Review – Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files #8) by Jim Butcher

91474Harry Dresden, now a reluctant warden for the White Council, has to find out who is practicing black magic in his town of Chicago.  At the same time the Council wants him to talk to the Sidhe regarding their lack of action against the Red vamps.

Jim Butcher knows what works.  He keeps the stories interesting in each installment and the characters fresh.  Harry is a constant throughout as the MC but his supporting cast is switched up a little each time.  In Proven Guilty Harry is joined by his brother, the White Vamp, Thomas (who has his own problems managing his hunger and keeping a job to pay the bills.)  Karrin Murphy is back as the head of SI for Chicago PD.  Her conversation with Harry about their sexual tension is one of the best scenes in the book.  Charity, Michael’s wife, plays her largest role yet.  She still gets on my last nerve with her treatment of Harry but we do at least learn more about her reasoning.  Michael makes a couple of important appearances (with some foreshadowing that stopped my heart for a second.)  Ebenezer continues to show his loyalty to Harry and there is hope that they will finally make peace with each other.  And, lastly, Molly – Michael’s daughter.  Remember her?  She is part of the primary storyline here and I imagine an important character going forward.  I typically don’t enjoy stories that include teenage girls (I was one.  I know how horrible we can be.)  But, Butcher did a good job of showing a rebellious teenager who is someone you want to pull for.  The Fae, both winter and summer, are here in all their crazy glory.  And, yes, I do mean crazy.  The whole lot of them.

What I’ve realized is that Harry has more friends than he even realizes.  With all of those listed above, PG didn’t give us any updates on Butters, the wolves and so many more.  Butcher has built a world full of interesting characters that we want to know more about.  I can see why 15 books (and countless short stories) have been published and there is no end in sight.

One thing that I love about the Dresden stories is that Butcher does a great job of showing the gray in life.  Very few of the characters are purely good or bad.  They all are driven by something they feel strongly about.  The black magic storyline was a perfect example.  You can have the best of intentions yet do something that has unexpectedly horrible repercussions.  That’s why our world has rules and consequences for those that don’t follow them.

Each book continues to be a little bit darker than the one before it.  We can feel the story building to something big.  I cannot wait.

It’s not perfect but I am addicted at this point.  5/5 stars.

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