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Storm Front is book one of the Dresden Files by American author, Jim Butcher. High-class escort, Jennifer Stanton and a body-guard, Tommy Tomm are found murdered in a hotel in Chicago. The circumstances suggest sorcery is involved. Wizard and Paranormal Investigator, Harry Dresden soon finds he has a few problems: the head of CPD Special Investigations, Lieutenant Karrin Murphy wants Harry’s help in solving the case; Tomm’s boss, mobster Gentleman Johny Marcone wants Harry to actively not investigate; the White Council, overseeing all things wizardly, seem convinced that Harry is the murderer; Stanton’s boss, vampiress Bianca is angry over an accidental transgression; Susan Rodriguez, reporter for the Chicago Arcane, wants a scoop; oh, and he has another case to solve as well, a missing husband with a recent interest in magic.
This introduction to the Dresden Files sees Harry battling monsters, scorpions, gangsters, a drug dealer and other wizards; on one occasion, he does this naked, with shampoo in his eyes; on another, handcuffed to a semi-conscious Karrin. He makes potions (the love potion ingredients are particularly worth noting!), uses spells, and suffers quite a few injuries before finally getting out of some tricky situations. The advantage of the fantasy genre for an author is that they can make their own rules, so this instalment also serves to establish some ground rules for the world Butcher has created. Harry is an appealing character, as are Susan and Karrin, so readers who enjoy this book will be able to look forward to more of them in what looks to be an addictive series.