Harry Dresden is a private detective and the only professional wizard in the phone book. Since his last case, business has been slow. Just when he's starting to wonder where his next meal is coming from, Harry's Chicago PD liaison, Karrin Murphy brings him in to consult on a grisly murder, the latest in a string of similar killings. After Harry kept things from her during the last case they worked together months ago, Murphy still doesn't trust him, but knowing the handiwork of a supernatural killer, she realizes he may be her only hope of solving the case. Harry recognizes the victim as a henchman of local mobster, Johnny Marcone, and the man has been torn apart as though by a wild animal. While he's checking out the crime scene for evidence, a group of FBI agents arrive. Harry manages to snag a bloody shard of glass just before the agents run him and Murphy off for her being out of her jurisdiction. Using a magic spell, Harry follows the trail to the owner of the blood, a woman who appears to be leading a pack of werewolves, is engaged to another particularly vicious wolf shifter known as a loup-garou, and who doesn't appear to be of this world. The woman's loup-garou fiancé goes on an uncontrollable killing spree before Harry can reconstruct the magic circles needed to contain him during the full moon, but the evidence simply isn't adding up to him being the killer of the other recent victims. Soon Harry has his hands full keeping every conceivable breed of werewolf at bay, while trying to keep Marcone alive, and still win back Murphy's trust.
Although I'm an eclectic reader, I don't usually read a ton of books that fall outside the romance genre. I do, however, like to stretch my mind, so I enjoy finding books in other genres that entertain me. So far, The Dresden Files are doing just that. When starting a new book in this series, I've noticed that it can take a little while for things to get going, but about halfway in, I'm usually hooked. There's always lots of action and suspense, and Jim Butcher is masterful at ending each chapter with a mini-cliffhanger that keeps me turning the pages. With all this being the case, I always seem to have a good time reading any Dresden Files novel or short story. In this particular book, Harry goes up against several different werewolves who come in a variety of species, most of whom are quite vicious.
I probably wouldn't be having nearly as much fun with this series if not for it's protagonist, Harry Dresden. Part of the reason I love Harry so much is that I could easily picture him as the hero in one of my romance novels. He's chivalrous toward women which I personally find very appealing, but which the independent, kick-butt ladies who tend to appear in these book often find annoying. He's very honorable, always trying to do the right thing, and he views his wizard powers as a serious responsibility, always trying to use them to defeat evil even if it means putting his own life on the line to do it. I love that Harry's magic isn't an automatic fix-it for every situation that comes his way. For a large part of this book, his energy was so depleted he couldn't even conjure, and even when he can, it isn't always enough to overcome the supernatural forces he's up against. This lends itself well to higher suspense since there's more on the line, and it also means Harry must often use his wits to get out of sticky situations instead of relying on an easy solution.
In each book, it seems readers will get tidbits of both Harry's past and his future. It appears that the author is slowly building a series arc in which someone very powerful is out to kill Harry and is using the villains of each book to try to accomplish that objective. I'll be interested to see where this leads in future books of the series. We also learn just a little more about Harry's past. Because of things that happened with his first love and his mentor, Harry has a hard time trusting anyone, especially women. His character has undertones of a loner, but at the same time, deep down, he would like to have a relationship with someone. In the first book of the series, he became involved with Susan, a reporter from the Arcane, a tabloid style newspaper that covers supposed supernatural occurrences. At first, she only seemed to be using Harry to get the scoop, but in this book, she shows some surprisingly strong feelings toward him. They have a casual, yet somewhat complicated, romantic relationship, and they share one love scene in this book minus any real details. At the same time though, I think Harry has a bit of a crush on Karrin Murphy, his police department liaison, leading me to wonder if something might happen between them somewhere down the line. In this book, however, Murphy is still quite miffed with Harry because of things he kept from her in the first book, which have led to her being under investigation by Internal Affairs. She has become deeply distrustful of him even though she still likes him as a person, so as a consequence, they spend a lot of the book arguing.
As to other secondary characters in the story, there are a whole host of werewolves, some good, some bad, and still others who fall somewhere in between. Of course, it becomes Harry's job to figure out which ones are which. Before he can accomplish that though, several innocent people die, including one surprising character who I was just starting to like a little, because this person finally seemed to be warming up to Harry. One of the wolves, Tera, is one of those kick-butt heroines who the reader is kept guessing about throughout the story. I enjoyed the little twist with her character at the end. Enigmatic mobster, Johnny Marcone, is back too, first trying to hire Harry, then winding up in the sights of the bad guys. I don't think this would be a Dresden Files book without Harry's mischievous spirit sidekick, Bob, who's always good for a few laughs and his loyal but aloof cat, Mister. Overall, I really enjoyed Fool Moon, as well as the series as a whole. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes urban fantasy mixed with mystery and suspense. I know I'm certainly looking forward to continuing it soon.
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