Saturday, September 22, 2012
Short Story Review: Even Hand by Jim Butcher in Dark and Stormy Knights
John Marcone, mob boss of Chicago, should know better. Justine, the assistant for Laura Raith and sometimes ally of Harry Dresden, turns up at his door asking for his protection with Mag a cantrev lord with considerable magical abilities hot on her trail. But a child's safety is at risk and Marcone can't say no. Besides the situation also gives him the opportunity to test a trap he has been developing to kill a certain wizard....
The opening is very clever beginning with a narration very similar to that of usual protagonist Harry Dresden but involving actions we would not expect from Dresden before revealing that it is in fact Marcone. Marcone's character is interesting and we get to see all sides of him including the humanitarian. I did enjoy the fact that by the end of the story though Butcher has firmly re-established that he is a threat to Dresden and dances to the beat of his own drum. Having henchman Hendricks shown in a very different light to the simple thug Dresden considers him was refreshing and a good comment on perceptions. I especially liked the comment that he is working on his thesis.
Overall Even Hand is an interesting character study and will appeal to all Dresnden readers. 8/10.