Death Masks by Jim Butcher

This entry is part [part not set] of 13 in the series The Dresden Files

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Five of the Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (August 5, 2003), Mass Market Paperback: 378 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0451459407, ISBN-13: 978-0451459404

There is non-stop action in this book from start to finish. This book starts with Harry about to go on TV but with Harry’s difficulties around electronic items this is a very dicey proposition. Needless to say this causes a lot of confusion and panic in the studio. One of the guests with Harry is a duke of the Red Court who challenges Harry to a duel. The outcome determining the end the war. Meanwhile the Vatican has hired Harry to find the stolen Shroud of Turin which was the burial cloth of Jesus and a very powerful magical artifact.  We also learn about the Denarians, which are humans that the fallen angels (evil creatures) use to wreck havoc on mankind.  Their hold on the humans comes from the silver Roman Denarius coin which the human holds.  There are 30 Denarians which were reported to be the 30 pieces of silver used to pay Judas to betray Jesus.

Death Masks is the fifth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 12 books in this series with book 13 due July 26, 2011.  He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to High Fantasy than the Dresden Files.  See my review of these books at The Dresden Files are considered Contempory Fantasy and sometimes are referred to as Urban Fantasy.  They can also fall into the Detective genre since Harry solves a case in each book. Each book is told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point on view as we follow him through his life while he is solving his current case

The action and intrigue never stop with Harry being pulled in many directions, including being responsible to save the world. Michael and the Knights are back and we find out a lot more about them. We meet all of them and a substantal amount of the book surrounds their story. We learn more about the world Harry operates in, specifically how the fallen angels inpact it. Susan also appears back in the story under mysterious circumstances. In addition to all of this Detective Karrin Murphy has Harry investigating a strange death in the morgue.  We also meet the Archive and her guardian.  The Archive is a special child who has all the knowledge of humankind stored within her, she is a magical being.

Harry has plenty of bad guys to elude and defeat, all coming from different directions. There are a number of twists and turns in this book. There is a pretty graphic sex scene in the book which was quite exciting to read. I really enjoyed this book. It was more than a complete story from start to finish, there were numerous plot lines but they all came to a satisfying conclusion at the end of the book.

I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  I highly recommend this book. If you enjoy reading a good detective story encasing paranormal activities with a strong, honourable hero then give this series a try.  However, you should read the books in order as the overall story does build even if each book is stand alone.

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One thought on “Death Masks by Jim Butcher”

  1. You’ll LOVE the rest of the series. Each Dresden Files book has got better and better, in my opinion.

    I can’t wait for the next Dresden Files book to come out… but unfortunately I’ll have to wait until March 2011!

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