Turn Coat by Jim Butcher


FantasyParanormal Mystery

Turn Coat Turn CoatJim Butcher; Roc 2009WorldCatHarry Dresden knows Morgan is desperate when he shows up on Harry’s doorstep asking for refuge. Morgan dislikes Harry and has trouble trusting him. But now Morgan is badly wounded and wanted for a murder he didn’t commit. He comes to Harry knowing that Harry’s sense of justice will force Harry to accept him. Morgan is right. Harry takes the older Warden in, knowing that if any other Warden catches him, they’ll both be immediately executed.

Although Harry doesn’t like Morgan, he has a deep sense of the Warden’s responsibility and loyalty to the wizards’ White Council. Harry is certain that Morgan could not turn on the White Council or murder one of its members. He has about two days to find out who is responsible for the murder and prove that Morgan was framed. Harry has believed that a group of wizards he has nicknamed the Black Council are working within their own ranks to bring down the White Council and to let wizarding chaos rule. All of mankind would be in trouble if that happens. Harry believes a member of the Black Council set up the situation that made it look like Morgan killed a leading wizard.

Whoever is behind it is also trying to re-ignite the war between the White Council and the Vampire White Court. Harry approaches Lara, the head of the White Court in the Chicago area and explains what is happening. She agrees, and is willing to work with Harry to find the real traitor instead of Morgan.

Harry’s problems multiply when a skinwalker starts looking for Morgan. It is a beast from Native American country and is worst than anything Harry has encountered before. The skinwalker is connected with the scheme to frame Morgan and turn the White Council against itself. Soon Harry has enlisted the aid of the werewolves, his brother Thomas, the pixies, his apprentice Molly, and Karin Murphy, a Chicago police sergeant. He also hires a private detective to check areas where he can’t.

Harry has two days to convince the White Council that Morgan is not a traitor, defeat a supernatural evil force, rescue a kidnapped man, keep himself alive, and discover the real traitor. All in all, he’d rather be home with a good book and a cold beer…

I’ve heard Jim Butcher talk and know his plans for the Dresden Files. Turn Coat is book 11 of a 20 volume set, then is supposed to have a wind up trilogy – 23 books in all. Well, I’m ready for number 12. Turn Coat is another excellent installment in the series.

I’ll admit that despite the smart, enticing beginning, it took me a little bit to get into this novel. But by the end of the first quarter I wasn’t putting it down unless I had no choice. I really needed to sleep and go to work so I can afford the next novel when it comes out (unfortunately not until next year). Harry’s quick, smart aleck tongue gets him into trouble and pleases the reader. On the dust jacket there’s a quote from the Washington Times calling Dresden a cross between Spenser and Merlin. There’s another one from Entertainment Weekly that says Dresden is Philip Marlowe in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Both of those analogies are excellent descriptions of Harry Dresden. After listening to Butcher, there’s a lot of Jim Butcher in Harry as well. (If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, ask about how he started dating his wife.)

You know that Dresden will survive – there are still 12 more books featuring him. These books are told from his first person narrative viewpoint. But anyone around him is fair game. Some recurring characters die. Others are twisted away from Harry – at least for now. The twists and turns keep the reader on his/her/my toes.

I knew who the real traitor was from fairly early in the book so that part wasn’t suspenseful. I knew because of all the reading I do. There’s one character who quickly stands out as not being a part of the normal background. Yet Harry doesn’t know and even when he does he still has to be able to prove it. I couldn’t predict the turns and bends the story takes to get there. The journey, although violent, is fun.

The book and cold beer comment above? That’s what Harry is thinking when he’s in the middle of a battle with the traitor’s army, the skinwalker, powerful wizards, and vampires. That’s typical Harry Dresden. He keeps on fighting but can still crack wise.

Turn Coat is excellent. But if you haven’t read any of the Harry Dresden novels, go back and start with the first one, Storm Front. It’s better if you can follow the character development through the novels.

Notice:  Graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations

More books by Jim Butcher

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