Storm Front: Book One Of The Dresden Files by Jim ButcherStorm Front: Book One Of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Storm Front: Book One Of The Dresden Files

byJim Butcher

Paperback | April 1, 2000

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In the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden’s investigation of a grisly double murder pulls him into the darkest depths of magical Chicago…

As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most of them don’t play well with humans. And those that do enjoy playing with humans far too much. He also knows he’s the best at what he does. Technically, he’s the only at what he does. But even though Harry is the only game in town, business—to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the Chicago P.D. bring him in to consult on a double homicide committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic, there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name...

“A great series—fast-paced, vividly realized and with a hero/narrator who’s excellent company.”—Cinescape
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:Storm Front: Book One Of The Dresden FilesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 7.56 × 4.25 × 1 inPublished:April 1, 2000Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0451457811

ISBN - 13:9780451457813

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Exciting and Imaginative Thriller! “Storm Front” an imaginative and exciting paranormal thriller opens when Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden hired to find a client’s missing husband is called in to help Special Investigations Lieutenant Karrin Murphy solve a grisly double murder. A charming wizard whose private eye business has been in a slump and who’s plagued by a Morgan, the Warden appointed by the White Council to watch his every move, Harry is quickly swept up in an unnatural murder that reeks of black magic. With another death and facing attacks by the “Shadowman” who’s trying to kill him the danger continually escalates as Harry draws closer to solving the crimes only to be challenged by Morgan who’s sure he’s the guilty party and won’t listen to reason. Fast-paced and action-packed Jim Butcher builds an atmosphere of dark uncertainty and tense edginess as Harry challenges not only the vampire owner of an elite escort service and a mobster but tackles the dark magic of a sinister mage. In a writing style that’s natural and flowing the author skillfully balances the darkness, violence and death with Harry’s charismatic personality and witty banter. Into a complex and treacherous plot Jim Butcher weaves a magical feast that includes magical potions, faeries, a vampire and even a frog demon. Building the intensity and suspense of this tale are characters like the polite, and seemingly harmless Harvey Dresden a resourceful wizard who can call up a wind with a word while wielding hand cuffs like a weapon. Stubborn, optimistic and honest he dislikes the breakdown in his relationship with tough, hard-nosed but kind and caring Lieutenant Karrin Murphy, and abhors the narrow-minded, intimidation of Morgan who for much of the book sees him as an enemy of the White Council. These personalities and a host of others including villains like the cold, merciless but practical mob boss Johnnie Marcone and the complicated and vicious madam Bianca breathe life into a supernatural fantasy that keeps you captivated from beginning to end. I enjoyed “Storm Front” and look forward to reading other books in this spell-binding series.
Date published: 2018-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for fans of urban fantasy! Likable character's, exciting plot, lots of action, Witty banter. This book has everything you could want in a urban fantasy. Great read.
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Guilty pleasure I can't get enough of this series. Dresden is such a cheesy nerd, and it's so much fun seeing him get beaten up over and over again until, against all odds, he gets the better of the baddies.
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I really enjoyed this take on magic. It is completely believable in OUR world, which for me is needed for a good magic series. People have called it Harry Potter for adults, but is it SO unique. I would recommend this to ANY of my Sci-Fi friends to read. Wonderful Job!
Date published: 2017-10-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Rough start stick with it, it gets better
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from rough start 1st of an amazing series of books
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Storm Front 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 SUPERB START TO SERIES A great sense of humour and adventure throughout. Very addictive - be warned.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Super Start To An AMAZING Series! This book is the introduction to Jim Butcher's incredible Harry Dresden Files. There are many, many more books in the series after this one. I've read them all, and I can say with all confidence that each and every novel is an amazingly engaging, self-contained story that entertains on too many levels to cover in any one review! Test the waters with Storm Front, then wade into the dark and dangerous depths of the subsequent books in the series. You won't be disappointed. By the third in the series, you'll find yourself gripped hard by the undertow - and before you know it you'll be deliciously in over your head in a world of magic, mythology and the total, unbridled mayhem that defines the character, trials and tribulations of Harry Dresden. You'll be swept along for the ride on a tsunami of action and suspense, as Chicago's only practicing wizard (yes! he even has an ad in the Yellow Pages) pushes the boundaries of reality as he (and we) know it. Each of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files is an amazingly crafted, fast-paced adventure, but what makes them uber-special are the gems and hallmarks that mark Butcher as one of the few, truly great contemporary writers of this genre. They include: - The wealth of esoteric knowledge he weaves throughout the themes and plots, conflicts and resolutions, not only to tie together the story within each separate novel, but also to unite the entire universe of the overall series as a whole. - Amazing character development within each book and throughout the series: the unexpected twists of character relationships and growth leave you both emotionally exhausted and satiated, yet paradoxically hungry for more. - The coolest (and hilarious) contemporary references throughout the series to all things geek -- running the gamut from SW, ST and LOTR, right though Marvel, D&D, and yes, I'll say it, even Looney Tunes & Scooby-Doo. Too many sci-fi and fantasy references to mention; too nostalgic, witty and entertaining to even begin to describe. Storm Front is a good read. It's an even better read if you know that this introductory tale to the Dresden Files is but the threshold. If you have a mind to step beyond that threshold, you'll be thoroughly amazed by what you find waiting for you beyond.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great start to series I thought the Dresden Files were about an ordinary man, a la Fox Mulder from the X-Files, who investigated paranormal activities. Then I picked up this novel at a flea market, and read the word "wizard". Instantly thoughts and images of Gandalf the Grey filled my head, but Harry Dresden is not your typical wizard. Instead, he is a modern day wizard living amongst the good citizens of Chicago, investigating the things that go "bump in the night" while at the same time respecting the laws of Magic and his Order. I really enjoyed this first novel in the very popular series. I kind of wanted to know more about Harry, but perhaps we get to know him more and more with each book. Regardless, the wizard is asked to investigate both a missing persons case and a double homicide. Needless to say, the paths of both seemingly unrelated cases cross, and Harry finds himself up against a madman who is willing to use the darkest magic to see his ends met. Teeming with loads of good humour, creatures, action, tension and spells, "Storm Front" will keep fans of both fantasy and mystery up for many hours flipping furiously through its pages.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great start, great series I'd heard about this series for years, but never picked up any of the books. I wish I started earlier. Such a great series. One good thing about starting this series late is you don't have to wait for the next book, until you finish reading Skin Game. Haha. highly recommend series. A great first book.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book wonderful series! I picked up this book years ago, and I was hooked! Harry Dresden's character was very charismatic thoughtful and brings a different view of Magick and Responsibilty Chaos and Thrills abound and wonderful suprising characters abound in this book and series and even the end of the series will keep you wanting more!
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty Good Start Not a bad start to the series, but it could have been better. I love the book's rules regarding magic and wizardry, but it was hard to stay immersed in Harry's world. Still a good read, but after the hype of the people who suggested tit, it was rather disappointing. Murphy was cool, though.
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strong first entry of a long series Packed in action, interesting characters despite some well-written clichés, Storm Front puts a strong fondation for the next books of the series. The protagonist is likeable and shows depth here and there, the world-building is interesting, but nothing new. What makes the novel stand out is mainly how the author writes it: despite a lot of clichés, it is still really fun and nice to read.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great fun! This series starts as a whodunnit kind of book, but with magic and monsters. It is quite more than that, however. Jim Butcher created a universe that is deep, well-crafted and really interesting.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun I love Harry! He is so relateable and grumpy and his relationship with Murphy is fantastic!
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! So glad I read this book! I'm now hooked on the entire series. Harry may not be the smartest or strongest wizard but he works hard and always tries to do the right thing, which makes him a character you grow to love! He is always trying to help others, which often puts him in peculiar circumstances.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Much Fun! I had to read this book in one of my English classes way back in 2008. I have been hooked on this series ever since! Dresden is such a great character! I just love how sarcastic he is. But when things need to be serious he steps up. And Bob is just amazing! I will be sad once the series comes to an end.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Storm Front First in an excellent series. I have read and reread the Dresden Files series numerous times and have never grown tired of it. Jim Butcher is truly a master of his craft.
Date published: 2015-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Storm Front: first of the Hárry Dresden Files Exciting & fun. Butcher is an excellent wŕiter. His stories are coherent & all sub plots & mysteries are neatly resolved by the end of the book.
Date published: 2015-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Prosaicly Original Cliche. Traditional. Tacky. Prosaic. These words all went through my head as I read the opening pages. It was literally like opening a cheap mystery novel with some cheesy gumshoe smoking a cigar while a very attractive and upset lady across the desk from him begs for help. The scene was very slightly different (there wasn't a cigar :P) but it was the same picture. I knew what was going to happen by page 80. I scolded myself for not knowing before that - I'm sure it was possible. And it turned out I was actually right, which was a bit disappointing (I like being surprised by twists). Also, I feel more like I've watched an episode of Law and Order or Outer Limits (or the offspring of those two shows) than read a novel. And why is he wearing a hat on the cover of the book? He isn't wearing one inside the book... And yet... It was kind of charming. It had something that the traditional, prosaic, cliche Private Investigator novel doesn't usually have - something magical (pun intended). I think it's the characterization. Harry is not the smartest guy. He's not the strongest guy. He doesn't have ruthless handsomeness, lots of money, or a bat cave (though he does have a cool lab... so almost a bat cave). He's not invincible. He's just a regular guy who happens to do magic and wants to do the right thing; wants to help people. And to do that, he has to scrape together enough money for his rent. He needs to borrow someone else's car. He has thugs after him that actually get the majority of the blows in. You get the sense that he does his own laundry and all these things add a lovely amount of relatability. It makes you root for him. It makes you wince when he gets hurt, laugh when he gets into a sticky situation in a circle, and pump your fist in the air when he is triumphant. And for that I'll give it a 7 out of 10. I hear the series gets much better about 4 books in. On to Fool Moon, then.
Date published: 2014-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read This book kept me hooked from start to finish
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good first effort Good enough to read the next one and see if the whole serie is worth it.
Date published: 2014-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The beginning of an awesome series! I bought this book just to try a little something different. And became instantly hooked. Promptly had to buy every book in the series to date. If you enjoy contemporary mysteries and humor but want to throw something new into the mix, this is a great series to start with!
Date published: 2014-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Storm Front Pretty good book, first one like this that I've read in a very long time. Very glad I picked it up and am moving onto the second one tomorrow morning.
Date published: 2014-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Storm Front This was a fantastic book! Can't wait to read more of the Dresden Files.
Date published: 2014-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read! Dresden 1 Well-written; good plot, and characters.
Date published: 2013-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good Very interesting characters. The main character seems very real and very human
Date published: 2013-12-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good Very interesting characters. The main character seems very real and very human
Date published: 2013-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great This was an awesome book and the start of what I am sure will be a great series! It's like a "real life" account of a wizard. So not Harry Potter, it is more realistic in a way and I enjoyed every minute with it.
Date published: 2013-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice take on the image of "wizard" I thought the Dresden Files were about an ordinary man, a la Fox Mulder from the X-Files, who investigated paranormal activities. Then I picked up this novel at a flea market, and read the word "wizard". Instantly thoughts and images of Gandalf the Grey filled my head, but Harry Dresden is not your typical wizard. Instead, he is a modern day wizard living amongst the good citizens of Chicago, investigating the things that go "bump in the night" while at the same time respecting the laws of Magic and his Order. I really enjoyed this first novel in the very popular series. I kind of wanted to know more about Harry, but perhaps we get to know him more and more with each book. Regardless, the wizard is asked to investigate both a missing persons case and a double homicide. Needless to say, the paths of both seemingly unrelated cases cross, and Harry finds himself up against a madman who is willing to use the darkest magic to see his ends met. Teeming with loads of good humour, creatures, action, tension and spells, "Storm Front" will keep fans of both fantasy and mystery up for many hours flipping furiously through its pages.
Date published: 2013-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Storm Front Fast and juicy. Like good pizza you are wanting the next piece before you finish the first.
Date published: 2013-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Kept me guessing and snowballs in to some intense action.
Date published: 2013-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great start I've been hearing so much about this series and now I've had the chance to read the first book and I'm hooked detective and magic is a fun combo.
Date published: 2013-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I really enjoyed this book. I typically like the swords and horse fantasy as well, but found this book to be more entertaining than Furies of Calderón (though it was a very good book too). I really liked Dresden's character).
Date published: 2013-05-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Storm Front Goes on a bit when you just want him to get to the point but all in all: a good, satisfying read.
Date published: 2013-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dresden's a true hero The first Dresden files book turned out to be quite the page-turner! I wasn't sure what to expect when this book was recommended to me, but it definitely wasn't something this fun, funny, and intriguing. It may now be great literature, but Butcher sure knows how to create a character that is likable, a plot that whirls you along at a blistering pace, and a different type of detective novel. He says his first love is true horses and swords fantasy, but I can't see any character in that type of book being more alluring than Harry Dresden. I'm in it for more!
Date published: 2013-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I laughed by butt off reading this book I laughed by butt off reading this book. Harry Dresden is without a doubt one of the most unique characters I’ve ever encountered. His day-to-day life is the bomb. Harry is a private investigator with one little catch; he’s a wizard. He shares an apartment with Mister; his over-sized cat and Bob; the party animal who happens to be a talking skull. And let’s not forget the beetle - the car of all cars – blue in color; one green door, one white door, red trunk hood. Plot wise, the story was simple, however, this debut novel is still a five star read for me. When a book that entertains me, and makes me laugh the way this one did, it gets full points. I am really looking forward to the second book in the series, Fool Moon.
Date published: 2012-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Meet Harry Dresden Meet Harry Dresden - Private Detective and the only Wizard in Chicago. Wizarding is hard business when almost no one believes in it, but Harry's relationship with Lieutenant Murphy in the Chicago PD at least helps keep bread on the table. Most of the time. But Harry's in for a rough time - he's been hired to find a missing person that might not actually be missing, and trying to help the police with a grizzly double homicide. Problem is, the couple was killed with strong, dark magic, and Harry is the only Wizard in town with that kind of power - something his superiors are only too aware of. Harry has mere days to find the real killer and prove his innocence before he is killed - either by his superiors, or the killer who has also set his sights on Harry's life. I've been meaning to read these novels for quite some time as they blend my two favourite genres together - fantasy and mystery. I loved the short-lived TV show version of these novels, although I have now realized how much they differ from the novels. The books, of course, are better! I enjoy the quirky, slightly geeky Dresden, his ability to get himself into, and out of, ridiculously dangerous situations, and the wide array of supporting characters that make up his reality. Mystery lovers will enjoy the inter-woven cases in this novel, and fantasy lovers will enjoy learning how a lone wizard can survive in modern Chicago.
Date published: 2012-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A nice fresh twist... on some very classic myths. I have read the first four books so far. There's been vampires, Fae, Werewolves, Wizards, Demons and I expect even more from the next book. I was kind of hesitant about picking up the second of the series because it included werewolves. I am so sick of werewolves and vampires both in pop culture. They're everywhere these days. Fortunately Butcher has not one type of werewolf, but four which keeps things a little more interesting. The main character is likable. He keeps stepping in the proverbial cow pie and I kind of smile because it`s like the whole universe is conspiring against him. We`ve all felt that way at one point or another. Though I do not like Murphy at all so far. There have been hints already in the books that she is who he`ll ultimately end up with, but just that character as a person so far she is not someone I would be friends with and let`s just leave it at that. I shall leave off this review by saying that the mysteries are pretty simple to figure out, I usually know who the killer is before we reach half way through the novel. To be fair though, I had stopped reading murder mysteries years ago because I kept figuring out who it was. This series is definitely a breath of fresh air from all of the fantasy that I have been reading lately even if it has more of a 'lite' feel to it because it has a bit more adventure than character development.
Date published: 2012-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good 3.5 stars Harry is a private investigator, as well as a wizard. When two people are murdered, the police bring him in to help solve the case, as there appears to be a supernatural element to it. At the same time, Harry is hired by a woman whose husband has gone missing. She believes he has become too heavily involved in magic and is worried. The book was good, but I can't say that it blew me away or even say for sure whether or not I'll continue the series. I definitely preferred the supernatural element to it to the detective stuff.
Date published: 2011-11-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from An Overstimulating Read After reading the first three books of Butcher's Dresden Files which belongs to the hybrid urban fantasy/mystery genre, I concluded that these novels are fast, easy reads. More than anything, these novels are over-stimulating, packing too much danger and near-death experiences to the point where the reader feels anxious just reading them. Harry Dresden never gets a break. He's always on the run. He's always getting hurt. Unfortunately, this action-packed pace takes from the characterization and friendships that in the small glimmers that I do get to read of them, prove to be charming and adds flavour to the stories. On another note, Jim Butcher does not reinvent anything in the fantasy genre, selling books solely on the luxury that it's mixed with a large dose of mystery to separate it from generic fantasy. His magic system is too "abracadabra" and the villains (demons, werewolves, ghosts) are too cliche. I also expected humour from these stories and was rewarded only small samples in each book. If you're looking for "immature" fantasy, or a fast read that involves no thinking, delve right into these pages. If you're looking to spend your time wisely and read "mature" quality fantasy, turn to Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, Jordan's Wheel of Time, Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Hayden's Symphony of Ages and any book written by the Canadian genius, Guy Gavriel Kay. Or, if you're looking for a book with a completely original magical system, read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy.
Date published: 2011-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Fun! The TV series was great and so is this book. Dresden's sense of humour is great and the characters are so well created.
Date published: 2010-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from not your Harry Potter kind of wizard "Wizards control their power. They don't let it control them. And wizards don't use magic to kill people. They use it to discover, to protect, to mend, to help. Not to destroy." Harry Dresden is a wizard who also happens to be a Private Investigator. Upon occasion he works with Lieutenant Murphy of the Special Investigations Unit of the Chicago Police Department to solve 'unusual' crimes. In this instance, two people were murdered when their hearts were blown out of their bodies. Not typical in any manner. This is a terrific start to the series that spans in to 12 novels and a number of short stories as well as a tv series. I was drawn to Harry right from the start. He's a little rough around the edges, living day to day, and he deals with all segments of society. Technology doesn't seem to function for long around him, so he has to rely on his magic training and wit to solve his cases. Throughout the book the reader is given glimpses into Harry's past. His mother died when he was young/born (not sure which) and he was raised by his father, but he has his mother's silver pentagram necklace. Was she a wizard also? I am left with the mental picture of Harry in sweatpants and cowboy boots. That topped with the long black duster works for me.
Date published: 2010-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from And So Begins the Dresden Files Harry is a Wizard. No, not Potter. In this case it's Harry Dresden. (No relation, I'm fairly confident.) Harry may be a Wizard but his business is more along the lines of PI in a more supernatural variety. He does the same things PI's do, help the police, take on new clients, refuse to take on other clients, visit vampires, you know, the ususal. This book is told in the 1st person, not sure if the whole series is though it would make sense from a continuity standpoint. I've often found books told in this tense to be too limited in their scope, this is not the case here. Harry's interactions with the other characters are more than enough to keep the story rolling along to its climax. Some of the secondary characters in this book give me great hope that the Dresden files will continue to entertain without growing stale. From opinions I've heard on this series, this seems to be the case. I will reserve judgement on the series until I've read a few more but I can certainly recommend that readers give this book a try.
Date published: 2010-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a book! I don't know if I can come up with enough words to express my LOVE of this book! I am in love with Harry Dresden. This book was clever and enticing and sexy. Fighting a demon naked in a thunderstorm? Wow. This guy rocks. I was pulled into the story on the first page and it still hasn't let me go. My mind keeps going back to various parts of the story, replaying them and loving them more every time. I want to commend the author. He knows his stuff. About pentacles and energies and mythology. And he came up with some stuff of his own that was not too shabby. I find it hard to believe this was his first novel. It was too good for that. I think that Kim Harrison and Jim Butcher should get together and write a novel staring Rachel Morgan and Harry Dresden. Now that would be epic! What a team that would be. Authors and characters!
Date published: 2009-06-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from All Hype No Delivery So this series has been recommended to me by several sources and when it came out in a 3 book box set (basically 3 for the price of 2) I decided to give it a try. I have to say that right now I am kind of disappointed (and feeling stuck with 2 more books). Maybe it's just me, but the story didn't reach out and grab me. A great book is the kind of book where you just can't stop reading it. I had no problem putting this one down and in fact found that I actually had to force myself to finish it rather than grab the next book calling out to me from my "to read" pile. Harry Dresden is a wizard in Chicago. In fact he is the only wizard in Chicago, at least according to the Yellow Pages. Of course he isn't really the only one, but he is the only one that is practicing out in the open. The rest seem to function in some sort of otherworld called the Nevernever. The book doesn't really explain what this is, in fact, I had to double check that I was actually starting with the first book in the series because several times it felt like I must have missed a previous book. Being a 'practicing' wizard is tough - mostly because no one seems to take him seriously and so Harry is perpetually hard up for cash. This is why he finds himself working as a consultant for the police from time to time. It must be for the money because I don't know why else he would work for Karrin Murphy the cliched 'hardass' female cop (you know the type - she has to be tough as nails and twice as good and always worried that she will lose her hard earned position of authority). Murphy wants Harry's help and it seems the only way she knows how to get it is to continually threaten him with arrest. Yeah, that would make me want to work with you. This is the first book of this type that I have read that is written by a male author and has a male protagonist. Maybe it's a guy thing....I just didn't find Harry very likeable. Because he's a loner (another guy thing?) there isn't much opportunity for any sort of relationship dynamic or witty banter - you have to have friends for that (Harry's best friend seems to be some sort of spirit that lives in a skull). Also, the guy's a freakin' wizard but manages to get the snot kicked out of him not once but twice. You think after the first time, he might pay attention to his surroundings a bit better so that he doesn't get jumped (again). The book was readable and I am willing to give the series the benefit of the doubt and try the next book. Of course, that has nothing to do with the fact that I bought the boxed set....really.
Date published: 2009-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flippin' Sweet. The book themsleves individually were great! I loved the character of Harry Dresden, the way he handles situations and the fact he's more realistic than a lot of characters running around the pages of books. The series as a whole was worth all the money. All though a little slow on the pickup of the over all plot it was definately worth it. The only critisizm I have for the series is that there wasn't that big of a plot change through the whole thing. Just little minute things like the developing love of Harry and Murphy. By the way Jim butcher, if your still hunting the internet for responces about your book please know that I'm going to kidnap you one day and lock you away, forcing you to write for me. Like that one movie. Seriously. >.>
Date published: 2009-04-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Has potential... Maybe I was just distracted, but there were definitly moments in this book where I found my attention wandering. With that being said, I think this series has potential - the main character is unique and pretty likeable - he's not your typical suave/tough guy. If you're into paranormal books, it's not the first book I would recommend, but it's still worth a read.
Date published: 2009-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great read! This book was over before I knew it! It was a quick, fun read that grabbed my attention and didn't let go. I really liked how the book started as a day in Harry's life. There isn’t a lot of build up to what made him decide to become the only wizard in the yellow pages. He just is. Sure, as the story unfolds Harry does give us some insight into his past & how he feels about it, but we aren’t beat over the head with a history lesson. There are a number of questions left open, hopefully to be answered in later books. We are introduced to a number of characters and once again, it’s an introduction not a life history. All this gives the story & character a depth that so many modern mystery/paranormal stories are missing. I have already picked up books 2 & 3! I'm looking forward to see what life has in store for Harry Dresden!
Date published: 2009-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great laid back paranormal readiing Easy to read, entertaining stories that get you hooked easily enough. The first person narrative and self depreciating dark humour make you really like the main character.
Date published: 2008-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun With a Little Kick I imagine that some people will complain that Butcher's Storm Front is misogynist, and I can see where they're coming from -- to a point. There is a bad Vampiress who runs a brothel, there are a couple of prostitutes, a sexually abused woman, a sexy journalist, and a tough, rough-cut female cop. I can see these characters striking a nerve with some women, thereby stripping any enjoyment of the book for them. And fair enough. But these characters are classic archetypes in the fictions Jim Butcher is bringing together, and his Magic Noir wouldn't work fully without them. If one pays too close attention to the "chauvinism" of Harry Dresden, one can miss impressive stuff that is going on elsewhere in the tale. Not only does Butcher come at magic from a fascinating direction, not only does Butcher capture the Noir feel of old dime store novels, not only does Butcher create an entertaining treat, which amounts to a really fun read, but Butcher manages to deal with Black and White Magic, Dark and Light forces, without simplifying motives and ethics to a simple, and unrealistic, battle between good and evil. By my count the word "evil" only appears in Storm Front once. This book has a bad ass wizard blowing people's hearts out of their bodies, summoning demons and addicting the denizens of Chicago to a new "magic drug"; it also has a Mob boss and a Vampiress in charge of the town's organized crime; yet, none of these characters are tossed into the rotten "evil" barrel. They are just folks with anger issues, greed issues, power issues, bloodlust issues, etc. And to maintain such an ethical stance over the course of a novel, albeit a pulpy, fantasy/detective novel, is impressive. Beyond that, Storm Front and Harry Dresden are ideas I wish I had thought of first. What a cool spin on some classic forms of fiction.
Date published: 2008-09-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read! A really fun read. The main character is easy to like. If you're looking for a good, fun read, I would definitely recommend it.
Date published: 2008-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from quirky and fun After reading Storm Front, I went and bought the rest of the books. I love how Mr. Butcher is building this series. All the characters are memorable and Harry is a great hero.
Date published: 2008-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully Original I absolutely loved this book and am currently working on the rest of the series. Harry Dresden is such a real character. He's funny, spiteful, insecure, and more powerful than he realizes. He has faults and does some really stupid things and just barely escapes death on several occasions. After I finished reading it I just had to get the next one. Not because of a big cliffhanger, but because it was so funny and amusing I didn't want to stop reading. Which was nice, because too many authors rely on a cliffhanger to get you to read the next book and that can be frustrating because the next book may not be out yet. It was just a wonderful read and I'm going to be sad when I reach the end of the series because it was so entertaining. I really want to watch the TV show but I don't have the channel...
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved by all I bought this book for my financee last year and he has not put the series down since. I saw the actors from the TV show on Breakfast Television and thought I would get the books for him. Now he loans them to all his friends when he is done reading them.
Date published: 2007-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny character with some power! I am usually not a fan of fantasy, I stick more to Sci-fi but its the protagonist that reeled me in. Dresden files is written in first person, and you get to know his wit and his predilection to getting into situations where he's over-his-head(And he's like 6'5") and you know he's going to be hurt. He's charmed, slightly chivalrous, and tends to make electronics go boom. A talking skull a giant cat, and a fast-paced plot. Its a great start to a series, and a good mystery/comedy for anyone. Dresden reminds me of Rockford from "The Rockford Files" but with some power behind him. He may be another Wizard named Harry, but he is certainly a different character!
Date published: 2007-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow!!!! I have read many books in my life time, but this book is great. This book you would not want to put it down. You do get attach to the characters. I found out about this book and others from watching the T.V Series; The Dresden Files, on Sci-fi and Space Channels. But the books let you know the characters better.
Date published: 2007-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! To be fair, I haven't actually READ these books (yet!), but you should hear the audiobooks! Well worth it! Will keep buying the audio versions as they come out, and probably buy them in print at some point, too. This is a great series with great characters, plots and heart.
Date published: 2006-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A series worth reading If you like a little magic, a litttle mystery, a little crime and a lot of sarcasm, you'll love this series. Harry is a wizard with a private investigation business in a world where most people don't believe such things as wizards and vampires exist. The book has a fun and conversational tone and Harry himself has a rather sarcastic sense of humour. I'd suggest getting the whole series at once. After I'd finished the first book in 2 days, I regretted not having the others!
Date published: 2006-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Series Great series for any Fantasy fan
Date published: 2005-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magick, It Can Get A Guy Killed This book is absolutely fantastic!It's about a wizard in Chicago who gets called up for an less then ordinary double-murder.The victims hearts where ripped out of their bodies. Everyone thinks that it's Harry who did it because he's the only wizard capable of doing something like ripping peoples' hearts out around Chicago. And his less than perfect past makes him a perfect suspect.But later Harry Dresden finds out about a dirty secret of lust for power and that he's next!
Date published: 2002-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The perfect mix of hardboiled and fantasy Take traditional hardboiled fiction, give it a mind bending preternatural twist and you have Storm Front, the first book in a new series with the potential to shoot author Jim Butcher to the top of the gumshoe sub-genre of horror/fantasy fiction. Harry Dresden, the series' protagonist, is everything that's great about the hardboiled anti-hero, with a twist: He's a wizard trying to make a living working practical magic in a modern world that's foolishly rejected the supernatural in favour of science. In Storm Front, when a routine murder investigation turns out to be anything but routine, the police reluctantly turn to Harry for help. But a gig that started as a way to pay the rent soon gets complicated for Harry when he's forced to cross paths with the Chicago mob and a mysterious figure known as the Shadowman, drawing Harry into a web of black magic and danger. Storm Front is a riveting, action packed roller coaster of a novel, a damn good mystery with compelling characters set in a rich alternate reality universe where anything can happen. I enjoyed this novel immensely and am looking forward to the next in the series.
Date published: 2000-05-31

Read from the Book

STORM FRONTALSO BY JIM BUTCHERTHE DRESDEN FILESFOOL MOONGRAVE PERILSUMMER KNIGHTDEATH MASKSBLOOD RITESDEAD BEATPROVEN GUILTYWHITE NIGHTTHE CODEX ALERAFURIES OF CALDERONACADEM’S FURYCURSOR’S FURYCAPTAIN’S FURYSTORM FRONTAcknowledgmentsChapter 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-sevenAuthor’s NoteAcknowledgmentsSpecial thanks go out to Caroline, Fred, Debra, Tara, and Corin: the original Harry Dresden fans. Without the perverse desire to make you guys scream at me to write the next chapter, Harry would never have gotten into so much trouble. More thanks are due to Ricia Mainhardt and to A. J. Janschewitz, great agents and good people, and to Chris Ely, who is just an all-around neat person.Superspecial thanks to my son, J.J., who believed his dada had written a good book even if he couldn’t read it.And thank you, Shannon, for too many things to list. You’re my angel. One day, I will learn to turn my socks right side out before throwing them on the bedroom floor.Chapter OneI heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual. He didn’t sound right. His footsteps fell more heavily, jauntily, and he whistled. A new guy. He whistled his way to my office door, then fell silent for a moment. Then he laughed.Then he knocked.I winced. My mail comes through the mail slot unless it’s registered. I get a really limited selection of registered mail, and it’s never good news. I got up out of my office chair and opened the door.The new mailman, who looked like a basketball with arms and legs and a sunburned, balding head, was chuckling at the sign on the door glass. He glanced at me and hooked a thumb toward the sign. “You’re kidding, right?”I read the sign (people change it occasionally), and shook my head. “No, I’m serious. Can I have my mail, please?”“So, uh. Like parties, shows, stuff like that?” He looked past me, as though he expected to see a white tiger, or possibly some skimpily clad assistants prancing around my one-room office.I sighed, not in the mood to get mocked again, and reached for the mail he held in his hand. “No, not like that. I don’t do parties.”He held on to it, his head tilted curiously. “So what? Some kinda fortune-teller? Cards and crystal balls and things?”“No,” I told him. “I’m not a psychic.” I tugged at the mail.He held on to it. “What are you, then?”“What’s the sign on the door say?”“It says ‘Harry Dresden. Wizard.’”“That’s me,” I confirmed.“An actual wizard?” he asked, grinning, as though I should let him in on the joke. “Spells and potions? Demons and incantations? Subtle and quick to anger?”“Not so subtle.” I jerked the mail out of his hand and looked pointedly at his clipboard. “Can I sign for my mail please?”The new mailman’s grin vanished, replaced with a scowl. He passed over the clipboard to let me sign for the mail (another late notice from my landlord), and said, “You’re a nut. That’s what you are.” He took his clipboard back, and said, “You have a nice day, sir.”I watched him go.“Typical,” I muttered, and shut the door.My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I’m a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I’m the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under “Wizards.” Believe it or not, I’m the only one there. My ad looks like this:HARRY DRESDEN—WIZARDLOST ITEMS FOUND. PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS.CONSULTING. ADVICE. REASONABLE RATES.NO LOVE POTIONS, ENDLESS PURSES, PARTIES, OR OTHER ENTERTAINMENT.You’d be surprised how many people call just to ask me if I’m serious. But then, if you’d seen the things I’d seen, if you knew half of what I knew, you’d wonder how anyone could not think I was serious.The end of the twentieth century and the dawn of the new millennium had seen something of a renaissance in the public awareness of the paranormal. Psychics, haunts, vampires—you name it. People still didn’t take them seriously, but all the things Science had promised us hadn’t come to pass. Disease was still a problem. Starvation was still a problem. Violence and crime and war were still problems. In spite of the advance of technology, things just hadn’t changed the way everyone had hoped and thought they would.Science, the largest religion of the twentieth century, had become somewhat tarnished by images of exploding space shuttles, crack babies, and a generation of complacent Americans who had allowed the television to raise their children. People were looking for something—I think they just didn’t know what. And even though they were once again starting to open their eyes to the world of magic and the arcane that had been with them all the while, they still thought I must be some kind of joke.Anyway, it had been a slow month. A slow pair of months, actually. My rent from February didn’t get paid until the tenth of March, and it was looking like it might be even longer until I got caught up for this month.My only job had been the previous week, when I’d gone down to Branson, Missouri, to investigate a country singer’s possibly haunted house. It hadn’t been. My client hadn’t been happy with that answer, and had been even less happy when I suggested he lay off of any intoxicating substances and try to get some exercise and sleep, and see if that didn’t help things more than an exorcism. I’d gotten travel expenses plus an hour’s pay, and gone away feeling I had done the honest, righteous, and impractical thing. I heard later that he’d hired a shyster psychic to come in and perform a ceremony with a lot of incense and black lights. Some people.I finished up my paperback and tossed it into the DONE box. There was a pile of read and discarded paperbacks in a cardboard box on one side of my desk, the spines bent and the pages mangled. I’m terribly hard on books. I was eyeing the pile of unread books, considering which to start next, given that I had no real work to do, when my phone rang.I stared at it in a somewhat surly fashion. We wizards are terrific at brooding. After the third ring, when I thought I wouldn’t sound a little too eager, I picked up the receiver and said, “Dresden.”“Oh. Is this, um, Harry Dresden? The, ah, wizard?” Her tone was apologetic, as though she were terribly afraid she would be insulting me.No, I thought. It’s Harry Dresden the, ah, lizard. Harry the wizard is one door down.It is the prerogative of wizards to be grumpy. It is not, however, the prerogative of freelance consultants who are late on their rent, so instead of saying something smart, I told the woman on the phone, “Yes, ma’am. How can I help you today?”“I, um,” she said. “I’m not sure. I’ve lost something, and I think maybe you could help me.”“Finding lost articles is a specialty,” I said. “What would I be looking for?”There was a nervous pause. “My husband,” she said. She had a voice that was a little hoarse, like that of a cheerleader who’d been working a long tournament, but had enough weight of years in it to place her as an adult.My eyebrows went up. “Ma’am, I’m not really a missing-persons specialist. Have you contacted the police or a private investigator?”“No,” she said, quickly. “No, they can’t. That is, I haven’t. Oh dear, this is all so complicated. Not something someone can talk about on the phone. I’m sorry to have taken up your time, Mr. Dresden.”“Hold on now,” I said quickly. “I’m sorry, you didn’t tell me your name.”There was that nervous pause again, as though she were checking a sheet of written notes before answering. “Call me Monica.”People who know diddly about wizards don’t like to give us their names. They’re convinced that if they give a wizard their name from their own lips it could be used against them. To be fair, they’re right.I had to be as polite and harmless as I could. She was about to hang up out of pure indecision, and I needed the job. I could probably turn hubby up, if I worked at it.“Okay, Monica,” I told her, trying to sound as melodious and friendly as I could. “If you feel your situation is of a sensitive nature, maybe you could come by my office and talk about it. If it turns out that I can help you best, I will, and if not, then I can direct you to someone I think can help you better.” I gritted my teeth and pretended I was smiling. “No charge.”It must have been the no charge that did it. She agreed to come right out to the office, and told me that she would be there in an hour. That put her estimated arrival at about two-thirty. Plenty of time to go out and get some lunch, then get back to the office to meet her.The phone rang again almost the instant I put it down, making me jump. I peered at it. I don’t trust electronics. Anything manufactured after the forties is suspect—and doesn’t seem to have much liking for me. You name it: cars, radios, telephones, TVs, VCRs—none of them seem to behave well for me. I don’t even like to use automatic pencils.I answered the phone with the same false cheer I had summoned up for Monica Husband-Missing. “This is Dresden, may I help you?”“Harry, I need you at the Madison in the next ten minutes. Can you be there?” The voice on the other end of the line was also a woman’s, cool, brisk, businesslike.“Why, Lieutenant Murphy,” I gushed, overflowing with saccharine, “it’s good to hear from you, too. It’s been so long. Oh, they’re fine, fine. And your family?”“Save it, Harry. I’ve got a couple of bodies here, and I need you to take a look around.”I sobered immediately. Karrin Murphy was the director of Special Investigations out of downtown Chicago, a de facto appointee of the Police Commissioner to investigate any crimes dubbed unusual. Vampire attacks, troll maraudings, and faery abductions of children didn’t fit in very neatly on a police report—but at the same time, people got attacked, infants got stolen, property was damaged or destroyed. And someone had to look into it.In Chicago, or pretty much anywhere in Chicagoland, that person was Karrin Murphy. I was her library of the supernatural on legs, and a paid consultant for the police department. But two bodies? Two deaths by means unknown? I hadn’t handled anything like that for her before.“Where are you?” I asked her.“Madison Hotel on Tenth, seventh floor.”“That’s only a fifteen-minute walk from my office,” I said.“So you can be here in fifteen minutes. Good.”“Um,” I said. I looked at the clock. Monica No-Last-Name would be here in a little more than forty-five minutes. “I’ve sort of got an appointment.”“Dresden, I’ve sort of got a pair of corpses with no leads and no suspects, and a killer walking around loose. Your appointment can wait.”My temper flared. It does that occasionally. “It can’t, actually,” I said. “But I’ll tell you what. I’ll stroll on over and take a look around, and be back here in time for it.”“Have you had lunch yet?” she asked.“What?”She repeated the question.“No,” I said.“Don’t.” There was a pause, and when she spoke again, there was a sort of greenish tone to her words. “It’s bad.”“How bad are we talking here, Murph?”Her voice softened, and that scared me more than any images of gore or violent death could have. Murphy was the original tough girl, and she prided herself on never showing weakness. “It’s bad, Harry. Please don’t take too long. Special Crimes is itching to get their fingers on this one, and I know you don’t like people to touch the scene before you can look around.”“I’m on the way,” I told her, already standing and pulling on my jacket.“Seventh floor,” she reminded me. “See you there.”“Okay.”I turned off the lights to my office, went out the door, and locked up behind me, frowning. I wasn’t sure how long it was going to take to investigate Murphy’s scene, and I didn’t want to miss out on speaking with Monica Ask-Me-No-Questions. So I opened the door again, got out a piece of paper and a thumbtack, and wrote:Out briefly. Back for appointment at 2:30. DresdenThat done, I started down the stairs. I rarely use the elevator, even though I’m on the fifth floor. Like I said, I don’t trust machines. They’re always breaking down on me just when I need them.Besides which. If I were someone in this town using magic to kill people two at a time, and I didn’t want to get caught, I’d make sure that I removed the only practicing wizard the police department kept on retainer. I liked my odds on the stairwell a lot better than I did in the cramped confines of the elevator.Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.Chapter TwoKarrin Murphy was waiting for me outside the Madison. Karrin and I are a study in contrasts. Where I am tall and lean, she’s short and stocky. Where I have dark hair and dark eyes, she’s got Shirley Temple blond locks and baby blues. Where my features are all lean and angular, with a hawkish nose and a sharp chin, hers are round and smooth, with the kind of cute nose you’d expect on a cheerleader.It was cool and windy, like it usually is in March, and she wore a long coat that covered her pantsuit. Murphy never wore dresses, though I suspected she’d have muscular, well-shaped legs, like a gymnast. She was built for function, and had a pair of trophies in her office from aikido tournaments to prove it. Her hair was cut at shoulder length and whipped out wildly in the spring wind. She wasn’t wearing earrings, and her makeup was of sufficient quality and quantity that it was tough to tell she had on any at all. She looked more like a favorite aunt or a cheerful mother than a hard-bitten homicide detective.“Don’t you have any other jackets, Dresden?” she asked, as I came within hailing distance. There were several police cars parked illegally in front of the building. She glanced at my eyes for a half second and then away, quickly. I had to give her credit. It was more than most people did. It wasn’t really dangerous unless you did it for several seconds, but I was used to anyone who knew I was a wizard making it a point not to glance at my face.I looked down at my black canvas duster, with its heavy mantling and waterproof lining and sleeves actually long enough for my arms. “What’s wrong with this one?”“It belongs on the set of El Dorado.”“And?”She snorted, an indelicate sound from so small a woman, and spun on her heel to walk toward the hotel’s front doors.I caught up and walked a little ahead of her.She sped her pace. So did I. We raced one another toward the front door, with increasing speed, through the puddles left over from last night’s rain.My legs were longer; I got there first. I opened the door for her and gallantly gestured for her to go in. It was an old contest of ours. Maybe my values are outdated, but I come from an old school of thought. I think that men ought to treat women like something other than just shorter, weaker men with breasts. Try and convict me if I’m a bad person for thinking so. I enjoy treating a woman like a lady, opening doors for her, paying for shared meals, giving flowers—all that sort of thing.It irritates the hell out of Murphy, who had to fight and claw and play dirty with the hairiest men in Chicago to get as far as she has. She glared up at me while I stood there holding open the door, but there was a reassurance about the glare, a relaxation. She took an odd sort of comfort in our ritual, annoying as she usually found it.How bad was it up on the seventh floor, anyway?We rode the elevator in a sudden silence. We knew one another well enough, by this time, that the silences were not uncomfortable. I had a good sense of Murphy, an instinctual grasp for her moods and patterns of thought—something I develop whenever I’m around someone for any length of time. Whether it’s a natural talent or a supernatural one I don’t know.My instincts told me that Murphy was tense, stretched as tight as piano wire. She kept it off her face, but there was something about the set of her shoulders and neck, the stiffness of her back, that made me aware of it.Or maybe I was just projecting it onto her. The confines of the elevator made me a bit nervous. I licked my lips and looked around the interior of the car. My shadow and Murphy’s fell on the floor, and almost looked as though they were sprawled there. There was something about it that bothered me, a nagging little instinct that I blew off as a case of nerves. Steady, Harry.She let out a harsh breath just as the elevator slowed, then sucked in another one before the doors could open, as though she were planning on holding it for as long as we were on the floor and breathing only when she got back in the elevator again.Blood smells a certain way, a kind of sticky, almost metallic odor, and the air was full of it when the elevator doors opened. My stomach quailed a little bit, but I swallowed manfully and followed Murphy out of the elevator and down the hall past a couple of uniform cops, who recognized me and waved me past without asking to see the little laminated card the city had given me. Granted, even in a big-city department like Chicago P.D., they didn’t exactly call in a horde of consultants (I went down in the paperwork as a psychic consultant, I think), but still. Unprofessional of the boys in blue.Murphy preceded me into the room. The smell of blood grew thicker, but there wasn’t anything gruesome behind door number one. The outer room of the suite looked like some kind of a sitting room done in rich tones of red and gold, like a set from an old movie in the thirties—expensive-looking, but somehow faux, nonetheless. Dark, rich leather covered the chairs, and my feet sank into the thick, rust-colored shag of the carpet. The velvet velour curtains had been drawn, and though the lights were all on, the place still seemed a little too dark, a little too sensual in its textures and colors. It wasn’t the kind of room where you sit and read a book. Voices came from a doorway to my right.“Wait here a minute,” Murphy told me. Then she went through the door to the right of the entryway and into what I supposed was the bedroom of the suite.I wandered around the sitting room with my eyes mostly closed, noting things. Leather couch. Two leather chairs. Stereo and television in a black glossy entertainment center. Champagne bottle warming in a stand holding a brimming tub of what had been ice the night before, with two empty glasses set beside it. There was a red rose petal on the floor, clashing with the carpeting (but then, in that room, what didn’t?).A bit to one side, under the skirt of one of the leather recliners, was a little piece of satiny cloth. I bent at the waist and lifted the skirt with one hand, careful not to touch anything. A pair of black satin panties, a tiny triangle with lace coming off the points, lay there, one strap snapped as though the thong had simply been torn off. Kinky.The stereo system was state of the art, though not an expensive brand. I took a pencil from my pocket and pushed the PLAY button with the eraser. Gentle, sensual music filled the room, a low bass, a driving drumbeat, wordless vocals, the heavy breathing of a woman as background.The music continued for a few seconds more, and then it began to skip over a section about two seconds long, repeating it over and over again.I grimaced. Like I said, I have this effect on machinery. It has something to do with being a wizard, with working with magical forces. The more delicate and modern the machine is, the more likely it is that something will go wrong if I get close enough to it. I can kill a copier at fifty paces.“The love suite,” came a man’s voice, drawing the word love out into luuuuuuuv. “What do you think, Mister Man?”“Hello, Detective Carmichael,” I said, without turning around. Carmichael’s rather light, nasal voice had a distinctive quality. He was Murphy’s partner and the resident skeptic, convinced that I was nothing more than a charlatan, scamming the city out of its hard-earned money. “Were you saving the panties to take home yourself, or did you just overlook them?” I turned and looked at him. He was short and overweight and balding, with beady, bloodshot eyes and a weak chin. His jacket was rumpled, and there were food stains on his tie, all of which served to conceal a razor intellect. He was a sharp cop, and absolutely ruthless at tracking down killers.He walked over to the chair and looked down. “Not bad, Sherlock,” he said. “But that’s just foreplay. Wait’ll you see the main attraction. I’ll have a bucket waiting for you.” He turned and killed the malfunctioning CD player with a jab from the eraser end of his own pencil.I widened my eyes at him, to let him know how terrified I was, then walked past him and into the bedroom. And regretted it. I looked, noted details mechanically, and quietly shut the door on the part of my head that had started screaming the second I entered the room.They must have died sometime the night before, as rigor mortis had already set in. They were on the bed; she was astride him, body leaned back, back bowed like a dancer’s, the curves of her breasts making a lovely outline. He stretched beneath her, a lean and powerfully built man, arms reaching out and grasping at the satin sheets, gathering them in his fists. Had it been an erotic photograph, it would have made a striking tableau.Except that the lovers’ rib cages on the upper left side of their torsos had expanded outward, through their skin, the ribs jabbing out like ragged, snapped knives. Arterial blood had sprayed out of their bodies, all the way to the mirror on the ceiling, along with pulped, gelatinous masses of flesh that had to be what remained of their hearts. Standing over them, I could see into the upper cavity of the bodies. I noted the now greyish lining around the motionless left lungs and the edges of the ribs, which apparently were forced outward and snapped by some force within.It definitely cut down on the erotic potential.The bed was in the middle of the room, giving it a subtle emphasis. The bedroom followed the decor of the sitting room—a lot of red, a lot of plush fabrics, a little over the top unless viewed in candlelight. There were indeed candles in holders on the wall, now burned down to the nubs and extinguished.I stepped closer to the bed and walked around it. The carpet squelched as I did. The little screaming part of my brain, safely locked up behind doors of self-control and strict training, continued gibbering. I tried to ignore it. Really I did. But if I didn’t get out of that room in a hurry, I was going to start crying like a little girl.So I took in the details fast. The woman was in her twenties, in fabulous condition. At least I thought she had been. It was hard to tell. She had hair the color of chestnuts, cut in a pageboy style, and it seemed dyed to me. Her eyes were only partly open, and I couldn’t quite guess at their color beyond not-dark. Vaguely green?The man was probably in his forties, and had the kind of fitness that comes from a lifetime of conditioning. There was a tattoo on his right biceps, a winged dagger, that the pull of the satin sheets half concealed. There were scars on his knuckles, layers deep, and across his lower abdomen was a vicious, narrow, puckered scar that I guessed must have come from a knife wound.There were discarded clothes around—a tux for him, a little sheath of a black dress and a pair of pumps for her. There were a pair of overnight bags, unopened and set neatly aside, probably by a porter.

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