By: Corey Lack
The eighth book of the Dresden Files series, Proven Guilty, has a big change that greatly affects the plot of the series. A character that, before this one, was just a background character takes the foreground in their first major appearance in the story. The character is Molly Carpenter, the daughter of Harry’s friend, Michael, the Knight of the Cross.
Harry, once more, finds himself pulled in multiple directions with many threats and problems coming out of nowhere to attack him. First, there have been strange attacks that happened at the fictional Splattercon!!!, a convention surrounding horror movies, which Molly happens to be working at. Additionally, Harry hears that Mab is acting strangely and neither the Winter or Summer Courts of the Fae have attacked the Red Court like they said they would. Finally, upon investigating the strange attacks, Harry also finds that the White Court of vampires may be involved.
Molly takes a bit more of the focus of this story than just about anything else in the story. She is heavily developed through the story. For instance, Harry and the reader find that she is rebelling against her parents’ rather strict Christian upbringing through a number of means, like piercings, having a boyfriend, and working at Splattercon!!! Both Harry and the reader will be surprised to find the part that Molly plays through the story. Despite the story making it seem like she’s nothing more than something to push the plot along by drawing Harry into it, she actually plays a much bigger part which is shown in the later chapters of the book.
Once more, Harry also finds that the problems are all connected, which Butcher manages to connect in a believable and interesting fashion. To avoid spoilers, I won’t explain more than that, but the solution to the mystery is slowly developed throughout the story with surprising moments of action and drama. The best part, though, was definitely when Harry finds himself against a shapeshifter that has taken the form of a Xenomorph, resulting in Harry quoting the movie Aliens, of course.
This is definitely a book to read as it not only introduces a new and interesting character, but it also manages to do two other things of note. First, it hints at the true antagonist throughout the series, one that has been connected to many of the problems Harry has been in the middle of, but it is only a hint and only someone familiar with the whole series will be able to note it. Secondly, Harry, by the end of the book, finds himself in a position he never in a million years would have thought he’d be in. All in all, definitely worth the read.