Fool Moon: Book Two of the Dresden Files by Jim ButcherFool Moon: Book Two of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Fool Moon: Book Two of the Dresden Files

byJim Butcher

Paperback | January 1, 2001

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“One of the most enjoyable marriages of the fantasy and mystery genres on the shelves,”(Cinescape) the Dresden Files have become synonymous with action-packed urban fantasy and nonstop fun. Fool Moon continues the adventures of Jim Butcher’s most famous—and infamous—reluctant hero…
You’d think there’d be a little more action for the only professional wizard listed in the Chicago phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work: magical, mundane, or menial.
Just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. There’s a brutally mutilated corpse, and monstrous animal markings at the scene. Not to mention that the killing took place on the night of a full moon. Harry knows exactly where this case is headed. Take three guesses—and the first two don’t count...
A martial arts enthusiast whose résumé includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives mostly inside his own head so that he can write down the conversatio...
Title:Fool Moon: Book Two of the Dresden FilesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 7.5 × 4.25 × 0.91 inPublished:January 1, 2001Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0451458125

ISBN - 13:9780451458124


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fool Moon An employ at Chapters recommended this series to me and I am glade I picked it up. I was tired of reading books form a woman's point of view and I really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grandma what big teeth, wait is that a belt? How many different types of werewolves can you pack into a single novel? You may as well ask how many woodchucks could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck 200 pounds of snarling fury and glistening fangs? Uh, four, or three depending on your point of view. Regardless of how many wolves it takes to bring down the prey, uh, I mean the reader, Harry Dresden still manages to be one of the most well rounded characters in contemporary fantasy series, both achingly human and vulnerable, while still able to lay low the baddest baddies around, quipping and griping humbly while he does it. The writing is smooth and easy, well plotted with twists and turns and highly wrought haunting emotional revelations in all the right places, with great action sequences throw in.
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent follow up! Even better than the first book. Couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable This story introduces us to crucial characters that will be referenced throughout the series. I quite enjoyed it! The series really picks up by book four but this one is fun
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Characterization Saves the Day! I feel the exact same way about Harry Dresden as one of the supporting characters does near the end of this novel - I don't know if I want to fall in love with him or not. I have friends that assure me that the series gets excellent about halfway through book 4 (Summer Knight). I've committed; I'll stick with the series until the end. I just get exasperated when I end up figuring out who committed the murders within the first 30 pages (I won't say exactly which page because I don't want it to be a spoiler, but it was considerably before page 30) and I'm torn. Predictability is a major show stopper for me when it comes to reading. If I can guess the story, I usually feel that I've wasted my time getting there unless there are twists. There aren't any twists here. It's a straight shot (silver bullet? :P) to the predictable outcome. Oh, and he still hasn't worn a hat... However, as in the first book, the characters save the day (literally, in both senses). Their dialogue, the vulnerability, the courage, the selfless acts, the diversity, - they make it fun getting to the predictable outcome. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do in the next book.
Date published: 2014-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fool Moon Loved it! Great plot, and you don't have to read book one to get into it, although it's fantastic too!
Date published: 2014-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another hit for Harry Dresden. I haven't had a series in quite awhile that gets me caught up as quickly as this one. Fool moon is another one that hooked my interest and kept it until the very end.
Date published: 2014-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another hit for Harry Dresden. If you like mystery and fantasy, this is the perfect book for you. While not as exciting as upcoming books in the series, it lays a solid foundation for what is to come (and there's lots). The story is easy to get lost in and difficult to put down. This book had me laughing out loud and dying to know what might come next. I would recommend this book, and series, to anyone.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was ok. In the 2nd book in the Harry Dresden series, wizard-for-hire Harry is helping out his cop friend, Murphy, with a case that appears to involve werewolves. I listened to the audio, narrated by James Marsters. I am actually going to start with a general comment on audio books for me. I have discovered that audios seem to have to be better than print for me to give it the same rating. It is easier for me to get distracted while listening because I am doing other things while I listen. So, I have to be even more engrossed so as to not get distracted by whatever else it is I am doing. Now, this book. It was ok. The narrator: I know James Marsters as Spike from Buffy, and I had forgotten that he isn't actually British! That being said, he has a very nice voice to listen to, although it can be monotone. So, the book itself was ok for me. It was too easy to get distracted, though, so I missed a lot of things and I am unsure whether or not I will continue the series.
Date published: 2013-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dresden is worth the time In the words of someone in some movie, "don't you ever die?!" It makes for a bad first-person book, of course, and this is NOT a bad book. A lot happens in a short amount of time, and much of it is pretty hard to believe, but if you're looking for a book that seems plausible, stay away from the Dresden Files! What is best about Harry Dresden is he's too likable to hold a grudge against him for telling you his unvarnished, honest-even-when-it-makes-him-seem-ugly, and really funny story. It's easy to get caught up in the tale and just enjoy the ride. Can't wait to start the next one!
Date published: 2013-04-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I enjoyed it I jumped right into Fool Moon after finishing Storm Front. Storm Front was a five star read for me, but Fool Moon fell short. I just didn’t enjoy it as much. The plot kicked up a notch with the addition of the werewolves. There was more action, a little more gore. What I enjoyed so much in Storm Front was the humor which – in my opinion, Fool Moon lacked. I wasn’t a big fan of the Murphy character in the first installment and my distaste for her got more bitter with Fool Moon; she needs an attitude adjustment. I’m not going to jump into Grave Peril just yet, but I am looking forward to seeing what kind of trouble Harry will get into.
Date published: 2012-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! Another great read by Jim Butcher.
Date published: 2010-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Harry Dresden is my HERO! If you though book one, Storm Front, was good... wait until you get into this one. Dark nights will creep you out forever more. Van Helsing, eat your heart out. Harry Dresden is my hero. A fast paced, action packed and filled to the brim with all the magic we crave. Butcher's characters are well developed and easy to like or hate as the situation calls for. His writing is engrossing and he never seems to leave a word in the wrong place. Nothing pulls you out of the story once you are in. The events are believable, and I know that sounds strange to say considering the genre but read it and it will makes sense. You never feel like it should have happened another way or that you could have written it better. Jim just does it right. Can't wait for Grave Peril!
Date published: 2009-09-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wizard vs. Werewolves In this latest installment of Jim Butchers "Harry Dresden" chronicles, Harry must battle werewolves. But as nothing is ever simple in Dresden's life, neither is this. First, there is a Loup-Garou terrorizing the city. This is someone that is a werewolf because his family was cursed in the times of St. Patrick. Second, is the group of Hexenwulven, people that trade their humanity for the power of the wolf. Then there are the ones that are aided by sorcery. It would be bad enough if it wasn't just the Loup-Garou, because they are almost impossible to stop. But, the Hexenwulven are complicating things, not just corrupting the investigation, not just because they are corrupt FBI agents, who have thrown down with the local mobsters. But, because each time they shift they lose more and more of their humanity and morals. That and they intend on killing everyone and thing in their way, and framing the Loup-Garou who just wants to contain his curse, and provide sanctuary for wild life, as they lose more and more of their natural domains. I do like these books, but I do find they have more gore and violence, than I tend to like. I find myself losing interest in them, because I feel that a lot of the gore is gratuitous. I gave up on the author Karen Chances books because I felt the same way. Lucky for Butcher, he is a much better writer than Chance, or I might just decide to stop here and not continue like I did with Chance.
Date published: 2009-07-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I Liked It, I Liked It This is the second book in the Dresden Files series and I liked it. Maybe Harry is just growing on me, but to me it was better than the first book. Harry still seems to be a bit of a flake who despite being a wizard gets beaten up alot; Murphy is still a b**ch, but there seemed to be more there to the characters, especially Harry's. The story itself was okay, although I don't know why Butcher needed so many different types of werewolves (including one that never really does get explained). There is plenty of action and the story moves along at a good pace. Hopefully this is a sign for the direction the series is taking. Since I bought the 3 book boxed set, I guess I will know after book three.
Date published: 2009-04-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enthusiasm to Burn Jim Butcher achieves something that no other authors of urban fantasy (at least not the ones I've read) have done; he expresses how wonderful it is to be producing magic in a world like ours. I don't expect characters to be jazzed about their magic skills in a classic fantasy world, where magic is like bowling and everyone knows about it, most people have dabbled in it, but only a few can bowl anywhere near a perfect score. Nor do I expect wizards to remain wide-eyed about their skills if they find themselves separated from Muggles for long periods, so that they are surrounded by magic and their only influence is magic. After all, knowing how to throw a slider loses its wow-factor when you're one of a pitching staff where everyone's got a slider and something more. But in an urban fantasy setting, where the magical world is our world with magic in it -- a world with zombies and Coke, or vampires and Dancing with the Stars, or demons and Battlestar Galactica -- the protagonists can't always be seeing their talents as curses or handicaps or illnesses. Some character somewhere has got to like what they're able to do. Enter Chicago wizard Harry Dresden. Here's what he thinks about his skills: "The potion had worked. I was inside. I had to suppress an urge to break into a soft-shoe routine. Sometimes being able to use magic was so cool. I almost stopped hurting for a few seconds, from sheer enjoyment of the special effects. I would have to remember to tell Bob how much I liked the way this potion worked." Now that's more like it. That's enthusiasm. That's joy. That's a man who knows that supernatural talent is about the best thing you can have in a modern city. And that's a recognition that being able to do magic is just plain cool. This enthusiasm (dare I call it passion, as Harry does?) is at the core of Harry Dresden, and it is the best reason (amongst many others) for me to keep reading The Dresden Files. I know guys like Harry. They are the computer geeks who spend their days programming wonders and come home to play video games, or the math geeks who spend their days dreaming up lofty theorems then come home and play speed chess. Harry's talent happens to be magic, but by grounding his skills in the lovable body of an everyday geek (albeit a bad*ss geek), the kind of geek we all know and understand, Butcher makes everything about his Chicago -- the city, the people (especially Harry) and the magic -- as accessibly realistic as an urban fantasy-noir can be. Furthermore, as an inveterate Indiana Jones fan, the constant references, intentional or otherwise, to Raiders of the Lost Ark are enough to keep me happy even when Harry Dresden miraculously pulls off his self-proclaimed missions against ridiculous odds that are compounded by bloodloss and bruising and beatings that would put a normal person in the hospital instantly, which is, of course, another reference to Indiana Jones, making me love Dresden even more. This is only the second book of [book:The Dresden Files], so I don't want to go too far in my praise -- I am expecting better stories to come -- but as fantasy-noir entertainments go, [book:Fool Moon] is top notch. It is exciting, action packed and pulpy with just the right amount of cheek. The Dresden Files is the perfect series if you need a break from the cerebral, but don't want to immerse yourself in drivel. P.S. At this point in the series I completely hate Murphy. I know that is heresy for fans of The Dresden Files; I know she is beloved and has a history with Harry that grows and deepens, but right now I can't stand her. At this point (and I really do hope this changes in future books), she is pig-headed, abusive, closed minded, inflexible, self-righteous, and just plain mean. She is the one element of Fool Moon that I genuinely disliked. Too bad Harry didn't hook up with Tera.
Date published: 2009-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better than book 1! Wow - Harry takes a beating in this book! The plot keeps moving at a steady pace and just when you think things can't get any worse, thanks Murph, it does!
Date published: 2009-03-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Silly Wizard.... The Dresden Files began in Storm Front, where we were introduced to Harry B. Copperfield Dresden, a wizard living in Chicago and helping to keep in check the things that go bump in the night while the people of the windy city go about their daily lives blissfully unaware. I'm only two books into the series, but I don't plan on stopping. Harry Dresden is a refreshing read. Written in the first person, Harry is a highly reliable narrator, as he is actually honest with this readers. He admits his strengths, failings, and when he's being an idiot. Dresden also likes to banter with his parter, his enemies and himself, creating many moments in the book to make you smile and laugh, before getting back down to business. This particular installment has Harry chasing his tail as he tracks down leads to find and capture a werewolf that is terrorizing Chicago each full moon. During the course of the narration, we discover the different types of Werewolves that exist, Harry's long dead mother hid many secrets about herself which are only hinted at here, and that everything is not as it appears. Bad guys can be good, and good guys can go crazy.
Date published: 2008-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Harry is back! The only wizard in the Chicago yellow pages, Harry Dresden, is back. And in this, the second in the series, Butcher brings us one heck of a mystery: Werewolves, loup-garous, hexenwolves..? Someone is definitely out to get all furry and eat the locals. Is Harry up to the task to figure it all out before too many more people die? You betcha. Is he likely to get smacked around on the way, and end up in a whole world of trouble? Oh yeah. But you'll love it. Nab this - nab the whole series, and you'll love it. Puts Anita Blake to shame.
Date published: 2007-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fool Moon Rocks! Fool Moon rocks, fulfilling the lofty precedent set in Storm Front for fast paced action, witty dialogue, a riveting plotline, compelling characters and it's endearing protagonist: Harry Dresden, a wisecracking gumshoe wizard with a heart of gold and just enough of a dark side to keep things real. When Lt. Karrin Murphy, head of the Chicago Police's Special Investigations unit, is faced with having to solve crimes that go beyond the scope of forensic science, she usually turns to Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, for help. But in Fool Moon Harry discovers that Murphy is forced to risk her badge to bring him in on a murder investigation after an editorial in a local paper criticizes her use of public funds to hire him. Time is running out. Evidence found following a series of gruesome murders leads Harry to believe that a pack of werewolves is on the rampage in the city and with only a few nights of bright moonlight left, the wizard is in a race against the clock to put an end to the slaughter or lose the trail until the next full moon. Fool Moon is solid entertainment.
Date published: 2001-02-18

Read from the Book

Table of ContentsTitle PageCopyright Page Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter FourChapter FiveChapter SixChapter SevenChapter EightChapter NineChapter TenChapter ElevenChapter TwelveChapter ThirteenChapter FourteenChapter FifteenChapter SixteenChapter SeventeenChapter EighteenChapter NineteenChapter TwentyChapter Twenty-oneChapter Twenty-twoChapter Twenty-threeChapter Twenty-fourChapter Twenty-fiveChapter Twenty-sixChapter Twenty-sevenChapter Twenty-eightChapter Twenty-nineChapter ThirtyChapter Thrity-oneChapter Thirty-twoChapter Thirty-threeChapter Thirty-fourALSO BY JIM BUTCHERTHE DRESDEN FILESSTORM FRONT GRAVE PERIL SUMMER KNIGHT DEATH MASKS BLOOD RITES DEAD BEAT PROVEN GUILTY WHITE NIGHT SMALL FAVORTHE CODEX ALERAFURIES OF CALDERON ACADEM’S FURY CURSOR’S FURY CAPTAIN’S FURYROC Published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.) Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South AfricaPenguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, EnglandPublished by Roc, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Previously published in a Roc mass market edition.Copyright © Jim Butcher, 2001All rights reservedREGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADAWithout limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.PUBLISHER’S NOTEThis is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.Chapter OneI never used to keep close track of the phases of the moon. So I didn’t know that it was one night shy of being full when a young woman sat down across from me in McAnally’s pub and asked me to tell her all about something that could get her killed.“No,” I said. “Absolutely not.” I folded the piece of paper, with its drawings of three concentric rings of spidery symbols, and slid it back over the polished oak-wood table.Kim Delaney frowned at me, and brushed some of her dark, shining hair back from her forehead. She was a tall woman, buxom and lovely in an old-world way, with pale, pretty skin and round cheeks well used to smiling. She wasn’t smiling now.“Oh, come on, Harry,” she told me. “You’re Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, and you’re the only one who can help me.” She leaned across the table toward me, her eyes intent. “I can’t find the references for all of these symbols. No one in local circles recognizes them either. You’re the only real wizard I’ve ever even heard of, much less know. I just want to know what these others are.”“No,” I told her. “You don’t want to know. You’re better off forgetting this circle and concentrating on something else.”“But—”Mac caught my attention from behind the bar by waving a hand at me, and slid a couple of plates of steaming food onto the polished surface of the crooked oak bar. He added a couple of bottles of his homemade brown ale, and my mouth started watering.My stomach made an unhappy noise. It was almost as empty as my wallet. I would never have been able to afford dinner tonight, except that Kim had offered to buy, if I’d talk to her about something during the meal. A steak dinner was less than my usual rate, but she was pleasant company, and a sometime apprentice of mine. I knew she didn’t have much money, and I had even less.Despite my rumbling stomach, I didn’t rise immediately to pick up the food. (In McAnally’s pub and grill, there aren’t any service people. According to Mac, if you can’t get up and walk over to pick up your own order, you don’t need to be there at all.) I looked around the room for a moment, with its annoying combination of low ceilings and lazily spinning fans, its thirteen carved wooden columns and its thirteen windows, plus thirteen tables arranged haphazardly to defray and scatter the residual magical effects that sometimes surrounded hungry (in other words, angry) wizards. McAnally’s was a haven in a town where no one believed in magic. A lot of the crowd ate there.“Look, Harry,” Kim said. “I’m not using this for anything serious, I promise. I’m not trying any summoning or binding. It’s an academic interest only. Something that’s been bothering me for a while.” She leaned forward and put her hand over mine, looking me in the face without looking me in the eyes, a trick that few nonpractitioners of the Art could master. She grinned and showed me the deep dimples in her cheeks.My stomach growled again, and I glanced over at the food on the bar, waiting for me. “You’re sure?” I asked her. “This is just you trying to scratch an itch? You’re not using it for anything?”“Cross my heart,” she said, doing so.I frowned. “I don’t know . . .”She laughed at me. “Oh, come on, Harry. It’s no big deal. Look, if you don’t want to tell me, never mind. I’ll buy you dinner anyway. I know you’re tight for money lately. Since that thing last spring, I mean.”I glowered, but not at Kim. It wasn’t her fault that my main employer, Karrin Murphy, the director of Special Investigations at the Chicago Police Department, hadn’t called me in for consulting work in more than a month. Most of my living for the past few years had come from serving as a special consultant to SI, but after a fracas last spring involving a dark wizard fighting a gang war for control of Chicago’s drug trade, work with SI had slowly tapered off—and with it, my income.I didn’t know why Murphy hadn’t been calling me in as often. I had my suspicions, but I hadn’t gotten the chance to confront her about them yet. Maybe it wasn’t anything I’d done. Maybe the monsters had gone on strike. Yeah, right.The bottom line was I was strapped for cash. I’d been eating ramen noodles and soup for too many weeks. The steaks Mac had prepared smelled like heaven, even from across the room. My belly protested again, growling its neolithic craving for charred meat.But I couldn’t just go and eat the dinner without giving Kim the information she wanted. It’s not that I’ve never welshed on a deal, but I’ve never done it with anyone human—and definitely not with someone who looked up to me.Sometimes I hate having a conscience, and a stupidly thorough sense of honor.“All right, all right,” I sighed. “Let me get the dinner and I’ll tell you what I know.”Kim’s round cheeks dimpled again. “Thanks, Harry. This means a lot to me.”“Yeah, yeah,” I told her, and got up to weave my way toward the bar, through columns and tables and so on. McAnally’s had more people than usual tonight, and though Mac rarely smiled, there was a contentment to his manner that indicated that he was happy with the crowd. I snatched up the plates and bottles with a somewhat petulant attitude. It’s hard to take much joy in a friend’s prosperity when your own business is about to go under.I took the food, steaks and potatoes and green beans, back to the table and sat down again, placing Kim’s plate in front of her. We ate for a while, myself in sullen silence and she in hearty hunger.“So,” Kim said, finally. “What can you tell me about that?” She gestured toward the piece of paper with her fork.I swallowed my food, took a sip of the rich ale, and picked up the paper again. “All right. This is a figure of High magic. Three of them, really, one inside the other, like layered walls. Remember what I told you about magical circles?”Kim nodded. “They either hold something out or keep it in. Most work on magic energies or creatures of the Nevernever, but mortal creatures can cross the circles and break them.”“Right,” I said. “That’s what this outermost circle of symbols is. It’s a barrier against creatures of spirit and magical forces. These symbols here, here, here, are the key ones.” I pointed out the squiggles in question.Kim nodded eagerly. “I got the outer one. What’s the next?”“The second circle is more of a spell barrier to mortal flesh. It wouldn’t work if all you used was a ring of symbols. You’d need something else, stones or gems or something, spaced between the drawings.” I took another bite of steak.Kim frowned at the paper, and then at me. “And then what would that do?”“Invisible wall,” I told her. “Like bricks. Spirits, magic, could go right through it, but mortal flesh couldn’t. Neither could a thrown rock, bullets, anything purely physical.”“I see,” she said, excited. “Sort of a force field.”I nodded. “Something like that.”Her cheeks glowed with excitement, and her eyes shone. “I knew it. And what’s this last one?”I squinted at the innermost ring of symbols, frowning. “A mistake.”“What do you mean?”“I mean that it’s just gobbledygook. It doesn’t mean anything useful. Are you sure you copied this correctly?”Kim’s mouth twisted into a frown. “I’m sure, I’m sure. I was careful.”I studied her face for a moment. “If I read the symbols correctly, it’s a third wall. Built to withhold creatures of flesh and spirit. Neither mortal nor spirit but somewhere in between.”She frowned. “What kind of creatures are like that?”I shrugged. “None,” I said, and officially, it was true. The White Council of wizards did not allow the discussion of demons that could be called to earth, beings of spirit that could gather flesh to themselves. Usually, a spirit-circle was enough to stop all but the most powerful demons or Elder Things of the outer reaches of the Nevernever. But this third circle was built to stop things that could transcend those kinds of boundaries. It was a cage for demonic demigods and archangels.Kim wasn’t buying my answer. “I don’t see why anyone would make a circle like this to contain nothing, Harry.”I shrugged. “People don’t always do reasonable, sensible things. They’re like that.”She rolled her eyes at me. “Come on, Harry. I’m not a baby. You don’t have to shelter me.”“And you,” I told her, “don’t need to know what kind of thing that third circle was built to contain. You don’t want to know. Trust me.”She glowered at me for a long moment, then sipped at her ale and shrugged. “All right. Circles have to be empowered, right? You have to know how to switch them on, like lights?”“Something like that. Sure.”“How would a person turn this one on?”I stared at her for a long time.“Harry?” she asked.“You don’t need to know that, either. Not for an academic interest. I don’t know what you’ve got in mind, Kim, but leave it alone. Forget it. Walk away, before you get hurt.”“Harry, I am not—”“Save it,” I told her. “You’re sitting on a tiger cage, Kim.” I thumped a finger on the paper for emphasis. “And you wouldn’t need it if you weren’t planning on trying to stick a tiger in there.”Her eyes glittered, and she lifted her chin. “You don’t think I’m strong enough.”“Your strength’s got nothing to do with it,” I said. “You don’t have the training. You don’t have the knowledge. I wouldn’t expect a kid in grade school to be able to sit down and figure out college calculus. And I don’t expect it of you, either.” I leaned forward. “You don’t know enough yet to be toying with this sort of thing, Kim. And even if you did, even if you did manage to become a full-fledged wizard, I’d still tell you not to do it. You mess this up and you could get a lot of people hurt.”“If I was planning to do that, it’s my business, Harry.” Her eyes were bright with anger. “You don’t have the right to choose for me.”“No,” I told her. “I’ve got the responsibility to help you make the right choice.” I curled the paper in my fingers and crushed it, then tossed it aside, to the floor. She stabbed her fork into a cut of steak, a sharp, vicious gesture. “Look, Kim,” I said. “Give it some time. When you’re older, when you’ve had more experience . . .”“You aren’t so much older than me,” Kim said.I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. “I’ve had a lot of training. And I started young.” My own ability with magic, far in excess of my years and education, wasn’t a subject I wanted to explore. So I tried to shift the direction of the conversation. “How is this fall’s fund-raiser going?”“It’s not,” she said. She leaned back wearily in her seat. “I’m tired of trying to pry money out of people to save the planet they’re poisoning or the animals they’re killing. I’m tired of writing letters and doing marches for causes no one believes in anymore.” She rubbed at her eyes. “I’m just tired.”“Look, Kim. Try to get some rest. And please, please don’t play with that circle. Promise me.”She tossed her napkin down, left a few bills on the table, and stood up. “Enjoy your meal, Harry,” she said. “And thanks for nothing.”I stood up as well. “Kim,” I said. “Wait a minute.”But she ignored me. She stalked off toward the door, her skirt swaying along with her long hair. She cut an impressive, statuesque figure. I could feel the anger bubbling off her. One of the ceiling fans shuddered and let out a puff of smoke as she walked under it, then whirled down to a halt. She raced up the short flight of stairs and exited the bar, banging the door shut behind her. People watched her leave, then glanced back to me, speculation on their faces.I sat back down, frustrated. Dammit. Kim was one of several people I had coached through the difficult period surrounding the discovery of their innate magical talents. It made me feel like crap to withhold information from her, but she had been playing with fire. I couldn’t let her do that. It was my responsibility to help protect her from such things, until she knew enough to realize how dangerous they were.To say nothing of what the White Council would think of a nonwizard toying with major summoning circles. The White Council didn’t take chances with things like that. They just acted, decisively, and they weren’t always particular about people’s lives and safety when they did it.I had done the right thing. Keeping that kind of information out of Kim’s hands had been the right decision. I had been protecting her from danger she didn’t, couldn’t, fully appreciate.I had done the right thing—even if she had trusted me to provide answers for her, as I had in the past, when teaching her to contain and control her modest magical talents. Even if she had trusted me to show her the answers she needed, to be her guide through the darkness.I’d done the right thing.Dammit.My stomach was soured. I didn’t want any more of Mac’s delicious meal, steak or no steak. I didn’t feel like I’d earned it.I was sipping ale and thinking dark thoughts when the door opened again. I didn’t look up, occupied as I was with brooding, a famous pastime of wizards everywhere. And then a shadow fell over me.“Sitting here pouting,” Murphy said. She bent over and absently picked up the wadded scrap of paper I had tossed aside earlier, tucking it tidily into her coat pocket rather than letting it lie about as clutter on the floor. “That’s not much like you, Harry.”I glanced up at Murphy. I didn’t have far to look. Karrin Murphy wasn’t much more than five feet tall. She’d gotten her golden hair cut, from shoulder length to something far shorter, and a little longer in front than in back. It was a punky sort of look, and very appealing with her blue eyes and upturned nose. She was dressed for the weather in what must have been her at-home clothes: dark jeans, a flannel shirt, hiking boots, and a heavy woodsman’s jacket. She was wearing her badge on her belt.Murphy was extremely cute, for a grown adult who also held a black belt in aikido, and had several marksmanship awards from Chicago PD. She was a real professional, one who had fought and clawed her way up the ranks to become full lieutenant. She’d made enemies along the way, and one of them had seen to it that she was put in charge of Special Investigations soon after.“Hello there, Murphy,” I told her. I took a swig of ale and said, “Long time, no see.” I tried to keep my voice even, but I’m pretty sure she heard the anger in it.“Look, Harry—”“Did you read the editorial in the Tribune? The one criticizing you for wasting the city’s money hiring a ‘charlatan psychic named Harry Dresden’? I guess you must have, since I haven’t heard from you since it came out.”She rubbed at the bridge of her nose. “I don’t have time for this.”I ignored her. “Not that I blame you. I mean, not many of the good taxpayers of Chicago believe in magic, or wizards. Of course, not many of them have seen what you and I have. You know. When we worked together. Or when I was saving your life.”Her eyes tightened at the edges. “I need you. We’ve got a situation.”“You need me? We haven’t talked for more than a month, and you need me all of a sudden? I’ve got an office and a telephone and everything, Lieutenant. You don’t need to track me down here while I’m having dinner.”“I’ll tell the killer to be sure to operate during business hours next time,” Murphy said. “But I need you to help me find him.”I straightened in my chair, frowning. “There’s been a murder? Something in my field?”Murphy flashed a hard smile at me. “I hope you didn’t have anything more important to do.”I felt my jaw grow tense. “No. I’m ready.” I stood up."Well then,” she said, turning and walking away. “Shall we go?”Chapter TwoMurphy declined to ride in the Blue Beetle, my old Volkswagen bug.The Beetle wasn’t really blue, not anymore. One of the doors had been replaced with a green duplicate, the other one with white, when something with claws had shredded the originals. The hood had been slagged by fire, and my mechanic, Mike, had replaced it with the hood from a red vehicle. The important thing is that the Beetle runs, even if it doesn’t do it very fast, and I’m comfortable with the car. Mike has declared that the VW bug is the easiest car in the world to repair, and so that’s what I drive. He keeps it running eight or nine days in ten. That’s phenomenal.Technology tends to foul up around wizards—flip on a light switch, and it’ll be the time the bulb burns out. Drive past a streetlight, and it’ll pick just then to flicker and die. Whatever can go wrong will, automobiles included.I didn’t think it made much sense for Murphy to risk her vehicle when she could have taken mine, but she said she’d take her chances.She didn’t speak as she drove her Saturn down the JFK, out toward Rosemont. I watched her, uncomfortable, as we went. She was in a hurry, taking a few too many chances cutting in and out of traffic, and I put on my seat belt. At least we weren’t on her motorcycle.“Murph,” I asked her, “where’s the fire?”She glanced aside at me. “I want you out there before some other people show up.”“Press?” I couldn’t quite keep a nasty slur out of the word.She shrugged. “Whoever.”I frowned at her, but she didn’t say anything else—which seemed typical. Murphy didn’t speak much to me anymore. We rode the rest of the way in silence, exited the JFK, and pulled into the parking lot of a half-completed little strip mall. We got out of the car.A jet came in, low, heading for O’Hare International Airport, only a few miles to the west. I squinted at it for a moment, and then frowned at Murphy as a uniformed officer led us toward a building surrounded by police tape. There was an abundance of light, the moon overhead bright silver and almost a completely round circle. I cast an enormous, gangly shadow as I walked, my duster flapping around my legs. It towered beside Murphy’s far smaller shadow ahead of me.“Murphy?” I said. “Aren’t we outside Chicago city limits?”“Yeah,” Murphy said shortly.“Uh. Then aren’t we out of your jurisdiction, technically?”“People need help wherever they can get it, Dresden. And the last several killings happened in Chicago, so we want to look at this firsthand. I already worked things out with the local force. It’s not really an issue.”“Several killings?” I said. “Several? As in more than one? Murphy, slow down.”But she didn’t. Instead, she led me into a roomy building that proved to be under construction, though all the exterior work was finished. Some of the windows were still covered with board. I didn’t see the sign on the building’s front doors until I got close.“The Varsity?” I said, reading it. “I thought Marcone burned it down last spring.”“Mmm-hmm,” Murphy said, glancing at me over her shoulder. “Relocated and rebuilding.”Chicago’s resident crime lord, Gentleman Johnny Marcone, was the robber baron of the mean streets. He kept all the rough business inside the city proper, leaving his legitimate interests out in the suburbs, like here in Rosemont. Last spring, when I had confronted him in his club, a previous incarnation of the Varsity, about a deadly new drug on the streets, the place had wound up burning to the ground.After the whole mess was over, word got out that the drug dealer I’d taken out had been Marcone’s enemy, and that I had nuked him at the crime lord’s request. I hadn’t refuted the rumor. It was easier to let people talk than to force Marcone to make an issue of things.Inside the building, the floors were rough, unfinished. Someone had turned on a couple of halogen work lights, and they cast the interior into brilliant, clear white light. There was drywall dust everywhere. There were a few card tables set up, with workmen’s tools left out on them in places. Plastic buckets of paint, tarps, and a sack of new paintbrushes waited for use off to one side. I didn’t notice the blood until Murphy put her arm out in front of me to keep me from walking into it.“Wake up, Dresden,” she said. Her voice was grim.I stopped, and looked down. Blood. A lot of blood. It began near my feet, where a long splatter had reached out like an arm from a drowning man, staining the dusty floor with scarlet. My eyes followed the path of the long bloodstain back to a pool, maybe an eighth of an inch deep, surrounding a mound of ripped cloth and torn meat that must have been the corpse.My stomach quailed, threatening to eject the bites of steak I’d taken earlier that evening, but I forced it down. I walked in a circle around the body, keeping my distance. The corpse was, I guessed, that of a male in his thirties. He had been a large man, with a short, spiky haircut. He had fallen onto his side, facing away from me, his arms curled up toward his head, his legs up toward his vitals. A weapon, a little automatic pistol, lay seven or eight feet away, uselessly out of the victim’s reach.I walked around the corpse until I could see the face.Whatever had killed him, it hadn’t been human. His face was gone, simply torn away. Something had ripped his lips off. I could see his bloodstained teeth. His nose had been torn all the way up one side, and part of it dangled toward the floor. His head was misshapen, as though some enormous pressure had been put upon his temples, warping his skull in.His eyes were gone. Torn out of his head. Bitten out. There were the ragged slash marks of fangs all around the edges of the sockets.I closed my eyes, tightly. I took a deep breath. Another. A third. That didn’t help. The body stank, a sickly sewer-smell that rose up from the torn innards. My stomach wanted to roll up my throat, out my mouth, and onto the floor.I could remember the other details, even with my eyes closed, and catalogued them neatly for later reference. The victim’s jacket and shirt had been torn to bloody ribbons along his forearms, in defensive wounds. His hands and arms were a mass of pulped, ripped meat, the palms and fingers slashed to ragged lumps. The curl of his body hid his abdomen from me, but that was where the blood was pooling from, spreading out like ink from a spilled bottle. The stench only confirmed that he had been eviscerated.I turned away from the corpse and opened my eyes, staring down at the floor.“Harry?” Murphy said, from the far side of the body. The note of hardness that had been in her voice all evening was absent. She hadn’t moved while I had done my cursory examination.“I recognize him,” I said. “At least, I think I do. You’ll need to check dental records or something, to be sure.”I could hear her frown in her words. “Yeah? Who was he?”“I don’t know his name. I always called him Spike. For the haircut. He was one of Johnny Marcone’s bodyguards.”Murphy was quiet for a moment, then said, succinctly, “Shit.”“What, Murph?” I looked back at her, without looking down at Spike’s mangled remains.Murphy’s face was set in concern, for me, her blue eyes gentle. I saw her wipe the expression away, as quickly as a shadow crosses the floor, a smoothing of lines that left her features neutral. I guess she hadn’t expected me to turn to her. “Take a look around a little more,” she said. “Then we’ll talk.”“What am I looking for?” I asked her.“You’ll know it,” she said. Then added, in a whisper that I think she didn’t intend me to hear, “I hope.”I turned back to my work, and looked around the room. Off to one side, one of the windows was broken. Near it was a table, lying askew on the floor, its legs warped and bent. I walked over to it.Broken glass littered the ground around the collapsed table. Since the glass was on the inside of the building, something must have come in through the window. There was blood on several of the broken pieces of glass. I picked up one of the larger ones and frowned at it. The blood was dark red, and not yet wholly dried. I took a white handkerchief from my pocket, folded the shard of glass into it, and then slipped it into the pocket of my duster.I rose and paced over the floor, my eyes downcast, studying the dust. In one spot, it was rubbed almost clean off the floor, as though a struggle had taken place there without blood being spilled. In another spot, where the halogen lamps didn’t quite reach, there was a pool of silver moonlight below a window. I knelt down beside it.In the center of the pool was a paw print, in the dust, a paw print almost as big as my spread hand. Canine. Dots at the tips of the paw spoke of heavy nails, almost claws.I looked up through the window at the rounded silver shape of the almost-full moon.“Oh, hell,” I breathed. “Oh, hell.”Murphy came toward me and watched me silently for a moment, waiting. I licked my lips, stood up, and turned to her. “You’ve got problems.”“No kidding. Talk to me, Dresden.”I nodded, then pointed at the window. “The attacker probably came in there. He went after the victim, attacked him, got the gun away from him, and killed him. It’s the attacker’s blood on the window. They struggled a while, over there by that clean spot, maybe, and Spike made a break for the door. He didn’t make it there. He got torn to pieces first.”I turned toward Murphy, looking down at her solemnly. “You’ve had other murders happen in the same way. Probably about four weeks ago, when the moon was last full. Those were the other killings you were talking about.”Murphy glanced at my face for a moment, keeping her eyes off mine, and nodded her head. “Yeah. Four weeks ago, almost exactly. But no one else picked up the full moon angle. Just me.”“Uh-huh. Then you should see this, too,” I said. I led her over to the window and showed her the paw print in the dust beneath it. She regarded it in silence.“Harry,” she said after a minute. “Are there such things as werewolves?” She brushed a strand of hair back from her cheek, a small and oddly vulnerable gesture. She folded her arms over her stomach, as though she were cold.I nodded. “Yeah. Not like you see in the movies, but yeah. I figure that’s what you got going here.”

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the Dresden Files“Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe.”—Entertainment Weekly“Fans of Laurell  K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff will love this series.”—Midwest Book Review   “Superlative.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)   “One of the most enjoyable marriages of the fantasy and mystery genres on the shelves.”—Cinescape   “Butcher...spins an excellent noirish detective yarn in a well-crafted, supernaturally-charged setting. The supporting cast is again fantastic, and Harry’s wit continues to fly in the face of a peril-fraught plot.”—Booklist (starred review)   “What’s not to like about this series?...It takes the best elements of urban fantasy, mixes it with some good old-fashioned noir mystery, tosses in a dash of romance and a lot of high-octane action, shakes, stirs, and serves.”—SF Site   “A tricky plot complete with against-the-clock pacing, firefights, explosions, and plenty of magic. Longtime series fans as well as newcomers drawn by the SciFi Channel’s TV series based on the novels should find this supernatural mystery a real winner.”—Library Journal   “What would you get if you crossed Spenser with Merlin? Probably you would come up with someone very like Harry Dresden, wizard, tough guy and star of [the Dresden Files].”—The Washington Times