Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Turncoat Turncoat
by Jim Butcher

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith
Kevin Maclean

Again, we find Harry Dresden in a bit of a pickle. Warden Morgan was never Dresden’s friend, much the opposite in fact, and here he is, on Dresden’s doorstep, on the run from the other Wardens. He’s accused of murdering LaFortier, one of the wizards of the Senior Council, and the evidence is pretty damning. So Dresden sets about figuring out who set he up. Then the nasty Skinwalker turns up, and kidnaps Harry’s vampire half-brother Thomas, so he needs rescuing too. Oh, yes, the white vampires are in this one, up to their life-sucking elbows. Though it’s not entirely their fault. Not all of them at any rate.

This is a more cerebral book than most of the Dresden Files, although those who like their big magical showdowns will not be disappointed, because this one has a doozy. And so of course, the humour is definitely of the laugh out loud, and then read it out aloud to those around you material. Lines like "You’re in America now… Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other, and asking which you’d prefer," go down pretty well with the other mums at the swimming pool, and then you get to tell them about the Dresden Files and what a good read they are.

Frankly, the only thing wrong with this book was that I figured out who the traitor was early in the book, about when he was introduced, but it was altogether too many pages later before I got to learn exactly how he did it!

Jacqui Smith

This is a Harry Dresden book. If you don't know what that means, where have you been? It's number eleven in the series, but I'm about four behind, so it was a surprise to be able to drop right in to the latest without feeling like I'd missed something. I'd also forgotten that I wasn't going to be able to put the damn book down, unless you count collapsing around 6 a.m.

As usual, Harry has someone show up on his doorstep in need of help. The twist is, this time it's Morgan, the Warden who has spent most of the previous books looking for an excuse to execute him, and it's the White Council that are chasing him. And not just them – there's a very substantial bounty out for him from some other source.

Harry instantly concludes that Morgan must have been framed, because a self-righteous prig like Morgan would never betray the White Council. And Harry being Harry, he just can't let an innocent man get executed, no matter how much he dislikes him. Even if he's likely to get executed for helping him...

Scene set? Throw in a plot to start a war between the Council and the Vampire White Court, a big bad who is both very tough and very nasty, and Harry's usual complicated inter-personal relationships.

I strongly recommend this book. I also recommend that you don't plan on doing anything else between starting and finishing, because there's a good chance it won't happen.


Kevin Maclean

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