Turn Coat (Book 11)
In this book, Butcher tries his hand at murder mystery. He’s done it before, but never like this. This murder is so much more complicated than the murders in Storm Front. I have to say, as Butcher has progressed through the series, the books get incrementally more complicated as he goes until on this book there are so many variables in the air that when he brings them all to a head at the end, it’s completely mind-blowing. Reading this book is dizzying as you watch everything swirl around one man.
Morgan shows up at Dresden’s door bleeding from a dozen wounds. (Morgan being the warden who was responsible for lopping off Dresden’s head should he revert to using black magic.) He tells Dresden that he’s being chased by wardens, but that he’s innocent, and then promptly passes out on Dresden’s doorstep. Dresden learns that Morgan is accused of murdering one of the members of the Senior Council, though he believes Morgan is innocent. Dresden is tasked with finding the true murderer (who is also likely the traitor to the White Council), exposing them, and saving Morgan, all while trying to out run various and sundry very angry supernatural beings who want him dead and not in a nice way. (You know, the usual.)
While falling just short of mesmerizing, I certainly didn’t have any trouble devouring this book. The only thing that caused me any discomfort was the sheer number of variables. There are times where there are at least 10 malevolent forces at play. When they’re all in the game at the same time they’re fairly easy to keep track of. It’s when they’re coming at you rapid fire and you’re trying to hold in your mind what just happened before Dresden and Murphy get attacked by a collective consciousness that it gets a little complicated. However, that’s really more my failing than Butcher’s. If he could keep track of them so well that he tied the whole book up into a neat bundle, it’s my fault if my brain is like Swiss cheese and forgets what happened 15 pages ago.
I will say that Dresden shines in this book. You can start to tell that age is starting to wear him down. Well, age and constantly fighting the forces of evil, generally getting his ass kicked, and never getting a full night’s sleep. In some ways, Dresden is even more human than ever in this book. He seems to hurt more, but run faster. He has so much more to lose. He has Molly to take care of and Murphy to lean on, Thomas to come bail him out, Billy and Georgia to add some muscle in a tight spot. Dresden has surrounded himself with so many people that you can see how having a family has started to wear on him. He holds himself personally responsible for their safety and with so many people; it becomes a heavy burden to bear. However, as you already know, my favorite thing about Dresden is his tenacity. Despite the wear, his tenacity has only gotten stronger. It’s not that he takes threats personally. It’s that he’s no longer willing to let them stand. He’s no longer willing to let the bad guys get away at the end and he’s gotten to be pretty damn good at making sure the bad guys get his reckoning.
It’s a great read, which at this stage isn’t surprising at all. 4 ink bottles.