Monday, May 4, 2009

Review – “Turn Coat” by Jim Butcher

When it comes to the magical ruling body known as the White Council, Harry keeps his nose clean and his head down. For years, the council has held a death mark over Harry's head. He's still thought of as a black sheep by some—and as a sacrificial lamb by others But none regard him with more suspicion and disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules...Like Harry.

So when Morgan turns up asking for help, Harry isn't exactly eager to leap into action. Morgan has been accused of treason against the White Council—and there's only one final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, he wants his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog...Like Harry.

Now Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less than agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scru¬tiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head. Like Harry...
Chicago wizard Harry Dresden is back for his eleventh escapade in this very popular urban fantasy series. Jim Butcher likes to turn the tables once in awhile and he has accomplished that in Turn Coat. Harry’s long standing Council nemesis, Morgan shows up on his doorstep, half-dead, accused of murder and betrayal and looking for help. Although Harry and Morgan had reached an understanding in recent books, Morgan is still not on Harry’s friends list. But Harry is all about the truth and the underdog. Council politics demand that someone be brought to justice even if it is a scapegoat (and regardless of the truth) in order to show a determined and concerted front to their enemies.

Turn Coat is a very focused supernatural crime thriller, the central story never wavering from Harry’s search for the real murderer and traitor among the ranks of the Council. Turn Coat brings us a step closer to uncovering the existence of the supposedly mythical Black Council. More than previous novels in the series, this is almost a solo effort on Harry’s part, with minor assists from Molly, his brother and Murphy. Of course it never fails that Harry will encounter a number of new and formidable supernatural entities in the course of his investigations leaving him battered and bruised.

The abundant action and intrigue make Turn Coat one of the more rousing Dresden adventures of late, demonstrating that the series shows no signs of slowing down or losing energy. As always Butcher introduces some twists and turns, with a surprising outcome for both Harry’s brother and Morgan. Molly’s engaging character continues to grow on me and I wish Butcher would enlarge her role. Perhaps he will spin her off into her own series one day.

Turn Coat is sure to please Dresden fans and is a perfect introduction to the series for new readers. Less satisfying of course is the year long wait until Changes next April.

AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE Official Jim Butcher Website

Penguin Group/ROC
Published: April 2009
ISBN #: 9780451462565
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 418

Excerpt of the first five chapters.

Podcast with Jim Butcher about Turn Coat.

Podcast with Jim Butcher about future projects.

Harry Dresden Series:

  1. Storm Front (2000)
  2. Fool Moon (2001)
  3. Grave Peril (2001)
  4. Summer Knight (2002)
  5. Death Masks (2003)
  6. Blood Rites (2004)
  7. Dead Beat (2005)
  8. Proven Guilty (2006)
  9. White Night (2007)
  10. Small Favor (2008)
  11. Turn Coat (2009)
  12. Changes (April 2010)

Also coming is an Untitled Collected Anthology of Dresden Short Stories (Summer 2010)


  1. Doug,

    I love Harry Dresden. I have both Small Favor and Turn Coat on the TBR shelf. :) Looking forward to both.

    Thanks for the review.


  2. Loved the book though I was quite upset about...well, no spoilers to those who haven't read it yet. :)

    Changes? One of which is the single-worded title? :)

  3. Michelle you are lucky knowing you have two great Dresden books just waiting for you. Us that are caught up are tapping our toes impatiently.

    Pissenlit there were a couple of surprises this time around weren't there :)

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading Turn Coat. This is one of my favorite series.

    >>The abundant action and intrigue make >Turn Coat one of the more >rousing Dresden adventures of >late, demonstrating that the >series shows no signs of slowing >down or losing energy.

    That's exactly what I want to hear. ^_^
    Jim Butcher deserves a salute for maintaining the power of his series across the span of so many books.

  5. Keith I agree many authors with long-running series seem to falter or lose steam. Crossing fingers that Dresden remains strong until Butcher decides to end it on a high note.

  6. SciFiGuy - Yep, "couple of surprises" would describe it. Didn't see some of that coming and my mouth was left hanging open a few times. And I shake my fist at Butcher for making me yell out, "NooOoOooOOOOooOOooo!!" at one point...again, may I add because I distinctly recall doing that the last book as well. :D

  7. I really loved watching The Dresden Files on TV and I don't even think it comes on anymore =(

    I have Storm Front waiting to be read in my room and I'm very excited to start it =D I've read a short story in an anthology that had Harry in it and I totally loved it!

  8. Pissenlit I can't exactly call the endings to his stories cliff-hangers but he always introduces enough infuriating loose ends to guarantee I'll be waiting anxiously for the next one.

    Mishel you are soooo lucky because you have the entire series to look forward too. Sadly you are right the TV show was cancelled. I thought they did a fine job, especially Harry.


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