Jim Butcher,
The Dresden Files #9: White Night
(Roc, 2007)

Jim Butcher has more than earned hardcover publication for his Dresden Files series. In my opinion, Dresden is one of the best urban fantasy series around.

What to the casual eye looks like suicides of magical practitioners turns out to be a serial killer using the quote from Exodus, "Suffer Not a Witch to Live," as a calling card. There are several practitioners dead and more missing. Worse, it's not just Chicago that's been hit.

When clues start piling up implicating Harry's younger brother, Thomas, who is a vampire of the White Court, Harry has to work hard to clear his brother's name.

White Night should have a warning -- don't pick this book up unless you have several hours to devour it. Like most of the Dresden Files, I struggled with the impulse to read the book right now -- or just a few pages at a time and savor it. Devouring won.

White Night is very tightly paced. You have very little time as a reader to contemplate what's going to happen. This is also one of Butcher's more intricate novels. He's definitely improving with each book. Kudos to him, his publisher and many fans would still read him for a long time if he didn't challenge himself -- and us. In my opinion, Butcher has reached the point with the mystery and crime portion of the series that regular mystery readers would cross over to him.

Of course, the stable of characters is excellent. I still prefer the novelizations of the Dresden Files to the series -- with one notable exception. Bob in the novel now seems flat to me once I have seen Terrence Mann bringing Bob to life.

Overall, this is an excellent book by a writer who ages very well. Kudos to Jim Butcher.

review by
Becky Kyle

29 November 2008

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