A series of apparent suicides rings alarm bells with the police, and Harry is hired. At the first crime scene he hits pay dirt, discovering an unmistakable magical taint. There's also a message especially for him, and it ain't pretty. The 'killings' will continue if Harry can't halt his tormentor, but the evidence implicates his half-brother, which just doesn't add up. Unfortunately Harry's digging around attracts some powerful vampires with a stake in the result. Soon, whichever way he turns, Harry will find himself outnumbered, outclassed and dangerously susceptible to temptation. And if he screws up, his friends will die.
Reviewed on 16th August 2020
It’s been two years since I read the previous Dresden Files novel - they taunt me a little from a bookcase, because I’ve got the whole series but don’t feel I enjoy them enough that I constantly want to read them. The release of a new entry however prompted me to pick up this, the ninth novel.
There’s been some suspicious deaths in Chicago, and Harry Dresden is brought in on the quiet to have a look for anything that might be up his street - and surprise surprise that’s exactly what he finds.
Ultimately my struggle I think with this book was that it was about 100 pages longer than I wanted it to be. I’d had enough by three quarters of the way through, and that’s just about where the narrative really started to pick up some pace.
Part of my reluctance may be that I’ve read a number of comments online that Butcher’s characters have a slightly unhealthy attitude towards women - and actually it is quite noticeable once you are aware of it. While there might be an argument that it’s the character’s viewpoints, it seems to be a lot of the characters, particularly those we’re meant to like as readers, and it goes down without being addressed.
I think it’s likely to be a while again before I pick up the next novel, although I don’t doubt that I will eventually.