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Ghost Story (Dresden Files, No. 13) by Jim Butcher
Review by Paul Haggerty
Roc Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451463791
Date: 26 July 2011 List Price $27.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

As a great British comedy show once said: "... death isn't the handicap it used to be in the olden days. It doesn't screw your career up like it used to." But it can most definitely put a crimp in your style. Harry Dresden, Chicago's premier wizard, is not exactly operating at peak efficiency, his body was lost in Lake Michigan after having been shot with a high powered rifle. When he wakes up, which in itself is the first thing that's not quite right, he's informed that being dead is no excuse for slacking off.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher:
* Storm Front
* Fool Moon
* Grave Peril
* Summer Knight
* Death Masks
* Blood Rites
* Dead Beat
* Proven Guilty
* White Night
* Small Favor
* Turn Coat
* Changes
* Ghost Story Collections:
* Side Jobs

Having been told by the upper management that several of his friends will be killed unless he can find out who murdered him, Harry agrees to return to the mortal world, hoping to help however he can, and dedicated to solving that one concrete mystery, not that he wouldn't like to know the answer in any case. Unfortunately, he's going to have to do it as a ghost, a spirit incapable of interacting with the world. People can't see him, hear him, or feel him. And that's going to make things even more difficult than usual.

Chicago isn't the city it was just a few short months ago. The annihilation of the Red Court of vampires, while good in many ways, has also created a vast power vacuum for all the other low-life supernatural creatures to fill. Humans are back on the menu and there aren't many people who can step up to defend them. The White Council of wizards is doing what they can, but they're stretched thin given all their losses during the war with the vampires. The Chicago PD used to have a team for this sort of thing, but politics has pretty much rendered it into a team dedicated to writing reports that explain why it isn't really happening.

Still, there are a few people left, mostly Harry's associates. People with little or no magical talent, but at least they know, and can accept, what's going on. An exception to this rule is Molly, Harry's apprentice. Molly actually has a good deal of magical ability. Unfortunately, she's not a "bang boom bam" kind of wizard like Harry was; her abilities run more to illusion and invisibility, not exactly the makings of a fierce combat wizard. But she was trained by Harry, and lesson one is that you always do what needs to be done, regardless of whether or not you think there's a chance of success. Then there's Mort Lindquist, necromancer. He's the one person that can see and talk to Harry, and the key to getting Harry the help he needs. It's just a pity Mort wants nothing to do with Harry or his plight.

Now Harry has to step up once again to defend the innocent of Chicago against a dark force that he was barely able to defeat once before, and only then at the height of his powers and with the support of much more powerful allies. But this time he must make do without his magic, and only partially supported by his friends, some of which don't believe he's who he says is. All while hiding from the cleansing power of the day, a wide array of malevolent spirits, and still needing to find out who pulled the trigger on him before his friends join him on the other side.

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