Last time: Park escape!
I stopped at the first gas station I could find, so I could take off my boots. Old and comfortable as they were, cowboy boots were not meant for running cross-country.
Cowboy boots aren’t meant for any setting that isn’t being a cowboy. Stop wearing cowboy boots.
(I am 100% certain Harry owns at least one katana)
Harry hangs around for an hour but MacFinn and Tera don’t appear.
Could both MacFinn and Tera West have been captured?
….. yes? Why is that hard to believe?
Harry decides to call his sultry vivacious media contact, Susan Rodriguez, who is sultry and vivacious and sultry. She’s freaked out because the police have been calling looking for Harry, but Harry hints that there might be a juicy story if she plays along with him and her tone immediately changes.
Gee I’ve never seen this stock archetype before.
I did, too, and leaned back against the wall. I hated to draw Susan into this. It made me feel cheap, somehow. Weak.
Is that because you don’t want a girl coming to rescue you?
It was that whole problem with chivalry that I had. I didn’t want a girl to be riding to my rescue, protecting me. It just didn’t seem right.
I swear to God I wrote that last line before I read this bit. I swear to God.
If there was a story involved, she’d go to hell itself to get it.
And I had used that against her, to lever her into helping me.
What exactly are you using against her? You explained the situation and she decided of her own volition to come and rescue you.
Harry hears a scrabbling sound that he thinks is a “signal” since it’s coming at regular intervals or whatever the fuck. A lot of stuff in this book is way more complicated than it needs to be.
It turns out it’s Tera!
She was naked,
Of course. Still haven’t gotten an explanation for why Kim was naked.
Her body is a “uniform brown” and her eyes look “alien and wild” so I guess this is her werewolf transformation? It makes her sound like a furry.
She moved with a feral sort of grace that made me all too aware of her legs, and her hips, even though I was battered, fatigued, and brooding.
For fuck’s sake Harry, go and have a wank already. You really seem to need it.
She demands Harry’s coat and he’s all regretful because now he can’t stare at her lithe, nude body (seriously) and then she tells him that MacFinn has been caught by the fuzz. I sure hope they’ve got him in a cell by the time the moon comes out.
There is nothing more to be done. We cannot reach him now. MacFinn will change when the moon rises. Murphy and the police people will die.
I can understand why Tera would feel this is totally cool, particularly as she’s not actually human and all that, but since MacFinn willingly endangered innocent people I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for him. Best case scenario is that Murphy shoots him, and then shoots Harry too for good measure.
Just then Susan and her sultriness arrive.
Raindrops were starting to come down and to make little impact circles on her Taurus’s windshield.
God this writing is so stilted
“There’s our ride,” I said. “Follow.”
Nobody actually says “follow”. Murphy was doing this with Harry earlier and it sounded super weird.
So let’s play a game here, who bets that Tera and Susan will start cat-fighting the second they lock eyes on each other, as all women in stories like this seem to do? I haven’t looked ahead and I’m guessing the answer is “yes”.
Susan turned in the seat and glowered at Tera, and I looked back to see Tera narrow her eyes and bare her teeth in what one could hardly say was a smile.
Anyway they manage to contain themselves long enough for Susan to start driving. Susan asks why Harry doesn’t just call Murphy and be like “hey Murph, werewolves” but of course Harry must perpetually not tell people things to facilitate the plot so he just says she wouldn’t listen. You could at least try, dude.
Harry has Murphy drive past his house because he needs something from his wizard basement, but it’s crawling with police. Tera volunteers to create a distraction and Harry does a bit more of his wait-she-might-be-the-killer-oh-but-that-doesn’t-make-much-sense thing. If this is supposed to be Harry’s detective instincts at work then it’s a really clumsy way of showing it.
So Tera’s plan is to strut nude in front of the police officers and they’ll all be super distracted by this. No, seriously.
Instead of answering, the amber-eyed woman stripped off my duster and handed it back to me, leaving herself nude and lovely under the rain. “Do you like to look at my body?” she demanded of me.
Okay I take it back: Jim Butcher is the one who needs to go and have a wank. Maybe fifty wanks. Just keep wanking Butcher, we’ll tell you when to stop.
(Hey that must be what his publisher says to him as well)
I’m a tad confused here about Tera, when Harry earlier said she’s “a uniform shade of brown” I took that to mean she had grown fur or something, but Susan doesn’t seem to notice anything unusual about her. If he just means Tera has brown skin, why specify that she’s “a uniform shade of brown”? I’m pretty sure he does actually just mean she has brown skin, but it’s an incredibly weird and awkwardly phrased sentence.
They were staring at the pool of light beneath the streetlight behind them, where Tera spun gracefully through the steps of some sort of gliding dance, moving to a rhythm and a music I could not hear. There was a primal sort of intensity to her motions, raw sexuality, feminine power coursing through her movements.
Ah yes, women’s power consists of The Sex while men’s power is all about mighty thews and blasting rods. I wonder if Harry is a fan of The Myth of Male Power.
Anyway, the police are duly distracted by Tera and her uniform shade of brown.
Her back arched as she spun and whirled, offering out her breasts to the chill rain, and her skin was slick and gleaming with water.
Yes, okay Butcher. We get it.
Harry grabs some stuff, including the two potions he made way back when, and heads out again.
“It worked,” I said. “We did it.”
“Of course it worked,” Tera said. “Men are foolish. They will stare at anything female and naked.”
“She’s got that right,” Susan said, under her breath
I wonder if this is Butcher doing that thing sexists like to do where they say “but I can’t be misogynistic, for you see I AM ACTUALLY A MISANDRIST” (hello Robert Jordan).
Harry goes to police HQ and pretends to be a janitor by wearing overalls and drinking a “blending potion”.
A sort of grey feeling came over me, and I realized with a start that the colors were fading from my vision. A sort of listless feeling came over me,
I wonder how many speed records Butcher broke while writing this.
The solid old matron of a sergeant sat at the front desk
Harry we already did this cliche with the male desk sergeant being a “warhorse” or whatever, we don’t need to see it again.
Sometimes, being able to use magic was so cool
Not as cool as being able to write well! You should try it some time.