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Dead Beat

(The Dresden Files #7)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  118,162 ratings  ·  4,100 reviews
Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the 'everyday' world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in.

Luckily, however, he's not alone. Although most people don't believe in magic, the Chicago P.D. has a Special Investigations department, headed by his good friend Karrin M
Mass Market Paperback, 517 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Roc (first published May 3rd 2005)
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Rob Malcolm says in the campfire scene that he's allowed to contact Harry now because one of the Fallen has made direct contact with him (when "Sheila" ta…moreMalcolm says in the campfire scene that he's allowed to contact Harry now because one of the Fallen has made direct contact with him (when "Sheila" talks to Harry in the bookstore.) It's implied here but stated clearly in later books (this is a very, very minor spoiler that doesn't really give away anything important) that angels in the Dresdenverse are limited as to what they are allowed to do in that they can only "balance" things done by the "other side." This implies that, while Malcolm himself is not an angel, he appears to be working on their side at the moment. So, I would chalk up his manifestation in Harry's waking life as "angel stuff."(less)
Rob The theory primarily comes from Jim Butcher saying that time travel will, at some point, come into play in the books. Since the book is told from Harr…moreThe theory primarily comes from Jim Butcher saying that time travel will, at some point, come into play in the books. Since the book is told from Harry's point of view, the implication is that Harry himself will time travel. Thus, fans have been looking for places that might have already shown signs of future!Harry's activities. Since Cowl's true identity is one of the larger unresolved mysteries in the books, many fans have put the two together to say that Cowl IS future!Harry. Proponents can point to some minor clues that could theoretically point that way, but nothing remotely solid. Many people theorize he's someone else entirely, with just as much proof.(less)

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Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Polka will never die!" ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars

We human don’t deserve dogs, but how about Tyrannosaurus?

“Time after time, history demonstrates that when people don't want to believe something, they have enormous skills of ignoring it altogether.”

Dead Beat, the seventh book in The Dresden Files series, revolves around the race to attain the Word of Kemmler. The case was given by a killer vampire that threatens to destroy Karrin Murphy’s reputation unless Harry Dresden recovers the Word of Kemmler and all the power that
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”It could force you to keep secrets that people would kill you for knowing. It could change the way you think and feel. It could really screw up your life.”
“Screw up my life?” He stared at me for a second and then said, deadpan. “I’m a five-foot-three, thirty-seven-year-old, single, Jewish medical examiner who needs to pick up his lederhosen from the dry cleaners so that he can play in a one-man polka band at Oktoberfest tomorrow.” He pushed up his glasses with his forefinger, folded his arms, a
May 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, wizardry
Book Twenty-five

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

"Hell's Bells" count - 13

While I was on my long commute to work (not so bad, as it affords me more reading time), I wondered what the Harry Dresden from Storm Front would have made of the Harry Dresden from this book. I imagine he probably would have been scared. And to be honest, I don't think I would be able to blame him.

There's necromancy afoot in Chicago, and as much as he doesn't want to be, Harry is in the middle of all of it. He's been charged by on
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddnire and Dana Barrett all sit watching The Big Lebowski and discussing Jim Butcher’s 2005 Harry Dresden novel Dead Beat – the seventh novel in the series.

Venkman: We have to drink every time we hear an F-Bomb.

All drink.

Egon: Butcher has done another outstanding job explaining and expounding upon his paranormal universe, this time returning to many of the themes he explored in his third Dresden novel Grave Peril involving ghosts an
Daniel B.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
The one where it really starts to get good. Has several priceless scenes, especially in the last third, that had me re-reading this book. Best dinosaur scene ever.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

Harry Dresden fans, do you know you can get special Dresden character tea blends like this Butters one?? Just food, er, drink for thought.

Wonder what he tastes like. Corpses??

I'm 100% in love with the audiobooks for this series. James Marsters gets better and better with each book, and I'm addicted to listening to him narrate. His character vocal differentiation is improving with each story, and his inflections are spot on. He is amazing, really amazing.

In terms of plot, this one was pretty fr
TS Chan
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

The best book in the series so far, and this is saying a lot given that necromancy is not one of my favourite UF themes. Butcher managed to make necromancy more fascinating than usual by bringing in mysterious dark lore into the story. Moreover, he upped his character work yet again, both in Harry and a new favourite supporting character, Waldo Butters. I also loved that Mouse got a lot more screen-time in this instalment. The climactic action scene here was also one of the longest and
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Normals looked at me like I was insane when I told people I was a wizard. People who were in the know didn’t look at me like I was insane. They looked at me like I was insanely dangerous.”

Harry Dresden is set again to hit the streets of Chicago in this seventh installment of The Dresden Files. It’s amazing to me how Jim Butcher manages to make each story in this series just as fun much as all the previous stories, sometimes even more so. In Dead Beat, Harry is set with the task of t
Heidi The Reader
This entry in The Dresden Files has wizard Harry Dresden fighting necromancers to protect his friends and contemplating his own mortality. We also get to hang out with a few side characters and see a fascinating new side of Bob, who just happens to be one of my favorite characters in the whole series.

"Because that Kemmler was a certifiable nightmare," Bob said. ... That got my attention. Bob the skull was an air spirit, a being that existed in a world of knowledge without morality. He was fairly
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-read
If it hadn’t been for the positive reviews for Dead Beat and the later books in Jim Butcher‘s The Dresden Files series, I probably wouldn’t have read another book in the series after Blood Rites. I am so glad that I did!

Dead Beat feels like The Prisoner of Azkaban of The Dresden Files: things are getting darker; the stakes are higher; and there are several threads that are yet to be rounded off so it feels like it will only get worse before it gets better for Harry Dresden.

You have to like Butte
Lindsey Rey
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
This had one of the most creative and fun uses of magic I've ever seen without creating an entirely original magic system! Also some serious character development and story progression!! You rock, Jim Butcher! ...more
Alex Nieves
Apr 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full video review here: https://youtu.be/sVQRBT3rZqo

Another great Dresden book! I'm probably a broken record at this point but the series is excellent and people keep telling me that the next books are truly special. I loved how Harry felt the most damaged and sort of broken during moments of this one.

Everything going on with the White Council and the Red Court is super cool and that conflict has escalated significantly. I definitely see the scope of the story expanding and I'm excited to conti
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This seventh book in the Dresden Files series, took me on a roller coaster ride tread by many of the fans, yet managed to make the experience nearly pristine and virginal. The book was at first a slow starter, then became a precocious child, then became an overachiever, then, a late bloomer. The entire novel was the work of a workaholic, of that I'm sure.

The series follow a formula only in the broadest sense of the word. I wish to tell Jim Butcher to ditch his cliffhangers. I mean, by that, his
Lena K.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Polka will never die!

Such a stark comparison to the previous book. This one was the best I've read so far in the Dresden files. Sue killed it! Bob ruled. Butters is a hero. Thomas is fun. Harry is... well, Harry.
I missed Murphy in this one.

Over all, a great entry and I hope the next one will be just as good.
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
The chaotic events in his life may have Harry Dresden feeling Dead Beat...but his books have never been more energized!

As an accountant, when I have a bad day at work, it often means I spent hours poring through various mind-numbingly dull spreadsheets trying to rectify a discrepancy. Now here's Harry Dresden's version of a bad day at work. One of his most dangerous enemies has pictures that could destroy the life of Harry's closest friend and ally. In order to stop the evil vampire-sorceress Ma
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, read-in-2017
Polka will never die!

Jun 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
It's same old but at this point I'm used to it and at least I know what I get from each book and what I get is fun series if not good.

You can make a drinking game. Take a shot every time:

-There is fight near the beetle, it gets damaged and Dresden barely escapes in it.

-Dresden drools over some girl with graphic description of her curves

-There is deus ex machina rescue

by the book 4 you will probably be alcoholic but at least it will help with some more annoying parts of the series.

On the other ha
Israt Zaman Disha
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Son. Everyone dies alone. That's what it is. It's a door. It's one person wide. When you go through it, you do it alone. But it doesn't mean you've got to be alone before you go through the door. And believe me, you aren't alone on the other side.”

About this book, it's like any other book of Dresden Files just nastier. When you think things cannot get any worse, all hell break loose something happens to worsen everything. And I cannot help but be surprised at how much will Harry has and how fa
Wanda Pedersen
Best Dresden book so far! I approve of the zombie T. rex Sue and all the mayhem that she causes!

Harry, like any good noir detective, is a bit soft-headed when it comes to a dame. This gets him in trouble in every book and this one is no exception. His wry sense of humour helps him deal with the situations that his instinctive responses get him embroiled in.

At least in this installment, Harry gets to know members of the White Council better (and vice versa), finds out that he has fans among the y
Jan 16, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been critical and a little impatient at times with this series, but man Jim Butcher really busted out as an outstanding author on this bad boy!

From the beginning, there just seemed to be a brand new shine to Butcher’s writing style. The same old wonderful Harry Dresden with his hilarious off color comments throughout. Along with plenty of quirky lovable characters that may as well have come straight out of a Scooby Doo cartoon!

Butcher just upped his game big time. I absolutely loved ever
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a great time with my re-read of this book! I originally read this series years ago and enjoyed it so much that I decided to pick up the audiobooks to experience it all over again. I have been slowing working my way through the series for a second time often working a book into my reading schedule when I need a bit of a lift. This seemed like the perfect time for a little Harry Dresden and it proved to be a wonderful escape.

Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty much on-par with Blood Rites. I had a good time, though definitely felt that it was my second Dresden book in a row. I usually try to break them up because I end up feeling trapped if I read a whole series all together (I'm crazy I know), but even moreso with Harry's constant descriptions of his foibles as if he needs to describe them all to new people in the 7th installment of the series!

Other than that, I had lots of fun and a good break from vampires, which I've felt have been a bit ov
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
10/30/13: The one with lots of necromancers. Also the one where the series really solidly shifts into higher gear, in my opinion.

8/25/11: I noticed something about this character last night that I think speaks well of Butcher as a writer: he's managed to write a somewhat sexist character but not sexist books. It's not just because the character admits to being somewhat sexist, but because it's just the main character who has those views. The narrative and development of the supporting characters
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I was not sure whether with book deserves 3 or 4 stars until I was introduced to Butters and Sue. Thanks to Sue, the book has the most epic ending of all Dresden Files books so far; the rating jumped to 5 stars - the highest of all Dresden Files book for me.

It starts innocently enough. Mavra, a vampire from Black Court (think Dracula on steroids) who happened to be one of the most powerful Dresden's enemies made an offer to the only official wizard which cannot be refused: find the last book of
3.5 stars

It took me over two months to get this from the library; some punk had it and returned it over a month late.

“In the action business, when you don’t want to say you ran like a mouse, you call it ‘taking cover.’ It’s more heroic.”

The book begins on my birthday (cool, eh?) and ends on Halloween night: Harry has three days to prevent competing necromancers from using an obscure book to summon immense power that would kill thousands in the process, etc.

With necromancers comes …

… zombies!

Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic
Sue the dinozombie. 'Nuff said :) ...more
Faye, la Patata
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Did I say the last book was the best installment yet? I WAS OBVIOUSLY KIDDING. No, THIS books is the best installment yet. What is it about this series that just keeps getting better and better and better and better? I just adore how the stakes keep getting higher, and how our dear wizard Harry is always overcome with hurdles that even I am biting my nails in suspense, unsure if he'll even come out of it in one piece. And when he does overcome them in unconventional means, I can't help but sigh ...more
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
UPDATE: I'm rereading this series before the next book comes out next month. This has been a fun trip down Dresden road. I never noticed this before, but Harry seems to only know two spells and he uses them multiple times in each book. But no matter....I still love this series.


I have two GR friends who have said that this series gets better and better with each book. I believe that to be true because these books really do get better, probably because I
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Dead Beat - Dresden [April 18, 2022] 80 24 Jun 03, 2022 09:41AM  
Shut Up & Read: Dead Beat, by Jim Butcher 23 6 Feb 01, 2021 06:42PM  
Urban Fantasy Afi...: UFA Series Read 2020 - Dead Beat - May 12 - Jun 2 1 1 Oct 05, 2020 07:23AM  
Book Editions 1 3 Aug 13, 2020 11:23AM  
Play Book Tag: Dead Beat - Jim Butcher (4 stars) 4 12 Aug 07, 2020 06:23AM  
The Dresden Files...: Book 7: DEAD BEAT (No Spoilers) 1 32 Mar 16, 2020 06:54AM  
Play Book Tag: Dead Beat/Jim Butcher 4.5 stars 4 16 Mar 18, 2017 05:41PM  

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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

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)
  • Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5)
  • Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6)
  • Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8)
  • White Night (The Dresden Files, #9)
  • Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10)
  • Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11)

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“We are not going to die."

Butters stared up at me, pale, his eyes terrified. "We're not?"

"No. And do you know why?" He shook his head. "Because Thomas is too pretty to die. And because I'm too stubborn to die." I hauled on the shirt even harder. "And most of all because tomorrow is Oktoberfest, Butters, and polka will never die.”
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