Death Masks (Dresden Files Series #5)

Death Masks (Dresden Files Series #5)

by Jim Butcher

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The Dresden Files have taken the genre of paranormal mystery to a new level of action, excitement, and hard-hitting magical muscle. Now, in Death Masks, Jim Butcher’s smart-guy private eye may have taken on more than he can handle...

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But he also knows that whenever things are going good, the only way left for them to go is bad. Way bad. Such as:

• A duel with the lethal champion of the Red Court, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...
• Professional hit men using Harry for target practice...
• The missing Shroud of Turin—and the possible involvement of Chicago's most feared mob boss...
• A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified...

Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, who’s still struggling with her semi-vampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man in her life. Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451459404
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/05/2003
Series: Dresden Files Series
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 18,816
Product dimensions: 4.14(w) x 7.47(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A martial arts enthusiast whose résumé includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives mostly inside his own head so that he can write down the conversation of his imaginary friends, but his head can generally be found in Independence, Missouri. Jim is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera novels, and the Cinder Spires series, which began with The Aeronaut’s Windlass.

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Death Masks (Dresden Files Series #5) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 549 reviews.
amslogos More than 1 year ago
Each story of the Dresden Files follows the life of Harry Dresden, Chicago's very own professional Wizard. In a nutshell, Harry is a warrior-wizard who protects the citizenry of Chicago from vamps, zombies, demons, evil faeries (like his godmother...), trolls, and more, while flying under the radar of the White Council's grey-cloaked hit squad, the Wardens. But this is strictly pro-bono. He scrapes a living by presenting paranormal solutions for private cases of the weird and supernatural. He also serves Chicago PD by offering "consultant work" to Special Investigations (the force's answer to "unsolvable" paranormal crimes, populated by cops who are better at their jobs than their superiors [and, naturally, shunted into a Junk Job...]) while providing us with gut-busting wit. Genre buffs will enjoy salted allusions to Sci Fi culture icons. In Death Masks (#5), Harry teams up with the Holy Knights against the Fallen to save Chicago (and a good portion of the entire planet) from terrifying death. The story quickly evolves as Harry involuntarily destroys a TV talkshow studio, dodges bullets, works with the Vatican, and comes to grips with the fact that, sometimes, we are no match for our enemies and must lean on Faith. Psychotic nymphomaniacs, mute blood-servant henchmen, ravening animals, personal sacrifice, and an excellent scene involving a baseball bat keep you rooted to the toil and triumph of this Holy-Grail type tale.
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
The king of complicated, Chicago's only professional wizard is back in Butcher's fifth Dresden Files novel. Harry agrees to go on a paranormal talk show to meet a man who's been searching for Susan, his half-vampire love. But he gets more than he bargained for when all the other guests are there to meet him in a neutral public places as well. There's a count of the Red Court there to challenge Harry to a duel in an effort to end the war between the Red Court vampires and the White Counsel which rules the wizards. And there's also a priest from the Catholic Church who wants to hire Dresden to find the stolen Shroud of Turin. On the way out a hit man from Chicago's top mob boss tries to kill Harry, and Detective Murphy calls, wanting Harry to help out with a strange murder case. Harry's not alone though. Susan shows back up (and saves his skin a number of times) with half-vampire powers. And Michael is back, with the other sacred sword-wielding Knights of the Cross. The latter is an element that's done especially well as Butcher manages to take a world where fairies and werewolves and vampires are real and also write beautiful, strong Christian characters instead of flat, stereotypical antagonists wearing crosses. The Dresden books are quite popular, and despite being cautious in a urban fantasy-over run world, are very good as well. Dresden might have started out as a parody of UF, but Butcher's strength in complex storytelling and just as vivid and complex characters pushed this series up to a ringleader of the UF gang. It's also a fantastic addition in the sense that it brings a much needed male point of view to the genre, without excluding female characters as strong and capable on their own. Highly recommended for public collections as these books give back a great amount for their purchase price. Contains: violence, some gore, sex, language
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book and series, but the description on this ebook is wrong lol it's for a completely different book. It's for a series called the dark wolf trilogy.
AlVal More than 1 year ago
This is my second time through the Dresden Files and through this book. It has been a couple years since I last read it, and I still find it action packed and attention grabbing. If you like fantasy, action, and sleuthing, this is an excellent series.
AVoraciousReadr More than 1 year ago
Oh, Harry, how we love you. *Book source ~ Purchased at Audible. Harry Dresden, wizard and PI, is hired by Father Vincent to find the Shroud of Turin. Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing on Harry’s plate. The Red Court has sent Ortega to Chicago to kill Harry, either outright or in a duel. It’s Harry’s choice, but if he doesn’t agree to the duel then Ortega sees nothing wrong with killing anyone Harry cares about. Of course Harry agrees to the duel. All three of The Knights of the Cross are in town looking for the Shroud and trying to keep Harry away from it because they believe he will be killed, his girlfriend Susan is back, but not for the reason she tells Harry and the Denarians are also sniffing around Chicago. Poor Harry. When it rains, it pours. Guest reviewers: A ~ my 16-yr-old daughter T ~ my 14-yr-old son K ~ my 13-yr-old son Ok, there is a lot going on in this book, but everyone is still loving the series. Big surprise there. Not. :D The humor continues to entertain and is a big part of why this series is a favorite. The plot had several things going and we worried Harry would drop one or more of the balls he was juggling. With help he manages to not only stay alive, but return the Shroud to the Church. How could we have doubted him?? Everyone agreed that it was nice of Harry to give Marcone the ultimatum at the end and they didn’t doubt that Marcone would comply. New faces won approval: Kincaid, The Archive, Butters, Sanya, Shiro, Molly and even Ms. Gard. Old faces have returned: Bob, Susan, Murphy, Thomas, Michael, Marcone, Ebenezer (phone appearance) and Mac from McAnally’s. Oh, and Anna’s favorite…Mister. Can’t forget him. Some new faces were not liked such as Ortega (though we saw him very briefly in Grave Peril), all of the Denarians, but Nicodemus in particular and we’re on the fence about Martin. Everyone thought the duel was pretty cool and that Ortega was a liar liar pants on fire. They loved meeting the other two Knights and Ebenezer impressed the crap out of them with this little thing he did at the end. I won’t say what because that would spoil it, but it’s frickin awesome. The fight for the Shroud at the end was pretty good and what’s a helicopter swooping in to fight without Ride of the Valkyries playing? Which is actually a pretty funny inside joke that will come up in a later book. K & I laughed since we’ve read the books.  Favorite quote: “…The next time I opened my eyes, I was in the morgue. This, all by itself, is enough to really ruin your day. I was lying on the examination table, and Butters, complete with his surgical gown and his tray of autopsy instruments, stood over me. ‘I’m not dead!’ I sputtered. ‘I’m not dead!’”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one feels different from the rest of the series so far. Over the past couple of books, I've really enjoyed the support Harry has been getting from other characters. I liked seeing that he had back up in dealing with threats to the city. This time, it feels like Harry's the back up. Some of the threats he faces this time are a few steps above Harry in power. And while some of the returning characters from Harry's stable of allies seem to be able to step up their game to the level of the threat they're facing this time, Harry's kind of reduced to supporting them. The main character of the series isn't the main character of this story. Also, this one is the most open ended of the series so far. The case Harry is working on gets closed, but the threats introduced into the world don't get tied up like they have been in the previous books. Well, one of them may have been, but it's handled off screen, so there's no real confirmation beyond "news reports say no one could have survived". Otherwise, everything I've enjoyed about the series so far is still here. Butcher continues to add to the world he's been building for the past several books, and the sense of humor is still present.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much vengeance to be had!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of the Dresden books are great. Only complaint is that it’s been to long since a new one came out!
Rhinoa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wizard for hire Harry Dresden is back and things are as chaotic as ever. Firstly it seems someone has hired some goons to kill Harry of the human variety. He also has a noble from the Red Court of vampires to deal with who has issued him a challenge. He wants a duel to the death (preferably Harry's) to stop the war between the wizards White Council and the vampires Red Court. On the side Harry is also hired by a representative of the Vatican to retrieve the stolen Shroud of Turin which they believe is in California.With the arrival of his ex girlfriend Susan, Harry is torn in even more directions than usual. He gets help from Michael and some new Knights of the Cross as they encounter some of the Fallen. These are fallen angels who are working in tandem with humans that have been tempted by the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for betraying Christ. There is a lot of Christian symbolism, but Butcher still maintains that faith is the way rather than following a strict religion. Plus Detective Murphy is still on the scene, although in a diminished capacity in this book.Fast-paced and witty as always, this is a great addition to the series. I really enjoyed the story and meeting some new characters. The ending was particualrly interesting and I am looking forward to see where the series goes next.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harry's doing better for himself, and has got over his self-loathing. Which is lucky because some seriously bad-ass demons are on his case now, trying to use the Turin Shroud for major evil. On the plus side Susan comes back, still 'infected'. On the bad guys side, the Red Court are really quite pissed off with him. Fortunately more than one Knight of God carrying a magic sword is there to save Harry's arse again. Not my favourite in the series, the writing is better than the early books, but this plot doesn't quite hang together. It is even less complicated than the last book - no doubts as to who is on whose side. There are supposed to be several really seriously major bad demons, and they still can't manage to kill Harry. The sense of escalation of enemies book to book is getting faintly ridiculous. For the purists there is also a well written but kinky sex scene.After re-read:I think I prefered the less complicated plot this time around, and the writing is certainly less annoying than the early books. The inept enemies are still a major cause of annoyance though. Overal light hearted - some great one liners from Harry, fast and enjoyable. It leaves a few questions open regarding Harry's moral status.
edstan76 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is were things start really getting interesting for Harry Dresden. Susan is back in town and wants to talk. Michael shows up trying to protect Harry and with not one more but the two other Knights of the Cross Shiro and Sanya. And the Vatican wants Harry to find the missing Shroud of Turin. All the while Harry has to deal with the Duel from Duke Palo Ortega of the Red Court. And deal with some fallen demons called the Order of the Blackened Denarius. There are 30 of them to co-inside with 30 pieces of silver Judas was paid. Their goal is to bring about destruction by tempting human's to join them. Nicodemus is the leader of this plot to use a spell that brings about every disease. He needs the Shroud to do it. Also John Marcone wants the Shroud of Turin and no one knows why!This is a more straight forward plot. There are a few twists and turns but not as many as Fool Moon or Summer Knight. Harry is really starting to work better as a team and rely on other people aside from himself. Butcher also really turns up the humor on this one. Even in the most serious battles Harry and company are making jokes. Marcone even has one or two 1-liners. By now the series is really starting to come together. Though the reader and Harry still don't see the over reaching arch yet. Soon though! Keep reading and enjoy this. Nicodemus is probably one of the best villains in the series. And he will be back.
dswaddell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The three swords on the Knights are in town pursuing the Denarians...oh and they mean to start bringing about the apocolypse. On top of the the vamps are bringing in their best to kill Harry and the mob also wants the stolen shroud of turrin.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harry is up against some very bad demons, but he's not alone. He has the Knights of the Cross working with him. Again, I am so pleased with the way the author has written the character of these men. Thank you, Mr. Butcher. There were several points in this reading where I found it impossible to put down the book, even though I really should have been getting my sleep instead. I appreciate the pains the author is taking to round out the characters, and even though our credibility is stretched to the limit, it's O.K., because Harry is right there with us questioning some of the things we would question like the strength of the two thousand year old fabric. Very fun reading.
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harry Dresden, wizard, has a queue of people trying to kill him. First of all, there are the vampires of the Red Court, who used him as an excuse to start a war against all wizards. Then there is Marcone, a Chicago mob boss, whose thugs like to take aim at Dresden every so often. However, now a priest has arrived from Rome with disturbing news: the Shroud of Turin has been stolen. It's believed to be in Chicago. Humans aren't the only parties interested in the religious artifact, and soon Harry has an entirely new sort of nasty trying to kill him.Yet another solid read in an excellent series. Butcher keeps the suspense high, and it's fun how he braids all of the subplots together. I especially like how Marcone developed here. In the earliest books, he just came across as a high-class thug, but his portrayal is more nuanced. It was great to see other characters return as well, especially Michael.
Joybee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5th book of the series, Harry as all ways needs money. He takes a job to find a stolen religious artifact. Meanwhile he faces a duel against a powerful vampire of the red court, and his love interest Susan makes an appearance. This book follows along with the others, if you like the series you will like this. As always it made me laugh and even made me cry at some points. I highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers who enjoy an snarky protagonist who some how manages to survive against all odds, and some pretty vile antagonists.
tinLizzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
See review of book #1 the series - Storm Front.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love, love this series!Harry must fight a duel with a vampire, find the Shroud of Turin, break a spell causing people to catch the Black Death, and face a possible new boyfriend of Susan's. Entertaining and a fast-read.Recommended!
Aeyan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Something big happens. So much gets crammed into this book that I marvel it hasn't exploded gore across its fellows. And I do mean gore. Harry sure gets dirty: dealing with an impending duel with the Red Court Champion whose gentile surface has to be masking more than just his nasty vampire form, a contract to remove him from the playing field, and Susan coming back. And those are just the minor events. The major big bad is much more sinister and scary, and it really wants Harry to play with it
391 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harry's got a lot to deal with in this one - The Red Court has sent a pretty nasty vampire named Ortega after him, the Shroud (THAT Shroud) has gone missing, and The Order of the Blackened Denarius are in Chicago, torturing and mutilating everything that crosses their path. The plot and pacing are pretty good, though the ending was a little bit anticlimatic. This is, so far, one of the better Dresden books.
Pheonix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book five of the Dresden Files has got to be the best one so far. The series just gets better as you continue to read. This book saw the return of numerous characters and introduction of some new favourites and bad guys. The Dresden file books generally start out slow and pick up as you go. Once the plot is set and things start in motion you're on a wild ride with the supernatural and our hero, Wizard Harry Dresden. Jim Butcher has a special way of captivating his audience and locking you into the book. I have loved this series so far. I also have noticed that the fourth and fifth book had no spelling errors or grammatical ones that I caught, unlike the previous three and their sloppy editing. So it's a welcome change as I hate correcting errors as I am trying to read a story. It's irritating and it's not very professional of the publishing company, in this case, Penguin Books.This book is a definite 5/5 I can hardly wait to start book six today!
mzserena on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was far from one of my favorite books. In fact, it was painful to slog through at points Part of me is ready to give up on this series. I am disliking Harry more and more each book I read. He's turned into a simpering, sniveling, whine-ass and irritates me greatly. It's going to be a while before I attempt the next book of the series, I hate to say.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this a bit more than the last Dresden book. The plot felt more solid and easier to follow, though there still wasn¿t enough Murphy or Bob. I really like Murphy and Bob. I¿m not as big a fan of the Knights of the Cross and that whole side to the story. And I¿m hoping this whole vampires vs. wizards war ends soon, because it¿s really being dragged out. I like Harry best when he¿s trying to figure out a mystery rather than running for his life. I¿ll continue with the series, but I¿m definitely hoping for a sea change.
lithicbee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series just keeps getting better and better. In book five, the war between the Red Court vampires and the White Council wizards continues. Harry has to fight a duel and stave off the apocalypse. Susan's back, there are three Knights of the Cross to help Harry, and some truly bad-ass bad guys called the Denarians. This book rocked.
MaryWJ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love reading about Harry Dresden! I've been hopping all around the series, so know different things, but am always surprised by what happens. Harry seems like a good person to know
candlemark on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great romp by Jim Butcher. No one else can weave multiple action-packed storylines into a cohesive, can't-put-it-down whole like Butcher can, and Death Masks is a great example of that.The demons introduced in this book are fascinating, and the religious theory behind them - and those who fight them - is equally engaging. The political machinations touched off in the previous book, dealing with the war between the White Council and the Red Court, are elaborated on, and still manage to stay intriguing and beguiling, rather than taking a turn for the pedantic or expository.The paperback edition I read had some errors scattered throughout - the most egregious was that one instant, Harry was creating a shield without his bracelet focus, while a paragraph later, the missing bracelet burned him. Uh, guys, time for an editor to actually check these things...There was also a bit of a plot hole dealing with a barely mentioned but clearly powerful and somewhat important side character/hired hand...she appears, wreaks some havoc, and vanishes again, yet seems IMPORTANT somehow. I'm wondering if this was intentional, if she and/or her organization will turn up in a later book. I hope so, because otherwise it's a heck of an untied plot thread.Still, another rip-roaring Dresden adventure, complete with secondary characters who are every bit as compelling as Harry himself, if not more. Susan and Ebenezer are definitely two of my favourites in the series.