Business has been slow lately for Harry Dresden. Okay, business has been dead. Not undead - just dead. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work - magical or mundane. But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses. And the first two don't count.
Reviewed on 29th January 2014
The second book in the Dresden Files follows Chicago's only wizard detective as he investigates some suspicious wolf-like attacks. Like the first book, the narrative is quite informal first-person, which I find takes a while to get used to compared to the more formal tone taken by most novels.
The plot is strong and builds tension throughout, although I often found my mind had wandered slightly and events had overtaken me - I had to turn back a page to get back on track. The narrative is enriched by occasional hints of things to come and backstory which is drop-fed without much explanation, teasing future books in the series.
I felt as I read though that I couldn't detect much in the way of direction to the story and was just going along for the ride rather than being guided through events. Other than Dresden himself, the characters are more bluntly mysterious than ever deep, and I found that sightly frustrating, though it may be designed as an artefact of seeing the world through the wizard's eyes.
Over all, I feel the same about this book as I did the first entry - I'm still not convinced that the series is going to keep my attention throughout, but I'm also not ready to abandon it by any means. I look forward to reading more and hope it starts to really grip me in the next book.