Chicago's only professional wizard makes the move to hardcover for the seventh installment of the Dresden files. Harry Dresden, still recovering from a violent supernatural attack, is blackmailed into protecting his friend/boss/secret crush Karrin Murphy, director of the Special Investigations unit of the Chicago police.

Tracking down the Word of Kemmler is not a task to relish. Kemmler was a hideously evil necromancer, and his spells need to stay lost, not fall into the hands of the vampire Black Court. Plus, it's Halloween, which lends its own urgency and danger to the proceedings. Harry's adventures run the gamut from zombie encounters to T-Rex attacks, but the wizard takes it all in stride.

This is one of the best entries in a terrific series, which shines due to Butcher's wild imagination and the compelling protagonist, a sarcastic softie wizard who always lands on his feet. Readers will be hoping for Harry to get the happy ending he deserves. (May, 400 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum