• Dead Beat

  • The Dresden Files, Book 7
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (26,714 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's reputation, unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

Check out more Dresden Files.
©2006 Jim Butcher (P)2010 Penguin

Critic Reviews

"Butcher's latest maintains the momentum of previous Dresden outings and builds the suspense right up to a rousing conclusion." ( Booklist)

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What listeners say about Dead Beat

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Zombie t-rex. Enough said!

So, this audiobook was pretty epic. End review. No, but seriously there's Necromancers, a zombie t-rex, Harry gets a wizardly promotion, there's a weird love triangle going on, although I don't think anyone is actually getting any, Bob gets kidnapped, and then there's the whole Lasciel thing. I loved this installment to bits; there was action to the max, tons of future possibilities open up for this series, and I bow down to James Marsters' grasp of Dresden's character. Butters made for an awesome sidekick, and Mouse was something else too. Highly recommended! 4.5 Stars

16 people found this helpful

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I wish it was about 20 hours longer

Would you listen to Dead Beat again? Why?

Yeap. This book introduced Butters, a Chicago medical examiner, and a perfect foil to Dresden. Jim Butcher's books are always peppered with humor, but between Butters, the almost full-grown Mouse, and a third plot point (that I will not spoil) this book was one guffaw after another. Past Dresden books have been dark, with Harry just getting pummeled time and time again. Harry picks up some new bruises and sutures in this book too, but the whole tone of the story is lighter.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dead Beat?

Avoiding Spoliers: Right towards the end, when Harry finds the perfect weapon against the baddies. I rewound that scene twice before moving on with the rest of the book

29 people found this helpful

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Harry finally gets a little respect

If you're like me and have been reading this series in order, then you won't be disappointed by this installment. Harry finds himself in yet another peril of life and death, and finally gets recognized for his efforts. Thomas and the werewolves are back, with a few cameos here and there, but Harry finds a new alliance with Butters, a rather eccentric medical examiner. The story has the usual non-stop action, and Harry is forever fleeing and facing death. James Marsters does his usual excellent job of narration, bringing Harry and friends to life. I just can't say enough about this book, except don't miss out on it.

12 people found this helpful

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POLKA WILL NEVER DIE!



Absolutely brilliant book, the best in the series so far! Harry Dresdan is funnier than ever and becomes even more of a bad ass. Zombies, necromancers, animated dinosaurs, old and new enemies grace the pages of this book as Harry struggles to keep his friend Karrin Murphy's reputation safe. The book is unpredictable and ties together loose ends from previous books. Harry is learning to adapt to having and living with his brother, Thomas. He is adjusting to life with a crippled hand and is struggling to over come fears he is not even aware that he has. The war is still raging against the red court vampires and a terrible new threat has come to Chicago threatening to kill thousands. Action packed and full of Harry's wonderful friends with the new addition of Butters, the polka loving waif of a coroner that grows a back bone while hanging out with our hero.

I always make a point of listening to the Harry Dresdan books on audio because James Marsters does such a wonderful job with the narration and this book was no exception. Fantastic, I am already tempted to listen to it again.

12 people found this helpful

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Polka will never die!

A late addition to 'The Dresden Files' Audible lineup, this is one of my favorites of the series. In Dead Bead, Mr. Butcher fills out the character of Waldo Butters, who plays a major role in this story, gives us additional glimpes into Bob's dark history, and reintroduces us to some old friends...and enemies. The story is fast paced and exciting with Mr Marster's doing the usual fantastic job of caturing Dresden's emotional intensity. Dresden's resolution of the current crisis is, in a word, audacious! A credit worthy listen.

18 people found this helpful

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A little jumpy.

This books sets a weird pace. At first you think it’s about one story line then it jumps to another. Not a bad book in the series. The writer just seems like he had a hard time arranging his thoughts.

3 people found this helpful

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Minor League Dresden

The narration of James Marsters is wonderful and really helps make this audiobook lots of fun.

That being said, I find the overall book to be lacking in depth. Previous offerings, such as the Summer Knight were much stronger. I felt like this would have been better served as a short story to cut out many of the details that did not add value to the plot nor move the character of Dresden forward. I will continue to read these books because I find them to be enjoyable Leisure reading but do not find them to be much more than simple urban fantasy.

3 people found this helpful

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Problem with recording

In Chapter 30, around five minutes in, the recording is messed up. The sound cuts out mid-sentence and picks back up in a different spot.

3 people found this helpful

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Glad I Started This Series

When I started the Harry Dresden series, the stories were a bit thin and the production values were pretty poor. James Marsters' (I swear I only recognized him after starting the first book) performance was credible, but plagued with weird mispronunciations. Fast forward to book 7, Dead Beat, and things have improved. Quite a lot.

The writing has gotten sharper, even more organically witty. The plots improve by degree, but there's only so much one can do with this material; Butcher does quite a lot. And Marsters is downright brilliant. Some of my favorite narrators are weak on voice characterization; Marsters is a genius at it. If the occasional spell intonation seems overblown, you just accept it because ever other thing he says is pitch-perfect. This is not an exaggeration; if you think carefully about the text and Marsters' delivery, you'll see that his subtlety is pretty impressive... and effective.

So, to sum it up: the stories, though a bit on the genretastic side, are getting better. The writing is well past good. The narration leaves many perpetual favorites in the dust. I do recommend starting at the beginning, though. If you do, stick with it. I almost didn't, and that would have been a shame.

10 people found this helpful

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Somewhat disappointing, but (grr!) still worth it.

It might be just me, but it seems like the author didn't craft this story as carefully as he did in the preceding volumes. There are several weak plot points, in fact, and the entire story is considerably more predictable than before. The most disappointing part, however, is that Butcher made Dresden mess things up a few times too much for the book to be anything else but an annoying experience one can't wait to be over with. A couple of surprising near-awesome twists at the end of the story almost make up for the blunders made throughout this installment of the series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mr
  • 11-18-15

best audio book, and best narrator

Dresden files is the best series of books made for audio out there that I have found so far, and as I drive for a living and music puts me to sleep I have a huge library to chose from.

Mr Marsters unlike many narrators obviously has read the books before narrating them and enjoyed them, and this comes through as energy and emotion. Mr Marsters doesn't read these books, he performs them with great skill.

in short Dresden files rocks
Jim butcher rocks
and James marsters kicks backside.

more please.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sanda
  • 07-28-22

Dont dead open inside!

Another good one!
Sometimes i feel like i want more explanation to the magic and spells, but then i realize that this is not that kind of series and go with the flow.
I definitely had to focus more while listening to this book, because there's a lot of new characters and by the last hour i realized i had completely skipped over a character and had no idea who that was .so just..pay attention...there's a lot of necromancers roaming around. :)
James Marsters as Narrator must be a god of some sort.or must have made a dark ritual ... amazing talent! Thank You!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-22

Fab instalment

The pacing always throws me in these books.

However - you can’t resist James’s narration and how the stories conclude.

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  • Ian
  • 04-28-22

Brilliant once again.

Master's just keeps growing and growing into these book's and with the book's being as good as they are Masters and Butcher are the perfect fit.

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  • kieran
  • 04-12-22

just gets better

genuinely each book improves on the previous. The consistently best series I've read/listened to in a long time

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  • David Hesselfeldt-nielsen
  • 12-11-21

Sue rules

Sue is nothing short of awesome. The Book has suspence and action throughout. Also, Polka never dies.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-21

engaging, action packed, world building

this is, IMO, the best entry in the Dresden files series so far. the story was so fast paced, the characters are well build and the magis sistem detailed. a lot o new stuff about when world as agile and many tips for the future.
the narrator is increasengly good, with different voice for every character. it makes very easy to follow the story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-21

I love the story best one yet

The voice actor makes it all work. I have to say it would have no charm without him. Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Adrian
  • 06-08-21

Just Fantastic

This series just gets better and better, this has been my favourite book so far. There's so much to talk about but I'd rather leave surprises for future readers/listeners. The new characters are great, the enemies are great, Sue is great and Mouse is great

James Marsters has improved so much as a narrator, he's in his element. He is Harry Dresden

Jim Butcher has a fantastic mind for world building and has done such a great job with these books that the world of The Dresden Files is becoming my favourite fictional world

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  • angelahulme
  • 06-06-21

Another great book from Jim Butcher and James

This is another great book from the pen of him butcher and voice of James Marsters.

James manages to put so much emotion into Harry and the other characters that they are believable I don't normally like one person narrating lots of different characters because the voices seem to get mixed up but James is very good at distinguishing between each one.

As usual Harry takes a beating in various different falls from various different ghouls and Spooks.
I felt really sorry for Harry when he is tricked and to believe in somebody is what they are not.

Another great book and book 8 is now sat on my wishlist I can't wait to listen to that one too

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-20-22

Need a reality change?

Beautiful way to roll in another reality which seems necessary sometimes currently.
Get throughly immersed in someone else's crazy battles

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  • Harry
  • 07-13-21

Favourite So far

This was my favourite book of the series so far. Great pace.
I I I

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  • Jackson
  • 03-27-21

Dresden Kicks Off

Everyone always talks about how this series gets epic. Well this is the one where I felt it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-20

fantasic

just as brilliant as always. jim and James have done an outstanding job bringing this to life.

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  • lee desouza
  • 07-01-20

Best so far..

James Marsters is a fantastic narrator, I felt this performance was more fluid than some of his past efforts. I'm dedicated to hearing all of the Dresden files.

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  • Ben
  • 05-21-19

James Marsters is Harry Dresden.

I've enjoyed all of the Dresden Files to date in ebook form (waiting on the next one) and Mr Marsters' voice in now the one I hear when reading them again. He has increased his range of voices for different characters since doing Storm Front and now it can be easy to forget that it is a single narrator.
I particularly enjoyed the sequence with Sue (and that is as much as I'm going to say about it, those that know probably agree with me, those that don't are in for a treat).

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  • ChrisM
  • 10-21-18

Excellent audio-book

Beautifully narrated by James Masters, Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, is an enjoyable & exciting ride from start to finish. Enjoy! :-)

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  • Tony
  • 06-11-18

Favourite

Enjoying the Dresden Files. This is my favourite Harry Dresden book so far. 8 to go.

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  • Paul Rowan
  • 05-26-18

Polka will never die!

My favourite in an excellent series. Marsters does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life, even as the characters give life to rampant hoards of undead.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-18

Love this book!

Gotta love Dresden's snarky humour, and James Marsters voices him and all the other characters perfectly! 100% my favourite series, and this book is top 5 for sure.