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In the book Skin Games, the currently latest book in The Dresden Files, Harry intentionally withholds information from the reader for a surprising reveal later in the book.

Is this the first instance of Harry intentionally withholding information from the reader, or has this happened before, albeit probably in more subtle ways?

  • To make this question easier to grasp for those who may not have read the book, could you be more explicit (using spoilertags if necessary) about what information Harry withholds and what the surprising reveal is? – Rand al'Thor Apr 12 '17 at 23:37
  • @Randal'Thor I read the book as well, and there is only 1 thing I can think of in Skin Games that can be considered "a surprising reveal". However, I don't know if it's appropriate to edit this in, considering I don't know if the author really meant this or if my recollection of the book is not as good. – Nzall Jun 13 '17 at 20:51
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Harry has done this before, although indirectly

This trope is called the Unspoken Plan Guarantee and relies on the idea that the audience gets bored when someone first lays out a careful plan and this plan then goes off without a hitch. Either you explain the plan and then throw a couple of spanners in the works so the reader does not know what might happen, or you don't reveal the plan and pretend like the person who made the plan had contingencies for his contingencies.

Note: I am being deliberately vague in the first paragraph to avoid spoiling Changes and Ghost Story. people who want more details can consult the spoiler.

At the end of Changes, Someone does something to Harry. Then, Ghost Story revolves around Harry trying to figure out who did it to him and why. Eventually, he not only finds out WHO did it to him, but also that this person did this because Harry asked him to, AND that Harry also had his memory of him asking this favor erased to avoid people finding out why he asked this. While this isn't directly hiding something from the viewer, the concept remains: Harry deliberately does not mention something he did, only to reveal it at a later time.

spoilers for those who want them:

In Changes, Harry strikes a deal with Mab to gain power so he can save his daughter. In return, he would become the new Winter Knight. To try and avoid this burden, Harry asked Kincaid to kill him after he saved his daughter, in the hopes of escaping Mab's deal. He also asked Molly to erase the memory of him asking Kincaid to kill him, because otherwise Mab could simply read this from his mind. Everything beyond the deal with Mab is hidden from the reader in Changes, and then revealed in the finale of Ghost Story.

Another example is in the book Turn Coat. At first, it seems like Harry just wants a showdown between House Raith, Shagnasty and the Council because he thinks that House Raith is framing the titular Turn Coat. But then it turns out that this is just a ruse to trick the real turncoat into revealing themselves.

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