Dresden Files

Henry Rawlins is a human male, and a member of the Chicago Police Department. He first appears in Dead Beat.


Harry Dresden describes him as a blocky man in his late fifties, comfortably overweight, with a frosted grey beard contrasting with his coffee-colored skin and looking about as soft as a Brink's[Footnote 1] truck. He wears a weather-beaten overcoat and an off-the-rack suit.[1][2]


Rawlins is married, with children. He is a good cop who gets in trouble with his superiors by following his instincts instead of police procedure. He has a droll sense of humor and is one of the few on the force who believe in the supernatural. A uniformed cop in Dead Beat, he has been a detective twice. Both times he was demoted on account of his attitude.[3]

At the end of Proven Guilty, Rawlins was again made a detective and a member of Special Investigations, where he is partnered with Karrin Murphy.[4]

There are indications Rawlins knew Karrin Murphy as a little girl, having been a friend of her father, and he's assumed to be the only person alive allowed to call her Karrie.[5]

In the series[]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, Harry Dresden first sees Rawlins while Listening to him talking the security man downstairs, though it wasn't his job to that. Rawlins used to be a detective, it comes natural to him. Rawlins catches Dresden surreptitiously examining a crime scene at the Field Museum of Natural History. Rawlins recognizes him, knows that he works with Murphy, and compliments him on his work. He shows him a relevant news clipping about Corpsetaker and Li Xian. When Dresden asks why Rawlins is helping him, he tells him a story of when he was a young cop; he had interrupted a "thing" attacking a woman, and it had turned on him, about to kill him, when Collin Murphy had appeared and killed it with a shotgun loaded with rocksalt.[3]

Proven Guilty[]

In Proven Guilty, Rawlins was on the scene of the initial attack at SplatterCon!!! with a name tag reading An Authority Figure. He had arrested Nelson Lenhardt for the crime, because there were no other suspects and he hoped the boy knew something that could help the investigation, though he believed him innocent. He lets Harry Dresden look at the crime scene through the door.[6]

Later in, he helps Dresden and Karrin Murphy with the phobophage attacks. He ends up being kidnapped by Darby Crane, soon identified as Madrigal Raith, along with Dresden, and gets a bullet shot through his foot.[7] Thomas appears out of the dark to stop Crane from killing him.[8]

White Night[]

In White Night, Karrin Murphy mentions him as the one who heard about the rumor of Harry Dresden and Thomas Raith being in a relationship.[9]

"Down Town"[]

In "Down Town", Rawlins accompanies Karrin Murphy on a stakeout on Hendricks when she's been called to the Laundromat owner's crime scene. He's not very enthusiastic about the job. The two of them try to prevent the kidnapping of a third victim, but fail.[10]

"Wild Card"[]

In "Wild Card", Rawlins comments to Karrin Murphy that the murder of a cop is bound to call more onlookers than that of a civilian.[11]

Later on, he is the first of the police party appearing at the Damen Silos and picks her up where she had fallen in her fight against Puck. He is at the hospital when Murphy wakes up and blurts about the existence of an agent manipulating the events and pushes her wheelchair when she checks out. In the end, he joins the raid to the Silos.[11]

Small Favor[]

He appears briefly in Small Favor, where Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy make him leave the crime scene for deniability and steal his donut.[12]

Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, Rawlins makes amusing remarks over the speaker as Karrin Murphy and Harry Dresden interrogate Binder.[13]


In Changes, he is mentioned only twice. The first time, Rawlins calls Murphy in the night letting her know about Harry Dresden's building exploding. Murphy thought some baddy finally got to Dresden.[14] The second time, he and Stallings search Murphy's place.[15]

Skin Game[]

In Changes, he's standing guard duty outside Karrin Murphy's hospital room.[16]



  1. Small Favor, ch. 4
  2. Turn Coat, ch. 30
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dead Beat, ch. 13
  4. Proven Guilty, ch. 47
  5. Ghost Story, ch. 2
  6. Proven Guilty, ch. 11
  7. Proven Guilty, ch. 26-27
  8. Proven Guilty, ch. 28
  9. White Night, ch. 27
  10. "Down Town"
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Wild Card"
  12. Small Favor, ch. 1
  13. Turn Coat, ch. 31
  14. Changes, ch. 5
  15. Changes, ch. 23
  16. Skin Game, ch. 51