Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, takes on a case as a favor to his friend Thomas-a vampire of dubious integrity-only to become the prime suspect in a series of ghastly murders.
Blood Rites was my January audio book. I also had a paperback copy handy; I get so wrapped up listening to James Marsters voice that I tend to lose track of the story.
So in Blood Rites, Harry Dresden goes undercover on the set of an adult film. I was disappointed that Susan wasn’t in this story, but Harry’s friend, vampire Thomas, is all over this tale. I like the character of Thomas, who’s one flawed little puppy (he has a girlfriend he regularly feeds off of), but he feels badly about this. You can feel Thomas’ pain, even when you want to kick him in the ass.
Also figuring heavily in Blood Rites is Harry’s friend and sometime boss Lt. Karrin Murphy. Their relationship starts to heat up a bit, and I’m interested to see where Butcher takes this in subsequent stories. At one point in the story Murphy makes a comment, about Harry’s lack of family, that she realizes hurts him. The kick ass cop responds, “God, Harry, …I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry.” I read this and said, out loud, “cowabunga, Harry and Murph are having themselves a moment.”
Harry’s naturally attracted to, and wants to protect, women who can routinely kick ass and take no prisoners (even his own). Harry’s a male chauvinist, which I can find tiresome in some men, but it only adds to Harry’s depth as a character, at least in my opinion. Butcher is adept at creating characters that are burdened by their failings, but still sympathetic (at least to this bleeding-heart liberal). The relationship between Harry and Murph, so far, has been mutually snarky and contentious, with moments that I have perceived as vicious flirting–like they want to either kiss each other or beat each other to a pulp.
Blood Rites also provides some history, explaining the politics and pecking orders of the Red, White and Black Court vampires. We also get a chance to get a glimpse of Karrin Murphy’s family (explaining a lot about HER character), and learn some of Harry’s tragic family makeup (reminding me to thank my family very soon).
Jim Butcher does it again, ensuring that Dead Beat, book seven of The Dresden Files, is my February audio book (I also bought the paperback yesterday, thanks to Half Price Books).
I give Blood Rites 5 stars, *****, another corking good Harry Dresden tale.