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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)

Featured Article: The Best Paranormal Book Series in Audio


For as long as humans have told stories, we have had a fascination with paranormal and supernatural forces. The folklore of just about every human culture is rife with stories that feature talking animals, shape-shifters, demons, witches, spirits, and more. Whether you're looking for a paranormal fantasy that will grip you with its action or romance with an otherworldly twist, these are some of our favorite paranormal audiobook series that you're sure to love.

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What listeners say about Dead Beat

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    4 out of 5 stars

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

12 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

25 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

16 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.

10 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.

8 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.

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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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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.

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Like Zombies and Wizards? Try this!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I've been hooked on this series since a friend recommended it. This is one of my favorites from the series thus far. Each of these stories can be read as stand alone, but are better appreciated when you listen to the series. (I started on book 3 and was fine.) This story has is one where Harry is put against necromancers.... It also has a lot of Bob the Skull (my favorite character.) Definitely worth a listen. . ..

What other book might you compare Dead Beat to and why?

This book is Harry potter meets, 40's detective story, meets evil dead.

Which character – as performed by James Marsters – was your favorite?

Bob the Skull.... James is very convincing as a performer for both men and women... But with Bob he uses his own accent and gets to be completely inappropriate. It always is a laugh.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Towards the end a method of transportation is awesome!

Any additional comments?

IF you're new to the series, I've been told book 3 is where to start... SO I started there... and may go back to 1 and 2 later on... CHECK IT OUT!

5 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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-16-21

A very cool experience!

I loved it! I don't know if it is my favourite, but I enjoyed walking on the street everyday with my headphones on, listening to how Dresden stops bad guys! I definitely want more of this series! Check it out if you like magic, well shaped characters, powerful villains, big challenges, lots of action and humour!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-11-21

Pure, high octane, balls to the walls fun

James marsters brings Harry to life once again in a masterful voice performance
Deadbeat is up there with the S-tier dresden books
Polka will never die

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  • Loui
  • 01-10-21

fabulous as always

I love this series and the narrator is perfect he really captures the characters personalities.
I've listened from the first book and cant wait to move on to the next.
highly recommended

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  • Lee Mc
  • 12-30-20

amazing story and perfectly told.

loved every moment of it, from beginning to end.

perfectly told by James Marster I can even picture him as Dresden and the story just keeps getting better and bigger while also maintaining a small presence.

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  • *Flora*
  • 12-08-20

Zombies Galore!

I'm devouring the books in this series; each one so far has held me gripped. The Dresden Files is becoming one of my favourite reads. The magic and paranormal abilities found in these books feel believable, real, as do the characters. They're multifaceted creations that have a credibility; with depth and layers to their personalities. Good or bad, light or dark is an illusion, the reality is a myriad shades of grey. Aside from Harry, I loved seeing Mouse play his part during this adventure. There are revelations in this book that took my breath away.

Dead Beat has all the aspects perfectly blended to create a gripping book. There's a great balance between the various building blocks of this story: Mystery, crime, thriller, horror, detective, and the paranormal. Jim Butcher blends the more brutal aspects with well-written humour, love, friendship and hope. This mix helps to keep the story from being too dark and heavy. Dead Beat also has a few surprises within its pages; things didn't happen as I'd guessed. I enjoyed trying to second guess what would happen next and how Harry would get out of the various deadly situations he inevitably found himself in.

As an audiobook, I found myself listening to it rather than doing my chores. James Marsters performance was amazing. The pace at which he read the narrative was appropriate for each scene, while the voices he gave to each character added another level of credibility to the dialogue. I feel that James has personified our protagonist. Bringing Harry to life in his narration of this series.

Dead Beat is a gripping book. However, it's part of an ongoing series so don't expect all the loose ends to be neatly tied up. There's no life-or-death cliffhanger at the end. However, although Harry may have won the battles in this book, we're left in no doubt that he'll need to face many more in the future. I for one, can't wait to find out what adventures Harry is forced to go on in the next book.

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  • Joni J Mielke
  • 10-14-20

Excellent

Another great audiobook in the series, which has gone up in my estimation recently. The audio quality is great, James Marsters is perfectly suited to the role of narrator, and Jim Butcher's writing has gone from strength to strength as the series progresses. I liked the way different characters were explored here, taking a break from other regulars that had featured in book 6. I look forward to the catching up on the rest of the series as it stands, and only wish I had enough credits to buy them now. Needless to say, I would highly recommend listening to this

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  • S wilby
  • 07-01-20

becoming predictable

i think i have listened to too many of these in row. As the series goes on it definatly getting darker, and slightly predictable. With the charactor of morgan becoming almost cartoonish in his persuit of finding Dresden guilty of anything. the narration was as always very good and entertaining.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-29-20

Just Fantastic...

I've read all of Jim Butcher's books (he is a masterful writer) and still find pleasure in hearing them via audio - easy entertainment while walking or doing chores.
Loved James narration of the story and am looking forward to the next book.

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  • Kaz Whymark
  • 03-23-20

Love 💖 Harry

Harry’s back fighting ghouls and demons in yet another brilliant story Highly recommend this awesome 😎 book for true fans of the Dresden file’s

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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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  • Anonymous User
  • 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.

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  • Damien
  • 06-12-16

Boop

I'll be honest, it was the thought of the narrator sitting there pretending to be an answering machine that pulled this one together.
Good story, not my favourite in the series but there are no downsides to it, good plot, well developed, engaging it probably just comes down to the fact that harry shies away from his magic a little, not entirely unwarranted to be honest. There probably is no less spellcasting to get out of tricky situations than any of the other books but Harry just seems weaker and less in control of his power, it was intended I think but it leaves a slightly dismal taste in the memory.

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  • Tonyo
  • 04-20-16

a good read like all the books in the series

the book is similar in style to all the Dresden stories but has enough new to make it worth the read