Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Orbit (1 Sep 2005)
A number of people have mentioned the Dresden Files in my presence, and gone gosh wow about them. This is the first of the series, and I bought it to see what the books were like.
Well, it starts out strong, and stays strong. Harry Dresden is the first person protagonist. He's a wizard. A maker of potions and caster of magic, working as a private investigator in Chicago. Here, he's been called in Karrin Murphy of the Police Department when a couple are found dead in bad, their hearts apparently exploded out from their chests.
Reading this is a little like reading Rowling - all the right tropes are there for the resulting mixed genre of fantasy and PI noir. Yet at the same time, Butcher has brought some freshness to the result, and this is very readable, well paced and balanced, with good humorous touches without trying to be comedy.
There's no attempt to reflect on the human condition or anything like that, but this is just generally excellent entertainment.