Hours after their return from defeating the Red Court vampires, Karrin Murphy arrives at the Water Beetle for her planned date with Harry only to find blood splatter and bullet holes, and Harry nowhere to be found. After being suspended from the Chicago PD, she's also unable to do much to investigate, so believing the worst has finally happened to Harry, she goes home to grieve. But before she can fully process it all, Billy the werewolf shows up at her door, asking for her help finding his wife, Georgia, who has gone missing. Their investigation leads them into a den of formidable supernatural beings who are kidnapping other magical types for an unknown purpose. Using all the things Harry has taught her about magic over the years, Murphy comes up with a plan to find and rescue Georgia, but as she's also learned from her time with Harry, winning the day won't be easy.
"Aftermath" is an original novella that was written specifically for the Side Jobs anthology, where it's found. It begins hours after the final scene in Changes and is told entirely from Murphy's POV. She arrives at the Water Beetle, the boat where Harry is staying, only to find Harry missing and the boat splattered with blood and riddled with bullet holes. She spends the night trying to process what might have happened, but before she can get too far into her grief, Billy the werewolf (who Murphy thinks of as Will) shows up at her door. His wife, Georgia, has gone missing, and since he can't find Harry, he's come, asking for Murphy's help. The two begin investigating, and the trail, at first, leads to Marcone, who provides them with information that leads them to the real perpetrators who've been kidnapping a number of magical types for an unknown nefarious purpose. And as is typical for this series, a tense, life-or-death battle ensues to save the day.
This is the first story in the series to be told from Karrin Murphy's POV. I've always loved her character, so I really enjoyed this peek into her perspective. She's understandably upset after viewing the scene at the boat and fears the worst for Harry, although she isn't ready to give up on him until she has a body. Instead, she bravely steps into the breach to help Harry's werewolf friends, Billy and Georgia, after Georgia goes missing. Murphy has always been a strong character who impresses me, but in Changes she really showed her mettle, battling the Red Court by Harry's side and that continues into this novella. She's slightly unsure of herself as a mere mortal going up against magical types alone, but she proves that she can handle herself and is more than capable of holding down the fort, so to speak, in Harry's absence. Since it appears that she's no longer going to be a cop, I'm eager to find out where things will go from here for Murphy, but whatever she chooses to do, I know she'll be great at it. At the end of this novella, the author teases the possibility of those who are left behind joining forces to battle the evil magic that has come to their door, as well as the rise of a formidable foe, so I'll also be interested to see what happens next all the way around. In the meantime, though, "Aftermath" proved to be a great wrap-up to this Dresden anthology.
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