Book: Ghost Story
Author: Jim Butcher
Ghost Story is the latest book in the urban fantasy series, The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher, about Chicago's only professional wizard, Harry Dresden. Not counting Side Jobs, which was a collection of short stories set throughout the entire series, Ghost Story is the thirteenth book in the series and the follow on to Changes. If you haven't read the earlier books, please don't read on, as some reference will be made to them, especially Changes.
Changes was aptly named. During this book, nearly everything did change. At the end, Mister was missing, as were Mouse and Bob, Harry's apartment building had been burned down, the Blue Beetle had been destroyed, he'd had to sign up to serve the Winter Queen as her Knight, he'd killed his former lover and the mother of his daughter, Susan, destroying the entire Red Court in the process and even his trademark duster was lost. To cap it all, he'd been shot, fallen off a boat into Lake Michigan, presumably dead from either the bullet or drowning. Magic - it can get a guy killed. Well, it certainly did.
The previous book ended on such a note it actually seemed uncertain as to whether Harry would return, or what he would return to or actually as. Signing up to serve the Winter Queen of Faerie as the Winter Knight certainly didn't seem like the world's best career move. There even seemed to be a chance that the series would from now on be called the Carpenter Files, after Harry's apprentice, Molly Carpenter.
Well, Harry is back. Apparently dead and a ghost, but still back. After his death, he is told he needs to return to Chicago and find out who had him murdered, or three of the people he loves will come to harm. Which three isn't specified, which doesn't make his (after)life any easier. The choice is, of course, Harry's to make, but he's never been one to back away from a fight - which admittedly is why he is dead in the first place.
Harry isn't the only one haunting the dark streets of Chicago; there are plenty of other things both alive and not quite dead enough. Some of the dead things he helped put there himself, and they're not happy. Looks like being dead isn't enough to keep Harry out of trouble. On top of that, how can he communicate with and help his friends? He is, after all, dead, which severely limits the available options, as now he can neither be seen or heard by a normal person, nor use his magic.
Ghost Story will probably be a relief to fans of the Dresden Files, as Harry is not out of the game yet, which certainly seemed likely after the end of Changes. Although he is only a shade of his original self. This doesn't slow down his wise cracking; being dead isn't going to make him start kowtowing to authority.