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Death Masks

The Dresden Files, Book 5
Written by: Jim Butcher
Narrated by: James Marsters
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 5
Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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. Recent examples: A duel with the lethal champion of the Red Court, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...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.
©2003 Jim Butcher (P)2009 Penguin Audiobooks

What listeners say about Death Masks

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

an inspired addition to the Dresden Files series

every time I read these books they turn out more enjoyable and more Adventure filled than the last. The Dresden Files have quickly become one of my most treasured series, and this book truly shouldn't be missed by any fan of fantasy novels.

the narrator James Marsters is to me at this point IS Harry Dresden, he adds so much character to the story that I truly can't see wanting to experience these Mysteries without him.

1 person found this helpful

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Magical adventure worth reading.

Harry has to juggle many elements to right wrongs and determine what he truly wants.

What can I say? It is another amazing magical thriller featuring the witty, sarcastic wizard, Harry. It is exciting, edge of your seat action with paranormal elements and an examination of humanity. It was so enjoyable, I can not wait until the next one.

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Butcher strikes again

loved it. if you're reading this you're far enough into the series that you know what to expect. and it delivers.

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Excellent story excellently read

The Dresden Files series continues to get better with this installment. Butcher continues to add interesting and engaging characters to keep the story fresh. Marsters gives another exceptional performance with different distinct voices for characters (with authentic accents) and even little touches like delivering dialogue as if his mouth is full when appropriate for the story. Will be picking up the next installment!

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No Chapters

Audiobook seems to lack any chapter subdivision the way the rest of the series does. Dunno why only this one is like this.

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still a solid listen, but...

all in all still a good story from Jim and a good edition to the Dresden files, but for some reason I felt the Vampire and the shroud plot lines didn't mesh well, while I do understand their separation it still felt jarring being in the middle of a hunt for the shroud and then immediately going off to deal with Vampire stuff. or conversely, making progress with Vampire stuff and then being sucked into a shroud hunt.

1 person found this helpful

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I adore this series! Great book but...

great book with the introduction of some amazing characters. The only thing I didn't like where are some seriously stupid mistakes the main character made.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan
  • 2010-01-03

The Series Really Gets Into Gear

Jim Butcher himself admits that the Dresden Files series, the first volume of which was a writing exercise in the creative writing class he was in, really starts coming into it's own in the third volume, Grave Peril. I agree with him, the first two books where really raw. They are worth reading, don't misunderstand, but they are nowhere near as good as the books which came later.

In Death Masks, I personally feel that Jim Butcher really gets things into full gear. His writing gets into full gear and he tones down on the overdriven amounts of battery and damage his hero must somehow survive to levels that someone might actually survive. That sort of thing. The plot is great and you can really see him bringing the series into maturity. It's great fun and tons of action, I strongly recommend both this book and the series!

34 people found this helpful

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  • Jim
  • 2009-11-12

Pick up the coin?

My only complaint about the Dresden series is the waiting for the next audio book to come out. Hells bells, I'd pick up the coin and become a "Nickle Head" if it would produce the next 2 books faster.

Oh, and FYI, the TV series does NOT do the books justice in the least. The TV Series did what "Highlander 2" did to the first movie. Judge not the Dresden series off of that!

31 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Penny
  • 2009-11-17

Each book is better than the last!

In Death Masks, Jim Butcher seems to have hit his stride as an author. After the first two books I wasn't sure, but I'm glad I came back. The Archive and Kincaid were interesting characters that I'd like to see more of in the future.

I rather miss James Marsters' deep manly breaths that were so frequent in the early books, but his narration in this book was top notch, especially his rendition of Father Vincent, the Italian priest. It's a good melding of author and narrator, in my opinion.

I hope book 6 is available soon!

17 people found this helpful

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  • Pam W
  • 2013-05-01

Another excellent episode!!

What a great series, and with James Marsters' narration, you can't go wrong.
This book was right up there with one of the best. A great cast of characters, hearing more from Susan, and that Thomas is a hoot. It had some surprise allies,( if only for awhile), adding to the book's charm.
Harry didn't have a chance to get bored, as bad guys kept popping up everywhere, in his quest to find the stolen shroud.
If you follow the series, don't miss this one.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karin W.
  • 2009-11-11

A must-hear for Dresden Files fans!

This is another fun installment in the Harry Dresden series, fast-paced with tremendous jeopardies, bittersweet romance, and Butcher's trademark humor.

The audiobook is wonderfully narrated by James Marsters, who not only gives Harry the perfect, slightly world-weary film noir detective voice, but also skillfully does a variety of accents for other characters, including Japanese, British, South American Spanish, and Russian (I loved the voice he did for Sonya, the Russian atheist Knight of the Cross.)

I'm looking forward to listening to the next books in this series--the audiobooks really make the Dresden Files come alive!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 2009-11-10

Note - They fixed the ending!

The last chapter has been added now, so purchase at will! It's a great book, and the reading is on par with everything else read by James Marsters. Enjoy!

10 people found this helpful

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  • A Voracious Reader
  • 2014-04-16

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!’”

9 people found this helpful

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  • Cliff
  • 2013-12-23

New cool villians

This book is where you really meet the Denairians. these are Demons who possess mortals through coins to do their evil work. In this one they are trying to steal the Shroud of Turin. You know that can't be good. reading this one you'll laugh a lot, cry a little and get a better understanding of the main characters.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher
  • 2009-11-10

FINAL CHAPTER HAS ARRIVED

Great book, per usual. Looking forward to 6 & 7.
As in title, final chapter is now included.

6 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 2013-03-26

Not the best Dresden, but still worthwhile

The backstory into Dresden's family and past adds some interest to a character that is slowly deepening over the course of these fun bubble gum buffyesque stories. James Marsters' performance is always entertaining.

2 people found this helpful