Harry Dresden is a wizard PI and a consultant with the Chicago PD. He's called in to a gruesome crime scene one day, and sees a double murder that could only have been committed with an unbelievable amount of magic. There are a lot of powerful people interested in this case, and Harry's life is about to get complicated.
Were there a few problems with this book? Yes. But it was fun, funny, suspenseful and original. I read it in one shift at work. I was hooked when Harry quips, "But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." What a great line!
Harry is a great character. He's a pretty funny smartass, but there's a lot more to him than that. He's lonely and hopeless with women. He is a gentleman at heart, which can drive some of the modern-thinking women around him crazy when he insists on opening their doors and pulling out their chairs. He keeps trying to do the right thing, even when he's caught in impossible Catch-22s. He has some interesting history behind him. We're told a few things, but there's enough left unexplained for me to feel like there's a lot more to him than meets the eye. I'm really curious to find out more of his back story.
As for the mystery part--eh. I knew exactly who had done it, almost from the beginning, I just didn't know why. It didn't bother me too much because I was interested in seeing how Harry would go about figuring this out. There were only a few times when I wanted to smack him around and tell him to start thinking because it was so obvious what was going on. Mostly I was fine with everything though.
One character who was intelligent, level-headed and fairly trusting of Harry became an irrational turncoat at a moment when it conveniently added a lot of drama to the story. That did irritate me because it was completely out of character for what I knew of her.
Oh, and I really dislike the cover of this edition. That looks like Clint Eastwood under that hat and I have a dislike of that man going back to childhood. When there's one tv in the house and your dad insists on spending Sunday afternoons watching Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies, you either learn to love them or learn to hate them. I haven't seen an Eastwood movie in years and years and years.
Those things aside, I did really enjoy this and look forward to reading the next in the series. Maybe these problems will be ironed out in the second installment. And maybe we'll learn exactly why Harry is always followed by the shadow of He Who Walks Behind.
Have any of you read this and seen the series on SciFi? Is the series worth renting?
Read the first chapter.
Jim Butcher's website.