Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Fool Moon ch. 22-23

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Chapter 22

After being beaten to a pulp by Parker the lycanthrope and his goons, Harry wakes up duct-taped to a thing. Is it just me or has Harry been falling unconscious and waking up in new places a lot?

There was cold concrete floor beneath me. I was aching everywhere, and stiff. But there was something soft over me, a blanket, maybe. I wasn’t as cold as I might have been.

Well that’s nice of them.

I’m not entirely sure why Harry is still alive. If Parker needs to kill Harry to re-establish his dominance over his group then surely he should just be getting it over with. If he’s keeping Harry alive to prove his strength in a fair fight then the fact that Harry was severely injured and exhausted even before the lycanthrope beat-down kind of makes that impossible.

After all, it would be a real pity to die when I’d finally put tabs on who had gotten me into this mess-as well as who was responsible for the recent killings that couldn’t be attributed to MacFinn, and probably who had set him up as well

Naturally we don’t get to hear about this startling revelation ourselves. I’m not too familiar with the tropes of of the mystery genre but I know a certain breed of mystery fan tends to venerate the “fair play whodunnit” in which the reader is given all the same clues as the detective and is capable of theoretically solving the mystery early.

I guess this would technically count, as so far I don’t think we’ve had any of the clues hidden, but the fact that we’re not being clued into Harry’s thought processes in this one instance strikes me as lazy writing.

I was in the enemy’s stronghold, the Full Moon Garage. It was dim inside, and from what I could hear, it was still raining without.

It was still raining “without”?

I’ve said this before but Fool Moon really feels like something that was rushed to market in a way the first book wasn’t.

There was also a little stand with a mostly empty plastic bag of what I took to be blood, dripping down a plastic tube that vanished behind me, out of my sight, and presumably ended at my arm

I guess Parker’s going for that “fair fight” idea after all.

Harry also discovers that he’s woken from unconsciousness with his injuries bandaged and cleaned (just like the last time he woke from unconsciousness with his injuries bandaged and cleaned).

But that didn’t explain who had done this to me. Or why.

Harry are you even listening to me.

Without a circle, I couldn’t use any delicate magic to free myself-all I had access to was the kaboom sort of power, which, while great against nasty loup-garou and other monsters, isn’t much good for getting rid of several layers of duct tape resting within half an inch of my own tender skin. Magic was out.

So you can kill people with your hands bound behind your and no magical tools? Great, I guess Parker and his gang aren’t actually a problem then, just blow them all away with your kaboom magic.

Instead of using magic, Harry is going to employ the practical magician skills his dad apparently taught him (he’s named after Harry Houdini). After locating some loose tape near where the IV drip went in he manages to free his hands.

I ditched the IV needle while I was at it, imagining some deadly fluid flowing down the tube into my veins.

You mean like blood? Such as the blood you just saw going into the tube a second ago?

Just as he’s getting the tape off his legs Parker and another lycanthrope enter the room, so Harry throws the blanket back over himself and pretends to still be asleep.

“I still don’t get why we can’t just put a bullet in him and dump him,” said a harsh voice with no nasal tone at all-Flatnose.

“Stupid,” Parker growled, his voice like sandpaper. “One, we don’t do it without having the others here to see. And two, we don’t do it until Marcone’s had a chance to see him.”

INTRUIGE

We learn that Marcone swooped in and told Parker not to kill Harry just yet, but didn’t say why. Parker’s subordinate, “Flatnose”, wants to just kill Harry but after a brief scuffle Parker manages to get him to fall in line.

After Flatnose shuffles off Harry tries to antagonize Parker into letting his guard down so he can make a run for it, but instead Parker gets angry enough to try and cave Harry’s head in with a tire iron. Hey Harry, good thing you can use that kaboom magic you mentioned earlier, right? Right? Harry?

Chapter 23

Nope Marcone shows up instead.

There’s a bit of man-gurning where Parker is all furious and Marcone waves his henchman’s enormous gun in Parker’s face and it’s all very tedious so let’s just move on.

His eyes were the faded green of dollar bills

Jim Butcher must be really proud of this description because he wheels it out at least twice ever time Marcone is in a scene.

“A Harley MacFinn somehow discovered my personal number. He was quite irate. He said that he knew that it was me who had destroyed his circle and set him up, and that he was going to deal with me tonight.”

No not really, someone just told MacFinn that so he’d go after Marcone. I’m guessing either the FBI or Tera.

Marcone offers Harry the deal to be his bodyguard again, this time also adding that he’ll use his connections to protect Murphy’s job. Despite the fact that taking the deal and then just immediately stabbing Marcone in the back (possibly literally) is obviously the only sensible choice, Harry refuses. At least he decides to do some of that magic he mentioned earlier instead.

Using “strands of will” (I’ve already pointed out how nonsensical and contradictory the magic in this book is so I won’t bother doing it again) he tries to hurl a pile of tools at Marcone, Parker and the henchman with the big gun.

The tools jumped and rattled in place-and then fell still again.

Welp.

Luckily Parker realizes that Marcone is going to take Harry away before he can murder him and attacks. At the same time Flatnose tackles the henchman and all hell breaks loose. This whole bit is actually quite tense and well done as far as multiple different characters colliding in unexpected ways. In the middle of all the chaos Harry skedaddles out the door.

Agent Phillip Denton stood five feet away from me, in the cold mist of autumn rain.

Hi Denton!

Benn and some other dude are with him as well.

Benn, her dark skin even darker in the evening’s gloom and the glow of streetlights, her sensuous mouth peeling back into a startled snarl.

Harry the woman is probably going to try and murder you in five seconds, please put your boner back in your pants. Now is not the time to be noticing the sensuousness of her mouth.

Denton blinked in surprise, and then narrowed his intensely grey eyes. “The wizard mustn’t escape,” he said, his voice calm and precise. “Kill him.”

See I told you.

Harry un-skedaddles pack into the garage, but not before seeing the two FBI agents turn into MEGA WEREWOLVES.

But instead of drawing guns out of their jackets, they changed. It happened fast, nothing like you see in the movies. One moment, there were two human beings standing there, and the next there was a flicker of shadow and a pair of enormous, gaunt wolves, one the grey of Benn’s mane, one the same brown as Wilson’s receding hairline.

THE FBI AGENTS WERE ACTUALLY WEREWOLVES ALL ALONG

That’s…. interesting? I guess? I think this would have been more shocking if they weren’t so obviously dodgy from the start.

Denton stood between them, his eyes gleaming with some dark breed of joy, and then he hissed, throwing his hands toward me

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I’m now having some trouble taking Denton seriously.

Harry scrambles back into the garage just as the rest of Parker’s gang comes back and things proceed to go even more to hell in a handbasket then they were already. The only thing that would make this more fun is if Murphy showed up with an assault rifle and started putting caps in people’s heads.

All around me, in the garage, there were the sounds of gunshots and screams and thuds of flesh as the animals fought for control of the jungle,

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I like how Harry feels the need to summarize what’s going on at the end of every chapter, as if we’re not going to be paying enough attention.

CUE DRAMATIC ENDING LINE

Talk about frying pans and fires.

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7 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Fool Moon ch. 22-23

  1. Undine

    “Without” is actually correct usage in this case. It’s a bit archaic, so you can argue he’s being pretentious if you want, but it can correctly be used to mean “outside”. As in, “without” is the opposite of “within”.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Fool Moon ch. 24-25 | Doing In The Wizard

  3. Signatus

    I read somewhere that Jim Butcher tried to re-write Ghost Story from scratch upon seeing it was not what he expected. As a writer myself I empathize with him, as I’ve re-written a couple of texts myself when I realized what I had on first drafts was nothing like the finnished product (and it actually sucked).
    Apparently, his publishers didn’t let him and only allowed him enough time to make some fixes, which was a month or two.

    So, yeah, watching the frequency at which his books get published, it seems his publishers are over him, rushing him to get the job done fast. We might complain about RR Martin, mostly because each book is way worse than the previous, but at least he has enough time to do with it as he pleases.

    Anyways, one of the main issues with these books is how much they fall into cliches. The fact that the FBI are werewolves would have been way more interesting had they been collaborative with the Chicago Police Department from the start. However, the fact that they were shady and that their first entry ended up in a conflict with a police officer (not sure if Murphy is officer or not, don’t care much at this point), kind of ruined the surprise.
    Having like four different types of werewolves did not help either. It gets too messy at certain points.

    Reply
    1. ronanwills Post author

      Yeah my first reaction on the FBI transformation was “which type of werewolves are they? ” and then I realised I don’t actually care.

      Reply
      1. braak

        I guess it’s kind of neat that the Skull introduces four different kind of werewolves, and then it turns out that all four kinds of werewolves are involved in the mystery (however labored their inclusion).

        Reply
      2. Number27

        It is explained in painstaking detail, exactly what type of werewolves they are in the next few chapters.

        “But instead of drawing guns out of their jackets, they changed. It happened fast, nothing like you see in the movies.”

        This is funny. It’s not Butcher’s fault, since Twilight hadn’t come out when this was written (I think), but I think he’s long since used up any credit. The “fursplosion” style of werewolf transformation is now a lot more familiar to most people than the drawn out monster movie style.

        Reply
  4. Pingback: Let’s Read The Dresden Files: Fool Moon ch.21 | Doing In The Wizard

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