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Literature: Turn Coat
Warning! All spoilers for previous books are unmarked on this page!

Harry's old rival/parole officer/overeager potential executioner Morgan appears on Harry's doorstep.

He's been accused of murder and treason but escaped the Wardens. Now his own men are after him.

The only way to clear Morgan's name is to find the real traitor on the White Council and expose them. Of course, Harry isn't exactly on friendly terms with most of the council, so if he's not careful, he's just going to end up getting killed right along with Morgan.

Have we mentioned how much he dislikes Morgan?

Turn Coat is book #11 in The Dresden Files. Has its own shout out page.


Turn Coat provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Advantage Ball: Harry is smart with the climax and actually sought a place to give him a better chance of winning. He choose the mysterious island from Small Favor and invoked Sanctum with it.
  • Affably Evil: Lara Raith describes herself as an "affable monster." Then she eats her cousin alive. Literally.
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Morgan has pined for Luccio for over two centuries. She never let it go beyond Teacher and Student.
    • Molly still pines for Harry.
    • Harry loves Luccio but she doesn't love him, not for the reasons with Morgan, but her mind was twisted and was forced to "love" him.
  • And This Is for...: During the final confrontation with the skinwalker, Harry punctuates each spell by yelling the name of a friend or family member that the villain has hurt, and uses the emotion from that name to fuel his spells.
  • Apparently Powerless Puppetmaster: The Council's secretary with his mind-controlling inks.
  • The Archmage:
    • Senior Council Listens-to-Winds battles a Skinwalker to the point it must run away to save its life.
    • Senior Council McCoy nearly kills Lara Raith by simply clenching his hand and Lara was lifted up and suffered a "force choking".
    • The Merlin and The Gatekeeper. The latter keeps back the mordite from assaulting the Senior Council while the former telepathically communicates with all in audience just what not to do if they wanted to live, complete with mental diagrams. All in the matter of a second.
  • Battle Couple: Will and Georgia double-team Madeline Raith and do some serious harm before accidentally drinking her blood takes them out of the fight.
  • Battle in the Rain: Much of the big battle near the end happens in the rain.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Luccio hates being called by the name "Stacy." Her name is Anastasia. Harry purposefully presses it to make sure she is her and not a shapeshifter.
    • Morgan quickly and effectively finds these for Molly, insulting Harry being a big one, for the purpose of seeing how she would react when pressed. Harry later calls her out for falling for such prodding and not ignoring the taunts.
    • Morgan has one pressed at the thought of Black Magic being used in any way to help show his innocence.
    • Madeline does not take Harry's comment -that Lara does more to arouse him just sitting in a chair than Madeline did in her whole entrance and influence she pushed on Harry- well. It nearly drives her to physically attack him for the insult.
    • Thomas hates those who threaten Justine.
    • Listens-To-Winds enters into Tranquil Fury when Harry asks how right can they be if Morgan is sacrificed for the greater good because the shaman had to refrain from helping when white settlers attacked a tribe he was supposed to protect because Council laws forbade him from interfering. He believes he chose who lived and died that day and will not bring up the similar situation if protecting Morgan causes a civil war.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The mole is dead and his brainwashed victims are found and on the long road to recovery, but the White Council lost not only Morgan but Senior Council member LaFortier by the mole's machinations. His replacement is suspected by Harry to be a new mole working for the Black Council. And Thomas appears to be broken by some extreme torture methods and is leaning towards evil now.
  • Book Ends: A subtle one, but the book begins with Harry saying, "I know what it feels like to have the Wardens on your ass for something you haven't done." The book ends with Morgan's dying words being, "I knew that you knew how it felt to be an innocent man hounded by the Wardens."
  • Boring, but Practical: The art of making circles and empowering them is one of the first lessons apprentice Wizards learn. It is a rather simple act but very efficient when dealing with a warlock who likes to summon creatures from Nevernever as cutting off the creature from surrounding energy sources banishes it.
  • Brainwashed:
    • Harry notes this as a possible reason why Morgan would have killed Senior Council member LaFortier, but McCoy claims it wouldn't be possible; Morgan being over a hundred years old means direct brainwashing is as impossible as bending an ancient willow tree. Of course, this didn't stop Peabody from subtly influencing members of the senior council by highlighting certain aspects of their personalities so they might do things they normally wouldn't.
    • Anastasia's much younger physical body (courtesy of the Corpsetaker) allowed Peabody to control her, as well as most of the wardens—younger wizards recruited after the events of Dead Beat). See Manchurian Agent below.
    • Peabody is revealed to have made extensive use of this.
  • Break the Cutie: Thomas Raith. He gets tortured physically, fed a bunch of women and tortured again. By the time Harry sees him again, he is in rotten shape and nearly rapes Molly to death.
  • Bring It: Harry says as much when he tells the Senior Council if they wish to try taking Morgan from him, he will gladly take them on.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Literally for the first part of it. Listens-to-Wind drives off the Skinwalker, but comes away from the fight with a broken arm.
  • Brown Note: Merely seeing the spiritual form of the skinwalker is enough to incapacitate Harry for a few hours. He adjusts to it, but since visions granted by second sight are never forgotten, it has left him permanently scarred.
  • Brutal Honesty: After Morgan wakes up in Harry's bed with his wounds bandaged and takes some water Harry offers, he begins to give Harry thanks when Harry cuts him off as he doubted either of them could stand any such sincerity when it is only happening out of basic hospitality. He would much rather be just plainly honest on the matter. Morgam said nothing but looked relieved.
  • The Butler Did It: The traitor in the White Council was not the Merlin, Ancient Mai, Listens-To-Wind or even Ebenezer. It was the secretary, clerk and all-around paper-pusher — in other words, the perfect guy to subvert, because he has access to all the information and can just fade into the background.
  • Call Back: Harry learned in White Night that it's a bad idea to call forth a light when a supernatural creature plunges an area in darkness.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • As it turns out, Morgan's Javierian attitudes towards Harry have become this. Any evidence the Merlin finds to prove his man's innocence would be seen as suspect, but with how Morgan hounded Harry, any evidence showing Morgan's innocence would be as good as a sign from God. Just before Harry gives his testimony at the trial, the Merlin makes it a point to remind everyone of Harry's relationship with Morgan.
    • When Harry went to Edinburgh the first time, he sees several Senior Council members with ink stained fingers from all the documents Peabody has them sign.
    • On that same trip, he meets some spider fae. They were sent there by the traitor to keep watch over the way and cause trouble.
    • In the end, McCoy writes in his diary about Demonreach's true purpose is something Harry doesn't know and how the Merlin is responding to Harry's connection to the island.
    • McCoy in the same diary entry brings up once more his deep feelings of trust in Maggie and her choice to go against him still hurting.
    • Wizard Rashid, who can see into the future tells Harry he will stop him from fighting the Senior Council now because it is not his time to face then.
    • For this book only, Butters warns Harry not to let Morgan try to walk because his femoral artery was nicked and needs time to heal so it doesn't rupture. Morgan dies of blood loss after running down the corridors at Edinburgh chasing the traitor.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Harry notes that the problem with a group like the Black Council is most of them are power-hungry self-serving bastards. They will surely betray their old allies to make good in the Black Council but at the same time will pull a Screw This, I'm Out of Here! and betray the Black Council if the winds are changing and helping Harry or other good guys will net them a better future. So, part of Harry's plot to draw out the traitor is making the traitor think there is one in the group willing to spill and since this is the traitor's mess to begin with, he will be punished if he cannot get things under control.
  • Civil War:
    • If the Mole's plan is successful, this is one of the most likely results because the Merlin's right hand man killed the one Senior Council member who cared about the African, Asian, and South American 3rd world country wizards. Those from those nations would respond with suspicion and anger, fracturing the council.
    • Senior Council Ancient Mai wants to avert the appearance of one once Lara Raith appears on the Island, and so halts her current issues with Harry Dresden's plot.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Harry is caught in the rain and is glad that the armor spells he put onto his leather duster also made it stain- and waterproof. He also notes that, despite being so tough and powerful, it still breathes and allows a good flow of oxygen, something not even the best coats manufactured by the best technology can accomplish. Afterwards, he smugly thinks about how magic has accomplished something that technology will probably never be able to equal.
    Sufficiently advanced, my ass.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • The Victim under Break the Cutie. Shagnasty kidnapped him, then proceeded to tear off strips of skin over and over, straining his vampire Healing Factor to its limit. Then he fed him someone and started the whole thing over again. The point was to get him to give up on his attempts at being a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire.
    • More a case of hot-blooded torture, but it certainly wasn't necessary for Lara to meticulously disembowel Madeline alive while feeding on her. She just wanted her cousin's death to be agonizing as well as ecstatic.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • In the past, Morgan was up against a Skinwalker. Not only are the monsters insanely tough in general, they consume magic making them that much harder to vanquish back to their domains. Lacking the knowledge of the proper Native American tribes to call on the proper ritual, Morgan lured it to an area that was about to be a test spot for an A-bomb. He just stepped through to Nevernever before it hit.
    • Binder knows he could not handle Harry in a straight-up duel. So if he found Harry stashed Morgan inside his home, Binder would just toss a fire bomb to force Dresden and Morgan out and then kill them.
    • Luccio notes planting bombs or anti-personal mines are some of the best ways to handle practitioner from a distance.
  • Consummate Liar/The Fool: Wizard Rashid, the Gatekeepr takes a few moments to consider which of these Harry is when noting not only all the dangerous and crazy things that have happened in the past ten years, like the Shadowman, FBI with werewolf belts, an unbalanced Aurora, but in some of the most serious ones, Harry was directly involved, like Aurora, working closely with White Court vampires to stop coups, the rumor that two of the world most powerful swords are in the custody of a wizard who doesn't have much in the matter of faith. So either Harry was behind them and is lying about his good intentions now or he really is that unlucky. Harry, being Harry, gives a thumbs up and said, "Dude." This caught the questioner off guard and started laughing before choosing the later as the better fit.
  • Cool Car: Lara Raith's Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith leads to a few expressions of pure awe. The power of this car is such that it alone gives Harry hope. As he finds out that his harboring of Morgan has been tipped off to the Wardens, another character points out that this car is far too cool for Harry to die in. Murphy agrees.
  • Could Say It But: Vince Graver refuses to tell Harry about his clients. When Molly goes at him with a tight shirt with no bra on, Vince is "kind enough" to offer her some job-hunting advice, specifically the suggestion of being a paralegal at the firm who hired him and gives her the card his boss gave him.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Harry realizes the group from the Senior Council thinks he is this with all the big name forces he has taken down or survived fighting against. Things that few others would have survived just one of these and Harry came out on top on each one, such as killing a Fae Queen, twice fought Nicodemus and lived, and the whole matter of riding a dinosaur to beat up some necromancers. Hence the multiple Wardens as back up to the Senior Council as they don't want to take any chances when dealing with Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: McCoy makes it clear as day to Lara Raith he could kill her with little effort and she couldn't stop him.
  • Cycle of Revenge/Feuding Families: Luccio notes that one of the things the White Council does is nip these disasters in the bud. But if not for the strict adherence to the Laws of Magic, both could cause massive devastation to the world, and that isn't factoring in the fact wizards can live for centuries and have magic. Muggle versions of these are dangerous and destructive enough.
  • David Versus Goliath: Toot-Toot. As a tiny fairy, he doesn't have anywhere near the level of power as the skinwalker, but with his trusty box cutter, he successfully makes the ancient evil knows pain until help can arrive to save him and Harry.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: To gain an edge in his final battle plan, Harry plans on making a contract with an Eldritch Location. The challenge presented to Harry once he got the island's attention was a blow-for-blow elemental "punching match", so fire against fire with a little dash of Soulfire boosting Harry's attacks.
    Harry: I punched it in the nose. Now we're friends.
  • Defiant to the End: Harry isn't sure how defiant he looked with only one visible eye, but he certainly tried to be as the Skinwalker tried to scare him with what he did to Thomas and how Molly was likely to be killed by Thomas. Harry just stared and planned on using his Death Curse to hurt the bastard.
  • Deprogram: Though the ways done aren't seen, those who became Manchurian Agents go though this at the end of the book with the help of the Merlin, Rashid, and Listens-to-Wind.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Vince Graver is something Harry didn't expect: A man of principal. So while he will stop working for a client who is doing something illegal or dangerous, he won't betray them either, because he isn't an informer. When this situation is told to Morgan, the old man nods and says that this is a "[p]retty rare problem."
    • The young apprentice working the phones for the White Council nearly fainted from shock and horror when Harry recited his message to her.
    • The Gatekeeper didn't foresee Harry making a pact with Demonreach.
    • Ancient Mai didn't see McCoy keeping out of trying to forcibly arrest Dresden, or Harry having an honest-to-Buddha Foo dog vouch for his evidence.
    • The Skinwalker did not expect to face Harry whipping out Soulfire against him, being connected to Demonreach so his veils were useless (when he was on the ground), Toot-toot slicing up his back with a box knife, and lastly Listens-to-Winds being able to fight it into retreating.
    • The traitor didn't foresee Harry using Mouse and a mundane investigator to watch the Way to Chicago.
  • Elemental Powers: Demonreach, as part of his challenge for Harry to prove himself, puts Harry in a dual of these. Harry adds Soulfire to each of his attacks as a means of proving himself.
    • Blow You Away: The first attack by the challenged. Harry endured the wind. Harry blasts back with his own Wind but only blew Demonreach's cloak back.
    • Dishing Out Dirt: The second attack by the challenged. Harry felt the earth crack beneath him and earth splinters shoot him in the legs and back. Thankfully, no Groin Attack. Harry literally drops the earth under Demonreach's manifestation in a sinkhole. It continued to maintain its place in midair.
    • Playing with Fire: A lance of flame shot at Harry. Harry drew water from the island and protected himself. Then he blasted Demonreach with fire before the spirit could act. Harry moved it back a half-an-inch.
  • Doctor's Orders: Butters is called in to stitch up Morgan at the beginning. While Morgan doesn't see him, he hears Butter's orders by proxy with Harry and Mouse puts his heavy head on Morgan to make sure he kept down.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • While at Lara's house, Lara teams up with Harry and Luccio to fight the attacking Shagnasty.
    • While it started off as a Mexican Standoff, Harry planned for this to be the result between himself and friends, Lara Raith's forces, and the arriving Senior Council and the Wardens to fight against Shagnasty and its allies. It works.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: No one in the Senior Council ever suspected Secretary Peabody as the mole and the damage he had done to the Council before he was found out.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Harry knows Lara is a treacherous bitch. But when she gives her word she will keep it. Granted, she might look for a loophole and will use the situation to advance her position as much she can, but she will keep her word.
    • Within the White Court, there are rules and protocols against poaching another vampire's meal. Madeline thrusting herself on Justine and telling her how she would bring in a guy for Justine to sleep with just so Madeline could take her was more than enough justification for Thomas to break a metal chair on Madeline.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Or raccoon. One of the ways Listens-to-Winds gets a read on people is how his animals, like Little Brother from Summer Knight takes to people. Apparently, he liked Harry.
  • Exact Words:
    • Mab promised Wizards could use her territory to move about on. She never said they would go without being accosted. So, if some fae was on the path at the same time, friendly behavior was not always to be expected.
    • Titania agreed to cloak Morgan himself from being tracked by magical means. The Silver Oak leaf from the Summer Court he wears was not covered.
    • McCoy tells Mai and Listens-to-Winds he is assisting them by telling them to not try and forcibly arrest Harry because he knows the type of man Harry is and sees such an action as a dangerous one. Hence him not helping detain Harry.
  • Exposition Beam: The Merlin manages to telepathically communicate an entire defensive plan (with images) to the White Council in a fraction of a second.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When interrogating Binder, a decent-level practitioner, Harry pulls a few of his hairs. Binder knows this can be used to track him, so he goes through several rituals to keep Harry from using magic. Confident on blocking this, he didn't think Harry had outsourced to have the normal human PI Vince Graver track him via non-magical means.
  • Famed in Story: Harry, especially apparent here. His exploits from Summer Knight, Death Masks, Dead Beat, Proven Guilty, White Night, and Small Favor were each reported to the Council by either Harry or another person. Half of these things seemed like impossible things to accomplish but Harry survived and even beat some of these ancient powerhouses he faced back.
  • Feed the Mole: Harry calls the Council switchboard to send up a long message about his plot to expose the traitor, prove Morgan's innocence, and all because of an informant. This entire line is a lie meant to draw out the traitor into acting quickly and without a full plan.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Harry realizes the reason Luccio didn't kill LaFortier with magic because on some level, she knew it was wrong and fought the order to kill. Unfortunately, she couldn't stop herself from stabbing him with a mundane blade.
  • Fight Off the Kryptonite: After a brief fight, Justine's hair was loose and touched Thomas. Thomas never flinched despite the light scarring her love was giving him.
  • Fingore: Shagnasty bites off a few fingers of one of Lara Raith's sisters.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: The White Court wants people to think they are this but subvert it. They pretend to be this because they dislike physical fighting and, as Lara said in White Night, she is more than willing to defeat the Council through peace and pleasantries. The darker aspects of them are shown with Club Zero, a White Court run club that has no limits on whatever fetishes or drugs its patrons do so long as one is pleasured, and Lara and her sisters killing three loyal men who risked their lives to protect House Raith and were gravely injured but could survive with modern medical care to heal themselves. They are like a rose whose thorns are laced with arsenic or Ricin: Truly beautiful and alluring but deadly if mishandled.
  • Fog of War: Discussed by Murphy. She, after years of work as a cop, guesses that the bad guys framing Morgan aren't Xantos-tier planners, but just as fallible and ignorant of what Harry and Murphy know as much as Murphy and Harry know about them. So, they can use this confusion to their advantage by forcing them to slip up and show some more cards.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While it is the summer months, the book starts off with a blistering heatwave over Chicago. Considering how Mab was shielding Harry with a snowstorm, this heatwave is likely Titania helping Morgan block any tracking spells.
    • Molly's concerns about Luccio being tainted and the fact she didn't truly love Harry are small hints to her not being what she seems.
  • For the Evulz: A good chunk of a Skinwalker's actions will be this. One reason the Native American tribes of the South West United States of America do not like speaking of them is not only could it make the monsters stronger, the "outsider" asking questions about them could be a skinwalker screwing with the tribesmen.
  • Gambit Pileup: Engineered by Harry, in order to give the bad guy no room at all to think, or come up with a backup plan. And this whole pileup was the bait for another trap Harry set.
    Harry: Wile E. Coyote. Suuuuuper genius.
  • Genius Loci: Demonreach, the island the Denarians used in Small Favor.
  • Genre Blind:
    • Lara does not suspect Justine being a mole giving Harry and Thomas information.
    • Peabody forgot he was working against the pragmatist Harry Dresden. As a result, he never considered Harry could use the mortal world against him by hiring a muggle PI to watch the Chicago-Edinburgh Way.
  • Genre Savvy: Peabody shows his savvy when Harry rises to give testimony at Morgan's trial by pulling out his trump card, to play at a moment's notice. The Gatekeeper even notes if he could guess Harry's trap, so could Peabody. The Gatekeeper was right.
  • Get It Over With: Harry pulls this on the skin-walker by forcing himself to remember its horrible true form mixed in with all the other powerful forces he had Seen, such as other evil forces or the True Forms of Titania and Mab. By doing this, Harry can stand and face it, shocking it.
  • Good Hurts Evil: Against the Skinwalker, only the strongest Goods apply against this things powerful defenses.
    • To banish it, the only known ways with magic the rituals known to the shaman of tribes from the Southwestern United States, such as the Navajo or Ute tribes, using Soulfire, the Fires of Creation, against it.
    • To just send it away with the tail between the legs, Senior Council Joseph Listens-to-Wind knows more than enough magic to do this.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Madeline, of the White Court hated Harry's rebuke of her.
  • Heroic BSOD: After seeing an Eldritch Abomination Harry crashed his car and was a gibbering wreck for a good hour or so.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Had Peabody not been scared about Luccio being the leak and breaking free of his control, he wouldn't have used the Chicago Way to visit her. Had he not visited her, he wouldn't have been caught on camera. His going to check out his puppet lead to his reveal as a puppet master.
  • Hope Spot: At Morgan's trial, it looks like just for one moment Peabody will be caught. Then he reveals his trump card and is killed while trying to escape, making it impossible for him to testify and exonerate Morgan's name.
  • Horror Hunger: Happens to Thomas, which leads to him killing several women fed to him by Shagnasty, then nearly raping Molly to death as well. Only quick thinking and Harry's protection spell kept her safe.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: The Skinwalker will give Thomas Raith back if someone delivers it Donald Morgan.
  • Hostage Situation:
    • Harry finds himself one when faced with the Skinwalker holding Thomas on Demonreach. He had to get his brother away from the evil force before trying to fight the Skinwalker.
    • Later Joseph Listens-to-Wind uses fear of this to explain him not pursuing the injured Skinwalker back to the Southwest United States as the ancient evil would attack normal people or use them as hostages to save itself.
  • I Am What I Am:
    • After the Skinwalker attacked her home Lara cites this trope to explain that she is a vampire at heart, and that includes killing three men, one who had his eyes removed and the other two with broken backs, to insure she and her sisters are healed.
    • Upon seeing what Lara plans to do in the above example, Harry cites this trope as well and states one day he will take Lara down as well. Not a threat but a fact.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Morgan holds it and lampshades it by asking if he's gone senile as it didn't occur to him the Silver Oak leaf of the Summer Court he used to be protected from tracking could itself be used to track him, and Titania not having broken her word to keep him shielded from other tracking methods.
    • Twice McCoy calls Harry on holding it. First because Harry's questions weren't too subtle on keeping the fact Harry knows Morgan's location or approximate location a secret. Then after the battle on Demonreach, when Harry chose to save the vampire Thomas and not seeking to stop the traitor.
    • Harry didn't realize until Molly found Morgan, if Morgan went down and took Harry with him, Molly would soon follow.
    • Molly subtly calls Harry and Morgan on holding it by having a shouting match over Thomas possibly revealing the location of Harry's hidden place in the middle of Nevernever and close to the path.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Molly uses this to great effect to get information out of the PI shadowing Harry. Morgan jumps to the conclusion that she's going to use mind-control magic. All Molly has to do is take off her bra and go talk to the guy in his very air-conditioned car. As Harry observes, "He didn't stand a chance." Morgan agrees and hints it would certainly get a rise out of him.
  • I Have Your Wife: Morgan is asked if this trope is in application as a reason for him killing LaFortier. Morgan denies it and states he avoided starting a family for this reason.
  • Inspector Javert: Harry describes his relationship with Morgan to Butters as such. Butters has trouble with Harry helping a man who has tried to kill him several times, but Harry replied, Morgan might have been an ass but honestly felt it was the morally right thing to do.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Wizard Samuel Peabody does not like it when Harry addresses him as "Simon" and then "Sam".
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Morgan, although in this case the Masquerade was that the White Council is strong and united and there is no Black Council rather than the supernatural does not exist.
  • Kill It with Fire: Harry notes that besides the illumination, many combat mages, like Wardens, use fire magic because most every baddie is either hurt by it or has a healthy respect of it. It also has the added bonus of being able to destroy dark magic when used with that intent. Some wardens using fire spells in the book include one who shoots star-like balls that burn through enemies, trees, and rocks all the same. Another uses napalm-like blasts.
  • Kill It with Water: Senior Council Listens-To-Winds summons a rainstorm to pour onto the Skinwalker's magical attacks, destroying them before they even reach him.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • When Vince Graver finds his car really messed with and then Harry saying people could die because of Vince's snooping, the man walks away from his job of trailing Harry.
    • Dying and having killed the Traitor, Morgan allows himself to be slandered to save the Council, and more importantly, Luccio who was the real killer, doing do because she was controlled by the Traitor.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: In previous books, Wizard Peabody had two, maybe three lines of dialogue, tops, and little to no description regarding appearance or occupation. So, particularly Genre Savvy readers would point fingers immediately.
    • Really, really alert readers might even pick up on all the references to ink-stained fingers, and guess how he's operating.
  • Lonely Funeral: Morgan's, because even though he had been a hero to the White Council almost all his life, he died framed for political reasons.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Harry notes that the practitioner Binder knows the Seven Laws of Magic very well and while he is known for dancing very close to violating one of the Laws, it hasn't been proven he really violated them.
    • Margaret La Fey Dresden, Harry's mother, was also a bane to the Wardens for rebelling against the ancient ways of the White Council by arguing for a "gray" area to the Black and White Morality the Council had for enforcing the laws. The rebelling was done by going extremely close to violating the Laws but never fully cross it.
    • Harry throws away Morgan's oak-leaf pin, fearing Titania may indulge in this trope and allow Morgan's pursuers to track down the pin rather than him. Morgan wonders if he's gone senile for not considering that before.
  • Lured Into a Trap:
    • Morgan noted when destroying his Skinwalker problem back in the fifties, he lured it into the testing area of a nuclear bomb. The nuclear weapon won.
    • Harry's plan to catch the traitor was to lure him into a confrontation, moving past a place he had Vince Graver stationed and taking photos. The whole challenge was just the bait for this action.
  • Magical Gesture: Ebenezer McCoy shows his power by simply clenching his fist and "force choking" Lara Raith.
  • Make the Dog Testify: Helps that Mouse is a sentient magic dog. To expand, Mouse doesn't speak but identifies Peabody by scent. His credentials as a temple dog are affirmed by Ancient Mai and several other Council Wizards when Peabody objects.
  • Malicious Slander: What happened to Morgan. Also, Rashid points out that a lot of Harry's past actions could be taken as hostile to the White Council by those who harbor suspicions toward him.
  • Manchurian Agent: Wizard Peabody's influence. A few more, Luccio included, were referred to as "suicide bombers" as they would do the task and then get caught on purpose.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Lara Raith. Harry even invokes this when she briefly considers either giving into the Skinwalker's demands, after it beat her in her own home, or letting Thomas die, who was now a hero for his help against the coup in White Night. Harry points out either way, in the eyes of her kind, she is weak. Harry thinks she should string the Skinwalker along and then stab him in the back to get everything for herself, in true White Court fashion.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Specifically denied. To keep up the ruse the they believed Morgan was working up with Peabody, the Senior Council cannot have anything significant in Morgan's name. There is instead a small, private remembrance for the man.
  • Mercy Kill: Wizard Rashid considers killing Harry before he can challenge the Senior Council this because of what Harry did to make sure he had a strong fighting chance to win against the Council and other enemies.
  • Mexican Standoff: The Senior Council, Lara Raith and her sisters, and Harry are in one until two bigger fish arrive to make them join forces. As Harry was hoping.
  • Mind Rape: Madeline Raith is revealed to have done this to Evelyn Derek to keep her from talking about hiring Vince to trail Harry.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Harry realizes that Mouse isn't as badly hurt from being shot by Morgan as it seems, but was instead overplaying his pain to make sure Molly realizes how foolish she was being.
  • Modesty Towel: Well, a blanket used by Lara after losing her clothes from a bomb and then ravishing her cousin appears in one.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Lara appears once more.
    • Madeline Raith, Lara's cousin, veers into the Shameless kind because not only does she know she is seductive as hell, she lives and breathes this. See Villainous Glutton below.
    • Molly Carpenter knows how to be this. See I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!.
  • Mugging the Monster: Inverted. When Harry is on his way to Edinburgh, he is stopped by some spider fae the size of ponies. They laugh at the thought of him being on speaking terms with Mab and when one attacks, Harry sends it into a tree, nearly killing it. The rest of the horde let him pass without further incident there and on the way back.
  • Mundane Solution: Harry has Murphy take some hairs from Binder for a tracking spell, fully aware that he'll recognize her theft and wipe the spell. He's just making it easier for a mundane PI he hired to tail him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Wizard Listens-to-Wind looks at his ink-stained hands upon learning his mind was being altered by Peabody's magical ink. He and the rest of the Senior Council later go over all of their choices the past few years, wondering what choices this influence could have pushed them towards they wouldn't have done otherwise.
  • Necessary Evil: Harry has come to see the "kill warlocks while they're young" idea of the Wardens and Council as this. It might not be pretty but more often than not the victim has a body count and has little chance of coming back after being corrupted by such dark magic.
  • Nerves of Steel: Morgan. As the man has fought so many dark agents, it takes a lot to get under his skin (short of Harry). So when he is egging Molly, he is completely composed and shoots deep hitting jabs at Molly to see her reaction. Even when the golf club came swinging down, he didn't react at all.
  • Never Found the Body: The Black Council's plan for Morgan. Once they found and killed him, they would stash the body and so all crimes they commit with magic can be blamed on him, ensuring they stay in the shadows.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Ancient Mai is old even by wizarding standards. She scares the daylights out of Harry because not only is she powerful but smart as she quickly deduced [the reason Harry called the meeting so quickly and wanted to meet was the counter-measures Morgan has blocking him from being tracked are going to fail soon. One of the strike team of veteran Wardens who had survived the horrors of the war with the vampires and meant to take down Morgan when he was found held her umbrella in a rain storm.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • The Ute tribes and others who know of Skinwalkers and know the rituals to banish the unholy creature seek to avert this by not speaking of the creature as it would inspire fear in most and that just increases the strength of the skinwalker. Further, there is always a chance the thing asking about the skinwalker is one and chose to screw around with people of the tribe
    • The Skinwalker thanks Harry for launching Thomas into the cabin on Demonreach, The island's powerful wards prevented it from approaching the cabin where Molly and Morgan lay, but now Harry has delivered a starving, partially insane Thomas — who will feed on the first woman he sees — to a young woman. Only Harry's foresight to give Molly a powerful shield crystal saved her from Thomas.
  • No Sell: Justine is still protected by Thomas and her acts of mutual love in Blood Rites from White Court feeding and manipulations. Lara finds this a useful quality to have in her personal secretary.
  • The Nondescript: Vince Graver, a P.I. hired by someone to watch Harry and then by Harry to watch Binder and to photograph anyone using the Chicago/Edinburgh Way.
  • Not Brainwashed: At the end after Thomas' Break the Cutie, Lara permits Harry to meet Thomas to assure the mortal wizard Thomas is not brainwashed. Broken? yes. A good White Court vampire? Most probably. But not technically brainwashed.
  • Not Herself: Luccio. Those who knew the powerful Captain of the Wardens before being forced into the younger body would have known something was wrong with her if they learned she was having mindless sex with Harry. Harry notes another problem with spotting something wrong is people look for a person to be worse off. Luccio was happier after sleeping with Harry and in a world of so much pain and suffering, those who should have paid more attention weren't going to step on her happier attitude without good cause.
  • Not So Different: When discussing the idea of Wizards helping in mortal affairs, like World War II and the fact they didn't, one of Luccio's counters is by Harry's argument, that there was a clear evil side and thus the Council should have helped, then the Council should attack the United States for their crimes against the Native Americans.
  • Nuclear Option: Warden Morgan is known to have once killed a skinwalker (a powerful Native American Eldritch Abomination) by luring it to a location that would shortly be used as A-bomb testing site. Can it be called a Crowning Moment Of Awesome?
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Wizard Peabody insists on Harry signing out some papers, as with anyone who takes some of his files. It turns out he was trying to be.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • As the standard punishment for crimes against the White Council and its Laws, Morgan is facing this, as is Harry for harbouring him. And Molly for being a paroled criminal under Harry's protection when he harbored Morgan.
    • During a battle one of the veteran wardens lost her head to Binder's grey men demons getting the jump on her from above.
    • Lara Raith sends the heads of traitors to her court to the White Council as a peace offering.
  • Oh Crap: Multiple times.
    • Harry, as a once per book gag, gets one when he hears Madeline say that she was going to inform the White Council as to Morgan's whereabouts.
    • A more subtle one is when Lara realizes Harry is no longer protected by Susan's Love and it was likely because of Luccio. Harry is very worried by her smile.
    • Harry is confident in his plan to trap the traitor but when Wizard Rashid deduces the plot, he notes that if he could the traitor would most likely as well.
  • Old Master: Take note of The Archmage and David Vs Goliath above. McCoy and the fellow Senior Council members should not be underestimated. Considering that Morgan is also one of these, the strike team of Wardens that would hunt him down is filled with a mix of this and Old Soldiers
  • Old Soldier:
    • When Morgan is sleeping him Harry's bed, Harry takes a moment to truly look over the man and sees the scars and weariness about him that never noticed before. Knowing Morgan was over a century old, he knows the man has seen a lot in the service of the Wardens.
    • The Strike Team brought together to hunt Morgan down are this, as not only have they survived serving in the Council, but survived since the early days of the war with the vampires.
  • Out-Gambitted:
    • The Traitor Vs. Harry. The traitor wins. Harry admits in the end, his plan would have to identify the traitor by watching the Way exit would have failed if not for the Spanner in the Works because the Traitor had a Way onto the island.
    • Harry suspects the Council had this done to them in the long run because of the election of the less qualified Grigori Cristos to LaFortier's now vacant spot over other older and wiser Wizards. Harry suspects he is a Black Council agent.
  • Out with a Bang: Madeline dies from a combination of this and Lara eating her innards.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Thomas pins his cousin Madeline to a table with a pair of chopsticks through her wrists, because she was threatening his lover. While she's immobilized, said lover brushes Madeline with her hair—which, since the vampires are Allergic to Love, gives Madeline horrible burns.
  • Plausible Deniability: While the Merlin does accept Harry's offer to help, he refuses to make it an official order or request. He cannot be seen having any influence in what evidence Harry gathers.
  • Poisonous Person: While not as bad as Red Court blood, consuming White Court blood is an unwise thing as it apparently acts as a very potent aphrodisiac.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Joseph "Injun Joe" Listens-To-Wind gets one on the skinwalker: "Don't plan to bind or banish ya, old ghost. Just gonna kick your ass up between your ears."
  • Precision F-Strike: For a man of carefully chosen words, the fact Harry gets Rashid to mutter "Blood of the Prophet" shows the craziness of his current plan.
  • Prodigal Hero: Interestingly enough, Thomas reveals he has become this in the eyes of the White Court. He left for seeming to be weak, lazied about working as a hair designer but when the attempted coup happened in White Night he came back with a powerful strike team and fought to defend the nobles who were still alive and saved many of them. They could even think he used Harry as the bait to draw out the traitorous Vitto and Madrigal and only had to act directly when the other side broke their word.
  • Pronoun Trouble: This was the phrase Harry was looking for when he was complaining about what to call Shagnasty. Turned into a Brick Joke: during their final battle, Harry yells at it, "Bring it on, you dickless freak!"
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Harry after Seeing the skinwalker.
  • Pun: Lara Raith invoked this by owning a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.
  • Punch Clock Villain:
    • Vince Graver, PI, is a normal human hired to watch Harry. Once he finishes watching Harry, Harry hires him for help.
    • Binder willingly leaves once Harry beats him a second time but doesn't kill him.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After all the trouble Morgan caused Harry, what finally set him off, and needed Murphy to put herself between them to keep Harry from bashing Morgan's head in, was Harry coming home and fining Mouse shot and Morgan holding a gun.
  • Rain Dance: Joseph Listens-to-Wind does this as a weapon against the skinwalker.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: When a cop, Vince Graver, PI, once caught a councilman beating up escorts (it was how the man got off) and finds himself "volunteering" to be reassigned to SI. He quit instead of staying on.
  • The Red Mage: Joseph Listens-to-Wind is both a trained fighter against a variety of forces and the Council's best healer.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Harry asks Murphy to look over the Warden's crime scene report on the victim and note for anything out of the ordinary. Murphy invokes this by dryly stating the victim was two hundred and seventy-nine years old. Harry corrects himself and states to look for inconsistencies.
  • Running Gag:
    • Harry makes recurring references to the fact that visiting the White Council is just like going to Disneyland.
    • Every time Harry comes back to his apartment, he finds Morgan and Molly (and occasionally another participant) in the middle of some sort of standoff, with Mouse keeping the peace, usually by sitting on someone.
      Harry: Hell's bells! What is wrong with you people!?
  • Sacred Hospitality:
    • When Morgan thrice caused Harry trouble in his home, Harry shames him by calling his behavior deplorable as Harry was not only risking his own neck for Morgan but his apprentice. Not one should give their host.
    • When Harry arrives at Lara's house with Luccio, he is asked to abide by this before entering. Harry refuses as he doesn't know what Lara has planned and doesn't want his hands tied up. Luccio is quick to point out the same restrictions on them would be on Lara and prevent her from simply killing them if she didn't want to see them.
  • Sadistic Choice: In the climax Harry can either leave the skinwalker with Thomas as his hostage as the skinwalker cannot reach Molly or Morgan (Demonreach's power is protecting the cottage where the two are from the Skinwalker getting close) or choose to reach the traitor and company on the island and possibly expose the whole thing. Because Thomas is family Harry chooses to save him.
  • Sand in My Eyes: Harry looks away so he doesn't see Murphy crying as he walked away, preparing for the final battle.
  • Save the Villain: When Lara, burned to a nice black and corpse-like figure, starts to feed on her cousin Madeline for her many crimes, not just sexually but physically eating her entrails, Harry pulled Binder away from Lara just in the event she finished with Madeline and wanted seconds. As Harry put it, he had to because it was the human thing to do.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!:
    • When Harry first fights the Skinwalker, it ambushed Harry and company. When the ambush failed and it had a momententary disadvantage because it underestimated the prey, the skinwalker ran. Not in fear, just to reevaluate the attack plan.
    • After Harry beats Binder for the last time, the criminal agrees to bow out of the rest of the fight on the island and leave.
    • Sensing how the tables had turned, the two warlocks on Demonreach ran back to Nevernever before they could be identified.
    • The skinwalker again once it realizes it can't defeat Listens-To-Winds in a stand-up fight. This time it was fleeing at least partly in fear.
  • Scylla and Charybdis: Harry realizes Morgan's predicament falls into this. If he is found guilty, then since he is the right hand of the Merlin, the Council faces some form of doom. If he is vindicated without someone to take his place and explain everything clearly to those angered at the death of LaFortier, then the Council faces another form of doom.
  • Secret Keeper: Harry promises Morgan to not tell Luccio she was LaFortier's murderer.
  • Secret Secret Keeper: Morgan knows Luccio killed LaFortier because he woke up in time to see it. But he also knows she was brainwashed and forced to do it but it could still cost her her life if it came out.
  • Seers: Rashid the Gatekeeper shows his ability to see the future and when Harry made a pact with Demonreach, he saw a significant change in the future.
  • Shape Shifter Showdown: Epically.
  • Ship Sinking: Harry and Anastasia Luccio because she was under heavy mind control sent to get close to Harry. She cannot trust her own feelings now.
  • Ship Tease: A Harry/Murphy one.
  • Shock and Awe: Harry shows a lightning spell when the skinwalker was hiding inside a metal vent.
  • Skinwalker: One of the major enemies of the book. An incredibly powerful demigod that can shift into any form it chooses, enjoys tormenting its victims, smart enough to know when it should run and wait for a better time to attack, and damn near impossible to kill. Furthering this trouble it can absorb magic, adding to its own strength, and feeds on the fear of people when people speak its name. More problems lie in that trying to ward it off is incredibly difficult. Morgan notes only a shaman from the Native American tribes of the Southwest United States, such as the Navajo and Ute tribes, would even know rituals to banish them back to where they belong. Unfortunately for this skinwalker, although Senior Council member Joseph Listens-to-Wind isn't from one of those tribes, he's powerful enough and knows enough about its abilities to kick it ass anyway.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Harry calls Captain Luccio "Stacy", a diminutive of "Anastasia" he knows she hates, just to make sure she is not an impostor. She proves it by drawing her sword and gun on Harry.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Harry is a known spanner with the fortune to really toss wrenches into other people's nefarious plots. For this reason, Harry and the Gatekeeper suspect Luccio was forced to get close to him to make sure he didn't end up ruining Peabody's plot. Read the second bullet.
    • Ironically, Luccio was this without knowing it. Because she was a puppet to the traitor, the traitor feared his control over her was slipping when Harry's message mentioned an informant who has crucial information. This was the only reason he ended up falling into Harry's trap of watching the Way touching inner Chicago.
  • Speak of the Devil: Do not mention the skinwalker. There is a high chance this will just make it more powerful. Harry compensates by renaming it "Shagnasty."
  • Spider-Sense:
    • Harry notes that Wizards have a certain level of this, but only in powerful cases. Something as foul, destructive, and unholy as a skinwalker gives off a lot of bad emotions. It could not sneak up on Harry without Harry's senses picking up this stew of foulness, and is confident he won't be ambushed in a dark alley. At least not by that thing.
    • Wizard Listens-to-Winds is the first of the assembled on Demonreach to notice Lara's backup arriving. He noticed them before Harry was able to tell with Intelectus. And the arrivals came on a far side of the island, far from view of anyone where Harry was.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Harry not only stared down a skinwalker several times over, he even saw with his Sight and still went on to fight him. Injun Joe also stares down the evil entity.
  • Stern Teacher: Morgan feels Harry should be this and not coddling Molly so much because if she fails her exams, a bad report card is not what she will get.
  • Survival Mantra: After Seeing the Skinwalker, Harry starts recounting the sequence of prime numbers to force himself to not think about the skinwalker and suffer another painful relapse until he was someplace safe.
  • Take That: Binder has one against poor, tortured, sentimental vampires.
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: The traitor(s) in the White Council has been a problem for a long time; in this novel, Harry has to find them on a very strict time limit indeed.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Harry approaches the Merlin to help save Morgan by proving his innocence, as anything Merlin could discover would be viewed with distrust but as Harry was Morgan's enemy exonerating evidence would be believed, Merlin asked Harry why he should accept Harry's offer. Harry's response:
    Harry: Because your balls are in a vise and I'm the only one who can pull them out.
    (The Merlin arches one of his silver eyebrows)
    Harry: Okay. That came out a little more homoerotic than I intended.
    Merlin: Indeed.
  • This Is Reality: When discussing guns and Harry's choice to uses a revolver over a modern automatic gun, one of his arguments is Indiana Jones uses one. Murphy replied he's fiction and they are not.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Ebenezar's subdued reaction when he figures out that the White Council, the White Court, Shagnasty, and the traitor and his own personal army are all going to be on Demonreach Island at the same time.
  • To Absent Friends: The end, since they are not allowed a Meaningful Funeral.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Morgan knew Molly used mind magic on Luccio and could be executed for breaking the terms of her parole, and Harry for failing as her parole officer. However, he keeps this violation to himself. He chooses Good to protect Harry and Molly.
  • Training from Hell: Harry learns that Morgan's teacher (Luccio) used rocks in the shield magic exercise where Justin had used baseballs. This is compared to the fact Harry had used snowballs on Molly and noted that he wasn't doing a proper job training as pain is an effective motivator.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • When Harry takes issue with the idea of leaving Morgan to die when he is innocent, Listens-to-Winds enters into this mode. He knows if they save Morgan without finding the mole, the council will rip itself apart in anger and accusations. Many people will die because he, Listens-to-Winds, chose to save one man, Morgan. He made that choice one. He will not do it again.
    • Lara Raith enters into a nice simmering fury when Ebenezer McCoy showed her just how weak she was to him by nearly killing her with barely a thought or effort on the old man's side and Lara couldn't fight back against his power at all.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Summoner Binder thinks he knows about the Wardens and White Council-tier wizards and laughs at Harry and the prospect of the Death Curse. Then Harry tells him he won't kill him with it, he'll bind Binder so he could never use magic again. The assailant suddenly realizes he didn't think this through.
  • Undying Loyalty: Toot-toot has this towards Harry. It is why he takes on a Skinwalker with only a box cutter.
  • Utility Magic:
    • Murphy and Rawlins really do like Harry's method of tracking people with magic as they can sit back in the office, eat, drink, and watch the scrying crystal do all the work.
    • Later Harry uses silly string as part of a listening spell by putting it near the target and then in his ear. The vibrations the string "heard" transferred to the corresponding bit in his ear to let him listen to the conversation.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: The two warlocks on Demonreach knew a secret Way onto the island, thus not needing to use a boat to get there. When things were going south, they went back the same way and avoided capture.
  • Villainous Glutton: Thomas describes his cousin Madeline much like this, though without the physical gut. Madeline devours with every touch and has been like this for years. It has reached the point that she feeds with the same instinctive motions as one breaths air and cannot stop even if the "food" is poisonous. This is why she could not stop feeding off a Love-protected Justine and was burned.
  • Voice of the Legion: The skinwalker's voice. Harry assumes this is because it is trying to speak with many forms at once.
  • We Help the Helpless: Lara Raith knows this of Harry. She knows the truly helpless go to him and if he must walk against demigods to help them, he will. By this understanding of Harry, she guesses Morgan went to Harry for help.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Morgan is less than pleased with Harry when Harry tells him the Alphas tried fighting the skinwalker with Harry and it cost then one life and possibly another. They are the people Harry should be protecting not encouraging to become superheroes.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: To evade capture Morgan calls in his favor from Titania. She agrees to cloak him from magical tracking for three days.
  • White Magic: This is really the only thing which can faze a skinwalker, whether it comes from a Native American Rain Dance or Soulfire.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough: The bad guys are suspecting Harry is helping Morgan. When the topic of him hiding Morgan in his own home comes up, Madeline calls that a stupid idea because Hit is so obvious a move. Binder deconstructs her view by pointing out how dirt poor Harry is and wouldn't have the luxury of multiple safehouses.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: It's the only reason Harry survived the showdown on the island, and identified the traitor. Also, he got really, really lucky.
  • You Are Not Alone: In a practical manner, Morgan tells Harry he does have other Wardens to call on when dealing with something as evil and dangerous as a skinwalker. Harry countered that in his current situation, more Wardens would not be a smart thing for a hiding Morgan.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious:
    • When Morgan and Molly are about to bind Binder, he addresses her as "Ms. Carpenter." Later, when he is dying and talking with Harry, Morgan calls her "Molly".
    • The one time in his life Morgan ever calls Harry "Harry", not "Dresden", is when he tells Harry to let the other Wardens arrest him rather than fight them on his behalf.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Defied. The Naagloshii is a shape shifter, and even its "baseline" form is pretty nasty; but when Harry looks at it using his Sight the overwhelming wrongness effectively renders him senseless and unable to function. He refuses to be beaten by it and beats the memory with all the other painful memories he had. It worked and he could withstand it, however even after recovering he still stutters a bit when he recalls the image.
  • You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me: In the opening page of the book, Morgan collapses on Dresden's front door.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • When Lara looks over the dead and injured in her estate after Shagnasty leaves, she has three guards, who could live if given medical treatment, taken to her and her sisters' rooms to feed and help heal the injured Raith sisters. Lara justifies this as they know too much to be allowed a normal retirement package and they will be doing one final help to House Raith.
    • Harry postulates the Traitor is in a tight situation. First the man he murdered was likely killed because the traitor was on the verge of being discovered. Second, Morgan escaped and was hiding well. So if he or she couldn't clean up the mess, the ones the traitor works for would consider him or her a liability and remove the traitor from play.

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