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Storm Front
The Dresden Files, Book 1

by Jim Butcher

      Harry is a wizard; but this isn't Harry Potter and in the words of straight-talking PI Harry Dresden "this ain't no kid's story". He gets called in when the Chicago PD is stumped, and is the only one of his kind around. This is not the case with supernatural activity though, and in this his first case Harry has to deal with a gruesome double murder committed by somebody well versed in the dark arts. To find out whodunit he will have to trawl through Chicago's seedy and dangerous underbelly replete with gangsters...most of whom aren't even human.

If you liked Buffy and are up for more supernatural shenanigans then this might fit your bill. Harry narrates the story himself in a film noir gumshoe style, and tangles with vampires, fairies, demons and the White Council. This is quite a fast-paced tale which would make a good TV series, but I did have a problem with the book's split personality. On the one hand there are ghastly murders, black magic, hoodlums and vampires and it is all very dark and edgy, adult stuff. Then there are fairies eating pizza and a cute talking skull called Bob...the two just don't mix and I got the strange sensation that I was reading two stories simultaneously. This author needs to decide what kind of book he wants to write, and then this series will settle down (there are six books in total) to being one thing or the other.

The Book

Orbit (Time Warner)
September 2005
Crime - Contemporary, Chicago
More at US || UK
NOTE: Some violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005