Death Masks Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Death Masks

Roc, August 2003, 6.99, 384 pp.
ISBN 0451459407

Two extremely competent female cat burglars steal the Shroud of Turin with all signs pointing towards the icon being taken to Chicago. Evidence suggests that Chicago mobster John Marcone is the intended buyer, but the church hopes to intercept the sacred artifact before it changes hands. Father Vincent works with the Chicago police but he also hopes to obtain the assistance of local wizard Harry Dresden, a private investigator who specializes in supernatural crimes.
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Harry agrees to take the case but it becomes more complicated when the Denarians also want the shroud. The Denarians are humans who chose to align themselves with the Fallen for immortality and innumerable power. They plan to use the artifact combined with some dark magic to create and spread a plague that will decimate much of the world's population. Harry and his allies, the Knights of the Cross, must stop the Denarians at all costs or Earth will undergo a tragedy more powerful than the Black Plague.

Jim Butcher has created a very powerful urban fantasy story set in modern day Chicago where the only “outed” wizard resides. Unlike many of his allies, who operate in a black and white world, Harry works in shades of pastels, never certain whether what he is doing is right or just expedient. It is that uncertainty that makes the hero a vulnerable lovable person. Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Mercedes Lackey will definitely want to read all five books in the Dresden Files.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Death Masks

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Tech./$$$/Info hunt    -   Yes Stealing/recovering/destroying    -   magical artifact Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Religious overtones?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   mage/magician Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Jim Butcher Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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