By: Jim Butcher
Release Date: May 2nd, 2006
Publisher: Roc Books
Series: The Dresden Files
There are certain things that Harry Dresden cannot, and will not, abide by. Threatening his friends (in this case, Karrin Murphy) is one of them. Another, is necromancy. But, when his arm is twisted into finding the lost information on an old necromancy spell that could rip the world in half the blackmail on Murphy is too much and Harry must make a deal with what he feels may be the closest thing to the devil, a Black Court vampire named Mavra.
Harry does not like being blackmailed but, with Murphy’s reputation, job and freedom on the line he accepts it as best he can. Setting out to find the information for Mavra he ends up at the morgue and in the presence of Waldo Butters, the medical examiner who Murphy trusts and who is also already a little suspicious of the super-natural world having examined vampire corpses before and reporting that they were “human like” but asserting they were not human.
So, when a recently murdered and necromanced security guard busts into the morgue to try and attack Butters and Harry it’s the final straw. Harry, realizing there is no way out of it, tells Butters everything he can about the supernatural world in hopes of keeping the man informed, somewhat prepared and alive.
After the rescue of Butters Harry visits a book shop in the magical community where he meets Sheila, a helpful and intelligent employee who is able to help Harry locate certain information. As he leaves the shop Harry is attacked by necromancers and once again, barely gets away.
As with all Dresden books there is a lot of attacks, a lot of complex plot points and, to make matters even more complicated, involvement of necromancers isn’t all Harry has to deal with. Mavra’s involvement hangs over Harry’s head as well as the involvement of Gentleman Johnny Marcone, a member of the Order of the Blackened Denarius and even the Wardens.
We meet several villians but also a few allies in this novel including Carlos Ramirez and Anastasia Luccio, both Wardens and both instrumental in saving Harry and all of Chicago. I’ll say this, while Harry’s dog Mouse and his cat, Mister are my favorites (because, did I mention, I like animals more than people?) Carlos Remirez and Waldo Butters are close seconds. Their loyalty, sense of morality and general awesomeness (differing greatly between each character) make me glad that, seven books into the series, Harry and his friends are still fun to read about.
And, as with most of my reviews of books by Jim Butcher about Harry Dresden here is my favorite quote from the book.
“We are not going to die.”
Butters stared up at me, pale, his eyes terrified. “We’re not?”
“No. And do you know why?” He shook his head. “Because Thomas is too pretty to die. And because I’m too stubborn to die.” I hauled on the shirt even harder. “And most of all because tomorrow is Oktoberfest, Butters, and polka will never die.”
And with that, out of context portion I will leave you to hopefully go pick up your own copy of Dead Beat and enjoy the story as much as I did.