Rawlins is a large man, with coffee-colored skin, in his late fifties and with greying hair.
Harry Dresden describes him as a blocky man, comfortably overweight, in his mid-fifties, has a frosted grey beard contrasting with his dark skin and looks about as soft as a Brinks truck. He wears a weather-beaten overcoat and an off-the-rack suit.
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.(reference needed)
He is a uniformed cop in Dead Beat, but he's been a detective twice. Both times he was demoted "on account of I have an attitude problem."(reference needed)
There are indications Rawlins knew Murphy as a little girl, having been a friend of her father, and he's assumed to be the only person alive who is allowed to call her Karrie.
In the seriesEdit
- Main article: 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 Harry 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 Harry 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.
- Main article: 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.
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 Harry, and gets a bullet shot through his foot. Thomas appears out of the dark to stop Crane from killing him.
- Main article: White Night
- Main article: Small Favor
- Main article: Turn Coat
- Main article: Changes
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 tought some baddy finally got to Dresden. The second time, he and Stallings search Murphy's place.
- Main article: Changes