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Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5)
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Death Masks (The Dresden Files #5)

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  83,575 Ratings  ·  2,260 Reviews
Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But now he's getting more than he bargained for:

A duel with the Red Court of Vampires' champion, 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...

A hand
Mass Market Paperback, Alternate cover for 9780451459404, 374 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by Roc (first published January 1st 2003)
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Tim Martoni It's best if you do. While each story contains its own mystery, Jim Butchers ties the previous books into each book so if you don't read them in…moreIt's best if you do. While each story contains its own mystery, Jim Butchers ties the previous books into each book so if you don't read them in order, you'll be very confused.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I mostly like this series. However, I'm certainly not a die hard "Dresdenite" from the Church of Harry. Dresden is NOT my literary BFF and, truth be told, spends far more time languishing under the heading OAA (Occasionally Annoying Acquaintance). I like the stories (so far), but that enjoyment comes with some mondo qualifications and some serious groans. However, before I rail against the main character's penchant for lame cheesy-flavored popCORNY, I'm going to begin with what I think are the
Will M.
What I noticed right away after reading the first few chapters would be that the series has a routine. It starts of with Harry complaining about his broke life, then a lover appears or a new villain. It's not a bad routine, on the contrary I actually enjoy it. Harry Dresden's life is really fascinating and adventure filled.

The plot tried to be more action packed but ended up on the mild side. The new enemies presented were quite interesting but honestly were all over the place. They weren't intr
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

Poor Harry Dresden.

You sweet, oddly sexy, powerful wizard. You just CAN'T catch a break!

I adore this series and I adore listening to it on audio. I think James Marsters just keeps getting better and better. I can hear a wider range of voices in this one than in the previous books, and he is so SO DAMN PERFECT as Harry Dresden. I could listen to these books all day, every day.

Interestingly, a lot is left hanging at the end of this book. I can't wait to see where the next few books take me!
Lindsey Rey
Jul 11, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
[4.5 Stars]
The best one yet!
Robin (Bridge Four)
Buddy at Buddies Books and Baubles with some Dresdanites

3.5 Who Else Could Want To Kill Harry Stars

Five books in and the world and characters keep expanding a little at a time. I enjoy reading this series to a certain extent but the thing is Harry isn’t the reason. Mostly I like all of the side characters more than him. Each doesn’t get a lot of page time but the glimpses I see of them…well usually the side character steals the show from Harry, at least for me.

It isn’t specifically Harry’s fault
Mike (the Paladin)
The story continues here and stays true to form.

The Dresden books are some of my favorite none, hands down. These are great brain candy. They're pure escapism, total Urban Fantasy fun, comic drama that do several things very well. Each novel tells it's own story making them individually readable and enjoyable while in the back ground evidence and details mount to tell a larger more involved tale.

Here we open up with Harry broke (not that unusual) and in a spot he isn't all that happ
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
My sister and I listened to this on Audiobook in the car. I had to return the CDs to the library, but fortunately, they had the Playaway, so we were able to finish this. I loved James Marsters' narration. He doesn't sound a thing like Spike and I'm glad. He showed a wonderful vocal range, and he really gave life to Harry Dresden for me. He's really fantastic at accents and different inflections. He does women voices without them sounding cheesy or falsetto (which is a huge thing for me). I think ...more
Jul 12, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reasons to read this book.

1. Harry Dresden is a believable character. He learns, he grows, but he does not gain a new power every book. In fact, he doesn't seem to gain any power in any of the books. He gains awareness and knowledge.

2. Susan is cool, but flawed like Harry. Love her.

3. Godfather with a helicopter.

4. One of the best love/sex scenes I have ever read. Butcher could write a good romance novel.

5. Good female detective who has smarts.

6. Vampires with bite.

7. Butcher knows his myth, le
Oct 11, 2016 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faye, la Patata
Pretty good stuff right here, but damn it, I wish Harry would stop being so helpless and foolish 80% of the time ;__; He's been "weak" in comparison to the challenges he has faced (at least he outsmarts them in other areas, and he has friends and connections to help him), so I've been hoping he could finally have a bloody level-up.
David Sven
Good pace, interesting plot elements, new nasties along with some old ones, and great audio narration by James Masters. I particularly enjoyed Marsters' Russian accent for Sanya. He has really expanded his repertoire of voices since book one and I’m digging it.

I do appreciate how Butcher keeps building on the existing lore of the series. We learn a bit more about Harry (view spoiler) We get some new secret organisations, The
I love Harry Dresden. He cracks me up! This guy is definitely a lovable loser. Everybody wants to kill him, and he's pretty much accepted that as his definition of normal.

"I get more threats before nine a.m. than most people get all day."

...the risk of imminent death just didn't hit me the same way it used to...

Susan asked, "Do you really think you can win?"
"Yeah. Hell, Ortega is only the third or fourth most disturbing thing I've tangled with today."
"But even if you do win, what does it change
Dec 14, 2015 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook

This was a reread of sorts for me, the little lady was at this point in the series is doing them on audiobook and we had a journey up to Edinburgh so decided to do it together. I was keen to hear James Marsters narrate and when I originally read this book I was on holiday in New England and my reading concentration was way down.

The story is interesting enough but it's not up in the top reaches of the series, in fact due to the stellar stories in this series this could be seen as one of the w
The reason why I enjoy Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series is that each book is jammed packed full of "stuff." What do I mean by "stuff?" It's all the creatures, magic, mythology, and action all thrown in one book. So much happens in this book and I can always count on Harry's unique way of deal with adversity (and adversaries). I think these books work because they capture the gritty world of city life and juxtapose it with the paranormal. Chicago makes such a great backdrop to this world.

In Dea
Aug 26, 2016 Manju rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star, 2013
EDIT: Enjoyed it way more this time as I knew how subtly Butcher dropped clues about Harry's past and future here and there.


Fifth book of the series. A new case and problems from the previous books to solve.

So Harry’s journey covers a dual challenge from vampire Ortega (red court battle), finding the stolen shroud (case), return of his half-vampire girlfriend Susan (surprise) and his fight with supernatural creatures (his usual stuff).

Michael made his came back in the book with other two kni
Best Dresden Yet. The people who told me that the series just keeps getting better and better were not lying. I loved this one.

So many different storylines converged here, and it was SO EXCITING! I seriously didn't want to put this one down.

That is all.

Wait, no... The only thing I think would have improved this book would be to scrap the recap of past books and the way the world in the series is. This is book 5... Pretty sure I get it that Harry's a wizard by now.

Otherwise, I seriously reall
Eon ♒Windrunner♒

I have heard regularly that Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series only really kicks off from the 3rd, 4th or 5th book, depending on the opinion giver, but damn! Book 5 really reached a whole new level of awesomeness when compared to its predecessors.

This book was action packed, funny, well written and kept me guessing as to how it all would end. What more could a reader ask for? Suffice it to say that I'm diving straight into the next one. In fact, I already paged to the first chapter bef
May 04, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, paranormal
This series continues to find interesting new ways for Harry to find trouble. He really just wants a quiet life investigating minor paranormal problems but the war between the White Council of wizards and the Red Court vampires is building up and on top of that a major religious artifact has been stolen and Harry has been hired to find it. There are some serious new bad guys - the Denarians, also looking for the religious artifact and happy to torture and kill anyone standing in their way. Harry ...more
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
Harry is back in the fifth installment of The Dresden Files and the stake seem higher than ever. He is commissioned by a priest to recover the missing Shroud of Turin, but on top of that, he is in a battle with the Red Court. The vampires still want to see him dead after what he did to the Red Court and a vampire named Ortega has challenged him to a duel to the death.

This was an interesting installment. I really enjoy Jim Butchers work and when I am in a slump reading I always find myself gravit
Duffy Pratt
Jun 09, 2015 Duffy Pratt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I keep hearing that these books turn the corner from being fun thrill rides that are easy to read, and into something with much deeper (or perhaps grander) scope. Maybe so, but this one was very much on the thrill ride side of things. That's not bad at all, and I enjoyed this book. But it still felt like really good popcorn. So, it was exactly what I was expecting. Except, I'm expecting these books to surpass my expectations at some point, and it didn't do that. (There's a nice paradox in there ...more
Executive Summary: To me this is where the series stops being so formulaic and starts to get really intersting. I really enjoyed re-visiting this one.

Audio book: James Marsters gets better with each book. His Russian and Japanese accents are enjoyable in this one.

Full Review
While the book still follows the format of Harry gets a case and mayhem ensues, we at least break from the mysterious attractive female bit.

Someone has stolen the Shroud of Turin, and apparently fled to Chicago with it. The
Wendy F
It gets harder and harder to review UF series, because I feel like I am just saying the same things over and over.

What I will say is, up to this point I wasn't sure what was wrong with me. Everyone, and I seriously mean everyone, goes on about how this is one of the best series out there. Well, previous to Death Masks, I didn't see it. It was enjoyable sure, good characters, nice plot, but I had read other UF series that ripped my guts out more. I think I just didn't connect to Harry the way I w
Oct 12, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Getting back to this series is ways fun. Harry as usual is back in trouble by no fault of his own, of course. A couple of new characters are added and his relationship with Michael deepens. The content may be of a religious nature but really was not at all about religion, but more about duty and good over evil. This addition to the series does not get tied up in a neat little bow at the end so we will probably be seeing these characters again, who now, have been added to Harry's ever growing lis ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Tania rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars. I love this series. It's fun, it's fast-paced and the world Jim Butcher created is amazing. I thought this installment was a bit more adult than the previous books. I definitely won't wait as long to start with the next in the series.

The story: Professional wizard Harry Dresden finds his life spiralling out of control when the Red Court of Vampires' champion sets out to kill him, professional hit men use him for target practice, the Shroud of Turin goes missing, he becomes involved in
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
I wasn't sold on the direction the love thread was taking, but after listening to this installment, I'm ALL IN. Same goes for the Knights; their holier-than-thou attitude would have tested my patience eventually, however in DEATH MASKS they demonstrate that they aren't 100% black or white either. The Archive was some freaky deaky sh*t which leads me to believe that Butcher has only dipped his big toe in this universe's scope. The punches kept on coming in book 5, and with so many secondary plots ...more
WHOA. Was this book awesome or what?! Previously I was just a casual Dresden Files-fan, I really liked the earlier books (Grave Peril, Fool Moon, Summer Knight, Storm Front), but I didn't outright loved them... Well, all that's changed now! From the very first page to the last one, this one got my attention hook-line-sinker. The book was action-packed, thrilling, suspenseful, mind-blowing, wildly humorous, and above all, had a great story. And what can I say about Harry Dresden, the ultimate wis ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book!!! If there is only one thing to say about this it would be that I loved this book. Each new chapter in the Dresden files have hooked me more and more, but this one (so far) is my favorite hands down.

In this book Harry Dresden has even more crap heaped on his plate. Not only does the Red Court of Vampires want him dead, he is tasked with the challenge of recovering the Shroud of Turin. In the midst of all that he is challenged to a duel to the death, he accepts because he is hop
Milo (Bane of Kings)
Dec 25, 2011 Milo (Bane of Kings) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orbit
Death Masks, as you’re aware by now, is the fifth instalment in the bestselling Dresden Files series. It’s the longest one-author-written series that I’ve reviewed on the blog so far, even with the fact that I’m only five books in and have reviewed only four of them, including this one. You’d think one would be tired of Harry Dresden, wizard Private Investigator by now, but no – Butcher manages to create new and enthralling challenges for Dresden, plus introducing one of the deadliest villains t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
I thought this was the best Dresden Files book in the series so far. Once again, Harry's life is plagued with a thousand things happening all at once. Gotta admire Jim Butcher's ability to establish all the action within the first few chapters and throw the reader right into it.

I'm really starting to like Harry. He was okay before, but frankly I was getting a little sick of him blaming himself all the time for every single little unfortunate event that befalls his friends. I'm glad he's finally
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Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resi ...more
More about Jim Butcher...

Other Books in the Series

The Dresden Files (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)
  • Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, #2)
  • Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)
  • Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4)
  • Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6)
  • Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7)
  • Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8)
  • White Night (The Dresden Files, #9)
  • Heorot (The Dresden Files, #9.3)
  • Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10)

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“Sleep is God. Go worship.” 487 likes
“So. You get handed a holy sword by an archangel, told to go fight the forces of evil, and you somehow remain an atheist. Is that what you're saying?” 312 likes
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