Book Review: Jim Butcher’s Proven Guilty

Posted January 17, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jim Butcher’s Proven Guilty

Proven Guilty


Jim Butcher

It is part of the The Dresden Files #8 series and is a urban fantasy in Hardcover edition that was published by ROC on February 6, 2007 and has 480 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mean Streets, Changes, Side Jobs, Ghost Story, Dark and Stormy Knights, Aftertaste, Hex Appeal, Welcome to the Jungle, Dangerous Women, Storm Front, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Fool Moon, Cold Days, Skin Game, Blood Rites, Death Masks, White Night, Small Favor, Shadowed Souls

Eighth in The Dresden Files urban fantasy series set in Chicago and revolving around a harried wizard. Dead Beat, 7, was last year. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the The Dresden Files books on my website.

My Take

It’s scary all right. There’s a traitor on the White Council and wizards are dying en masse. Worse, many wizards believe that traitor is Harry. Nothing like a little suspicion to amp up the tension! It gets worse when Molly gets involved in the trouble afflicting the convention. Evil forces are focused on Harry and Molly. Did I mention the tension? What about all the drama? Yep. Keep that defibrillator on call!

Nope, I don’t buy it. I know that Harry’s under a lot of pressure, but I can’t believe that Harry seriously believes that Ebenezar has betrayed his principles by being the Blackstaff. Any group needs an Enforcer, and Harry’s damn lucky that Ebenezar was that wizard! He probably wouldn’t be alive today if he weren’t.

Ooh, I’d forgotten about the Little Chicago in Harry’s sub-basement. When I think of the work involved in creating it . . . I’m glad I’m not doing it! And Harry asks Karrin the big question — about them! Karrin’s response provides all the “right” answers, dang it.

Whoa, major strife in the Carpenter household this past year! Teen versus Mom — guess who’s winning.

It’s those little details Butcher throws in that keeps it fun. Things like the Mickey Mouse alarm clock and the skull, his “pets” and living conditions, brrrrr. Really, I don’t know how Butcher manages to keep track of everything that’s going on.

The Story

It’s the execution of a guilty boy that has Harry up in arms. It’s bad enough killing a sixteen-year-old, especially when it’s necessary. It’s yet another to ignore the fact that magickal children are growing and having to figure it out on their own.

Meanwhile the war with the Red Court has slowed but is still a major threat to the Council, and the Sidhe refuse to go to war despite the provocations. Harry is tasked with finding out why. As well as finding the source of the black magic coursing through Chicago and bringing horror movie characters to life.

Just to spice things up, the forces of Hell are loose.

The Characters

Harry Dresden is a private investigator who hasn’t worked much in his day job as he’s doing more policing as a Warden. The Blue Beetle is his beat-up, multi-colored Volkswagen. Mister is his humongous cat while Mouse is his foo dog. Lasciel, a.k.a., the Temptress, a.k.a., the Webweaver, is the Denarian demon, a fallen angel, working on Harry to pick up that coin. Thomas is Harry’s half-brother and a White Court vampire. Bob is a spirit entity that resides in a human skull and functions as a database of magic. And he’s got a hard-on for romance novels, hubba-hubba . . .

Lieutenant Karrin Murphy is head of Special Investigations, a throwaway division of the Chicago PD where politically unwanted cops are exiled. She’s also one of Harry’s best friends and biggest supporter at the police station. Grayson. Officer Rawlins is guarding the crime scene at the convention. Sergeant John Stallings is part of her team at SI. Detective Sergeant Greene, a non-believer, is with Homicide. Rick is FBI, Murphy’s ex and current brother-in-law.

Michael Carpenter is a Knight of the Cross and carries Amoracchius, one of three in the world, and Harry is terrified of Michael finding out he possesses one of the denarii. Charity is his wife; their kids include Hope, little Harry, Amanda, Alicia, Matthew, and Daniel. Father Forthill is in charge at the church.

SplatterCon, a horror convention
Molly is Michael’s daughter. Nelson Lenhardt is her boyfriend and in trouble with the cops. Rosie is yet another friend. A pregnant one. Clark Pell owns a movie theater. Darby Crane is the “producer and director of horror films” and a guest of honor at SplatterCon. Lucius Glau is his personal assistant. Sandra Marling is the convention chair. Lydia Stern is a formidable reporter for the Midwestern Arcane yellow journal. She’ll challenge anyone.

The White Council of Wizards
The White Council is the governing body for the supernatural world on earth. Warden Luccio is technically in command while Morgan is second-in-command of the White Council’s Wardens (the Council’s policing arm) — and hates Harry. The Merlin, Arthur Langtry, is the leader and the strongest wizard on the planet and also hates Harry. Listens-to-Wind, Martha Liberty, Ebenezar McCoy, Ancient Mai, Rashid the Gatekeeper, and LaFortier are also on the Senior Council. Peabody is the Council’s secretary. Carlos Ramirez is one of the young Wardens, and a regional commander of the western United States.

Courts of Faerie
The Summer Knight is Fix, and he owes Harry, as does Lily, the new Summer Lady. Titania is the Summer Queen and doesn’t want Lily speaking to Harry. Lloyd Slate is still the Winter Knight, even if he is being tortured to death, over and over for the past four years. Maeve is the Winter Lady, and as vicious as Lily is sweet. Arctis Tor is the heart of Winter, Mab’s stronghold. Fetches are creatures of Winter and drawn to fear. The Leanansidhe is Harry’s godmother, and she’s being punished as well. The Erlking leads the Wild Hunt, and he wants Harry.

The Vampire Courts
The White Court vampires use misdirection and cat’s paws to inflict their brand of harm, and they draw sustenance through lust and a person’s energy. Madrigal Raith is definitely one of the bad boys of the Court and Thomas’ cousin. The Red Court is one of three vampire clans, and they hate Harry too. The Council is at war with them. Duchess Ariana is Paolo Ortega’s widow; she wants Harry bad.

McAnnally’s pub is a declared and acknowledged neutral zone run by Mac. The Sight is a way of looking and seeing the spiritual energies that course through our lives. Once seen, you can never unsee it. The Doom of Damocles is wizard probation. If the probationer abuses her (or his) magic, s/he will die along with her or his supervisor. Harry is still holding Fidelacchius for its wielder.

The Cover & Title

The cover is green, a green cast that is, as Harry strides down a dark and dirty alley toward a bar with its sign lit up and wearing his signature duster and wide-brimmed fedora, staff in hand — and glowing, eek!

I can’t decide if the title refers to Murphy or Molly, for as far as their “bosses” are concerned, both are Proven Guilty.