I enjoyed this 2nd book in The Dresden Files more than the first. The murders Dresden (resident wizard, detective consultant extraordinaire) investigates have signs of wolf activity. Not too far in, it’s clear that the subject is werewolves, which may sound a little clichĂ©, except that Butcher takes it a bit further than most authors. Dresden is dealing with a few types of werewolves, each with their own stories. Being that they all have violent tendencies, Dresden has a chore figuring out motives and evidence. Plus, he finds that there are varying degrees of culpability and likability.

Besides the main subject, Dresden is fending off loose ends from the last case. Chicago’s mob king has made Dresden an offer he can’t refuse, but he refuses it anyway, insulting him in the bargain. You can do that when you’re the only wizard in town. But even wizards need to watch out for traps. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Murphy, his contact with Chicago’s Special Investigations unit, believes he was connected to the murders in the last case, can’t trust him because he’s withholding information (never mind that she may not be able to handle the truth), and is under investigation herself for her connection to him.

Butcher introduces new characters in this book that continue in the series. All of his characters seem to have a darker side; these ones are no exception. All evidence points to a promising series, with layers of connectivity between episodes. Like Pratchett’s Discworld, The Dresden Files is a quick, humorous read, with surprising depths.