Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

Dead Beat Cover

Review of audiobook

Dead Beat (The Dresden Files #7) by Jim Butcher

Reading Level: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: May 2, 2006
Publisher: Roc
Pages: 408 pages
Source: Purchase
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

This is Book 7 in the urban-fantasy series about Harry Dresden, a powerful wizard based in Chicago. Though the series is called, “The Dresden Files,” Harry has greatly evolved beyond this being an amusing, paranormal riff on old-fashioned, hard-boiled detective novels.

In this book, the start of Harry’s troubles happens when he’s contacted by Mavra, a Black Court vampire whom Harry assumed he’d killed in a previous book. She blackmails him into obtaining for her the “Word of Kemmler” by threatening to ruin his friend Murphy’s career as a police detective by passing on to her bosses some incriminating pictures of her seemingly murdering a man in cold blood. Mavra insists that Harry can’t tell anyone what he’s doing for her, which puts Harry in the position, for a great deal of this book, of being essentially on his own.

This book introduces a wonderful character, Waldo Butters, a doctor who works at the city morgue. This is one of my favorite of Harry’s friendships. I love the way Harry supports and strengthens Waldo, and the way Waldo comes through for Harry is wonderful.

We also see much more of Mouse, Harry’s dog, who is now enormous. There is also an expansion of Harry’s relationship with Thomas, the White Court vampire who is his half brother. Most fascinating of all is the development of Harry’s relationship with Lasciel, the Fallen Angel.

As always in this amazing urban fantasy series, the action is contiuous, with the thrills continually escalating.

Harry is a fabulous hero because he gets into trouble due to bravely and honorably riding to the rescue to help his friends, defend the downtrodden, or save the City of Chicago. The action in this book is contant with terrifying, supernatural villains, but Harry’s mental and emotional growth, as well as the expansion of his magical mojo, makes him more than able to rise to the challenge.

I have experienced this novel both in Kindle format and multiple times as an audiobook. The series continues to be narrated by actor James Marsters, best known for playing the character Spike, a platinum-blond, British vampire in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series Angel, between 1997 and 2004. Marsters alwayls delivers a stellar performance. He very capably portrays male and female characters of all ages and many different regional accents. He does a terrific job acting out all the parts.

I rate this book as follows:

Hero: 5

Subcharacters: 5

Worldbuilding: 5

Action-Adventure Plot: 5

Writing: 5

Audiobook Narration: 5

Overall: 5

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