YMMV / Dead Beat

  • Complete Monster: Capiocorpus, also known as the Corpsetaker and The Grey Ghost, who also appears in Ghost Story, is one of the few surviving students of Heinrich Kemmler, one of the most powerful and evil necromancers ever-and she certainly learned her lessons well. The Corpsetaker defines herself as being the most sadistic and cruel of the necromancers in series in her pursuit of the Darkhollow, which would require her to consume the souls of thousands of innocent people. Corpsetaker regularly performs body theft to prolong her life, reveling in the agony of her victims as she steals their bodies and lives from them.
  • Executive Meddling: Butcher'd originally planned Dead Beat to be the eighth Dresden novel, but his publishers urged him to make his seventh book an especially spectacular one to mark the first hardcover release of the series, so he swapped this one and Proven Guilty. Cue the zombie dinosaur.
  • Growing the Beard: The first book in the series is reviled by some, considered average by most, and loved by a few, but all agree that this book was a huge improvement on the series as a whole and the beginning of an upward trend in the writing and storytelling quality. The plot begins to become more focused with various plot points coming together, things are happening on a larger scale and with a faster pace, the humor is more tolerable, and it is simply far better written overall.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Harry accidentally releases the Wild Hunt in downtown Chicago. The countless deaths and/or missing people that would inevitably result from this are only vaguely alluded to in the end and somehow conflated ordinary murders that occurred at the same time. To be fair, it was stated that even the Erlking wasn't strong enough to break a solid treshold, and that most of the citizens of Chicago mostly stayed at home, but there still are all the homeless, the pubs and suchlike, and the fact that not any house is enough to be considered a home...
  • Moral Event Horizon: After Ortega mentions he would feed on children and some of the actions Bianca took, it seems like the Red Court couldn't sink much lower. Wrong. To kill a small number of White Council wizards recovering in a muggle hospital, they had human mercenaries release a nerve gas in the hospital killing thousands.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A good reason to re-read this book is that it becomes clear how sneaky Lasciel's shadow was being, all the time she posed as "Sheila".
    • Also, there's a couple hints dropped here and there of things that become more significant several books later. Such as Mort saying he knows Murphy's father who works as a sort of afterlife cop, and sometimes sends wayward ghosts Mort's way, and Waldo rescuing Harry when he did foreshadowing his becoming a Knight of the Cross.