Genre: urban fantasy
Length: 384 pages
Setting: Chicago, present day
Interest: Jim Butcher was a favorite author on the podcast The Dragon Page so when I had a chance to pick up the first book in the Dresden Files cheap, I took it.
Summary: Harry Dresden is a wizard for hire in a world similar to ours – people are just starting to realize science can’t explain all the things that go bump in the night. Dresden hires himself out as a magical private investigator and assists the police department in magical crimes. He picks up two cases in short succession. The police are investing a case of hearts exploding from the chest of two individuals. At the same time, a woman hires Harry to find her husband, Victor. Harry discovers the missing husband has become a dark mage who is creating a mystical drug to unseat the reigning mobster and using the energy of thunderstorms to rip the heart out of anyone who gets in his way. Harry is next on Victor’s hit list. Luckily, Victor is only high in potential, not training, so Harry is able to best him without the use of magic.
Final thoughts: An excellent book to add to my growing library of urban fantasy. It doesn’t have the sex Laurell K. Hamilton’s books do, although there are sexual references. You do still have the vibrant storytelling and the hero who is on the outs with the rest of the world, but still has to save the day. I liked the special touch of Harry’s magical aura disrupting nearby technology, so he relies on candles and a woodstove instead of your typical modern appliances.
Title comes from: The black mage used the thunderstorms off the lake to power his big spells.
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