the White Council and will do anything to keep it that way.

The investigation grows more complex, time is running out, and Harry has to figure out a way to stop the threat of a bigger war.

Harry knows he can't do it alone. But is he willing to throw his friends in the fray and watch as they get hurt or, worse yet, die?

I saw a different side of Harry in this novel, and at times, he even scared me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Both Enjoyable & Forgettable Jan. 3 2008
My brain in summer: I can read things, but not a lot of it absorbs; I can enjoy things at the time then later forget the details. Such was my state of mind when reading this instalment of "The Dresden Files". Bob's great, Carlos Ramirez is great...and if I remember correctly (which I may not) Priscilla the Bitch was great too. As for other details of the book? Molly Carpenter is a sex symbol for horny old men. Now my brain rests.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entire series is amazingly good! May 8 2007
By Angelo
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I consider the Dresden Files series to be a continuing masterpiece. Every single book in this series contains a densely-plotted and clever mystery, plus excellent characterizations, witty dialogue, endlessly fascinating rules of magic, and a sardonic hero whose observations have actually made me laugh out loud on several occasions. This latest book is no exception. I am especially pleased that the action in this series is serious and threatening without burying the reader in gore (as in Laurrell K. Hamilton's recent Anita Blake novels), and the sensuality depicted in this series never becomes explicit (also as in Laurrell K. Hamilton's recent Anita Blake novels).

For readers who crave good urban fantasy and liked the early Anita Blake novels, this series is of a similar flavour, but superior because of the intricate plotting and the welcome addition of humour. I do believe, however, that fans of mystery, general fantasy, and action-adventure will also be thrilled by this series. I guarantee that you will become addicted as soon as you read any one of them, though I would recommend starting from the first book in order to fully appreciate all of the returning characters in this, book nine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  302 reviews
78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't think Butcher could improve after "Dead Beat" April 4 2007
By R. Kyle - Published on Amazon.com
Sometimes, it's good to be wrong. Jim Butcher has more than earned hardcover publication for his "Dresden Files" series. In my opinion, "Dresden" is one of the best urban fantasy series around.

What to the casual eye looks like suicides of magical practitioners turns out to be a serial killer using the quote from Exodus, "Suffer Not a Witch to live," as a calling card. There are several practitioners dead and more missing. Worse, it's not just Chicago that's been hit.

When clues start piling up implicating Harry's younger brother, Thomas, who is a vampire of the White Court, Harry has to work hard to clear his brother's name.

"White Night" should have a warning--don't pick this book up unless you have several hours to devour it. Like most of the Dresden Files, I struggled with the impulse to read the book right now--or just a few pages at a time and savor it. Devouring won.

"White Night" is very tightly paced. You have very little time as a reader to contemplate what's going to happen. This is also one of Butcher's more intricate novels. He's definitely improving with each book. Kudos to him, his publisher and many fans would still read him for a long time if he didn't challenge himself--and us. In my opinion, Butcher has reached the point with the mystery and crime portion of the series that regular mystery readers would cross over to him.

Of course, the stable of characters is excellent. I still prefer the novelizations of the Dresden Files to the series--with one notable exception. Bob in the novel now seems 'flat' to me once I have seen Terrence Mann bringing Bob to life.

Overall, this is an excellent book by a writer who ages very well. Kudos to Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Slam April 3 2007
By Ruach V. Emess - Published on Amazon.com
I too obtained both my copy of White Knight AND my copy of the audio book of Summer Knight at I-CON. Those sweet ladies at the Buzzy Multimedia tables must have thought we were all a bit daft because we lined up on Friday before the convention was even official opened. I was able to get both autographed by Jim Butcher. He is as nice as he is smart and he is plenty smart :) Well that was Friday and by Saturday morning I was a bit bleary eyed but happy and then I started listening to Summer Knight. My God does James Marsters "get" Harry and he absolutely rocked with the voices of all the Fae folk.

On to the the review. As with all the Dresden Files books there are some fight/battle scenes that leave me breathless. I can feel the pain, the despair, the exhaustion as well as the on-the-fly tactics in addition to those well laid plans of mice and men. Love the way Jim Butcher not only comes up with characters that are interesting but has them evolve. He doesn't leave us hanging forever to see issues that were addressed a couple of books ago get resolved. I was a bit worried about the whole apprentice thing but Molly has grown on me and I have this feeling that she and Mister will be the best of friends. Good thing too, because although I adore Mouse, Mister seemed to have be sort of w-a-a-y in th background and I have a soft spot for Mister as well.

So if you haven't bought this book yet, hurry up. So what if it is a hard cover. Friends have a way of forgetting to return paper backs but I haven't had one forget about a hard cover ...yet. Plus you know they'll all be coming out in hardcover eventually and won't they look nice on the shelf ? As for by Dresden Files audio books, no one gets those on loan from me. They'll have to pry them out of my cold, dead fingers.

All Hail Jim Butcher !!! Hip, hip hooray !!!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead or Disappeared Sept. 20 2007
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
White Night (2007) is the ninth Urban Fantasy novel in the Dresden Files series, following Proven Guilty. In the previous volume, Harry fetched Molly Carpenter back from Arctis Tor, with a little help from his friends. He took her back to her family, but she decided to turn herself in to the White Council for violations of the Fourth Law.

At the trial, the Merlin arbitrarily convicted her of using black magic and sentenced her to death. Harry pointed out that the Gatekeeper hadn't yet cast his vote. Then Ebenezar McCoy arrived with survivors of the Warden training group accompanied by Molly's father Michael. Merlin reconsidered his verdict and Molly became Harry's apprentice.

In this novel, Sergeant Murphy has a probable suicide, but she rides a hunch and calls in Harry. He checks out the scene and casts a spell at a particular place on the wall. The notation "EXODUS 22:18" appears and Karrin knows the victim was murdered.

Suddenly, Murphy strikes out with a foot sweep and a young woman -- little more than a girl -- becomes visible and falls to the floor. Harry's apprentice Molly hasn't done as he told her and now she has a few bruises and pains to remind her to obey her master. Not that she is going to pay attention, but one more lesson won't hurt . . . much!

Harry does congratulate her on the invisibility spell, but points out that both he and Sergeant Murphy had noticed a few out-of-place sounds and smells. Molly needs to put in some extra practice, but she is improving. Molly goes home happy, but aching in several places.

In this story, Harry and Murphy find other victims around Chicago and elsewhere. Most of the Chicago victims belong to a witch group known as Ordo Lebes, which Dresden translates in his correspondence course Latin as "Order of the Big Pot". Karrin, however, suggests that a better interpretation would be "Order of the Cauldron". But one victim does not belong to this order.

Harry also discovers that one of the Ordo Lebes is Helen Beckitt, whom he has had problems with in the past. Although she cooperates with Harry and Murphy and doesn't even deny her prison record, Dresden just can't bring himself to trust her. When he discovers that she works for John Marcone, both Harry and Murphy become suspicious of her behavior.

Harry meets another old acquaintance on this case. Elaine had been his first girl, but they had parted after Harry killed their mentor. While the White Council ruled that the killing was in self-defense, Elaine was already gone. Yet she had not forgotten him and even followed his career path as a consulting wizard.

This story also has a minor side plot involving the fallen angel Lasciel. The shadow of Lasciel residing in his mind provides some useful services, such as translation of dead languages, but is still trying to seduce him to the evil side. It occurs to Harry that such seduction can go both ways and he treats "Lash" as an almost trusted friend. Some surprising changes occur.

While Harry doesn't really like being a Warden of the White Council, he hasn't considered it as a handicap. Then a mysterious Grey Cloak is noticed as somehow involved with the dead witches and everybody is afraid to tell Harry. And his brother Thomas is often observed with these victims shortly before their death or disappearances. Being an enforcer for the Council is bad enough without the paranormal community wondering whether you are responsible for these passings.

Highly recommended for Butcher fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of preternatural creatures, paranormal individuals, and strange happenings.

-Arthur W. Jordin
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read March 26 2007
By Cinnibar - Published on Amazon.com
Snagged an early copy of this one (and got it signed by the author) this weekend at ICON 2007. Started into it the next day and spent most of my time burning through it. Definitely hooked me.

I'm most impressed with the lack of drop-off that the more recent books have (have not?) had. Most longer series tend to stagnate and dry up, but there's definitely none of that in this one. Strongly recommended.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review for Newbies and Veterans: May 23 2007
By Kieran Mullen - Published on Amazon.com
If you have followed the saga of Harry Dresden then you will find this an excellent addition to the series. This book is very important to the background myth-arc, with real development among the characters and a clever resolution to a one or two plotlines. (IMHO such resolution is a very good thing.) The writing still snaps, and there are one or two set scenes that come off very well. Harry continues to grow, and is dealing with the conflict between his anti-authority nature and his inevitable development into an authority figure himself.

If you are new to the series, then this is *not* the place to start. Butcher's work is superior to a lot of that in the field in that his character actually goes through changes and learns things. He's a supernatural private detective that actually tries to think once in a while. Things start dark and get darker in the first few novels, and now the protagonist is growing and learning. The series has excellent supporting characters and tries to deal with the moral choices the hero is forced to make, and their consequences. Do yourself a favor and start at the beginning ("Storm Front") and follow the saga.
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