Blood Rites (Jim Butcher) book review

Love and family are important themes in the sixth book of The Dresden Files and are brought into sharp juxtaposition with the setting for much of the story: the set of a pornographic movie. Much of the action revolves around Harry tracking down the source of a curse that is killing several of the actresses in the production, while the White Court vampires show an unhealthy interest in what Harry is up to. The major beneficiary of all of this is Thomas, who gets a lot of time with Harry and becomes a much more complex and interesting character as a result.

The book begins in media res with Harry escaping from a burning building, pursued by demons. It’s very much a Bond-style teaser, mostly unrelated to the rest of the book, but it does provide an amusing way of Harry getting a dog, who he ends up calling Mouse. It also sends up the joke at the end of the book, where the punchline has to wait all the way until the seventh book, Dead Beat. It’s good to see that, after a number of books with fairly depressing endings, Harry actually comes out ahead.

Butcher constructs the story extremely well. The killer is identified fairly early in the piece (rather before the last chapter), but tracking the killer down and understanding the reasons and full story behind the killings? That takes the book to tell. All of this interweaves with a number of major revelations about Harry’s past. This isn’t one of the major “impact” books of the series, but it is a really good book, worth reading.

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