SKIN GAME By Jim Butcher

Skin Game is a caper novel disguised as an Urban Fantasy adventure. Harry Dresden, Wizard and Winter Knight, finds himself part of a team whose goal is to loot the seventh Vault of Hades (yes, that Hades). Led by the Dresden’s evil enemy Nicodemus Archleone and his demon-possessed daughter, the group includes a shapeshifter, a Sasquatch, a pyromancer, and a safe-cracker.

My only quibble concerns Jim Butcher’s dithering around before finally launching the heist. In this 454-page book, two hundred pages could have been easily edited out.

But, when the caper finally begins, the action ratchets up to warp speed. I liked the challenge of solving the riddles of The Gate of Fire, The Gate of Ice, and The Gate of Blood. The battle in the Vault features plenty of violence and combat.

Jim Butcher saves a couple of surprises for the titanic conclusion. You can see why Butcher took six years off after writing this book! GRADE: A-

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