Grave Peril (The Dresden Files #3) by Jim Butcher
So Harry Dresden has had a tough year. First a crazy wizard blowing people up from the inside out,
And now we have the spirit world going crazy!
Yep, he’s had to team up with old pal, Michael Carpenter, Catholic and a Knight of the Cross.
Spirits have been riled up all over, are acting out and no longer tethered to special spots, etc.
As Harry goes back to the office the next day, he is approached by a young woman, Lydia, a practitioner who begs for protection. Harry offers to give her some help, as he knows she is hiding something from him. This seems to happen a lot Harry what with with Monica and the werewolf guy.
That night Harry and Michael decide the only way to stop some of these things from happening, is for Harry to risk heading over the border from our world to the supernatural one. A very scary thing to do when most of them hate you or are after you.
In fact he is trying to stay away from his fairy godmother (actual fairy) Lea who wants him as her slave. As she starts to spin her fairy magic, he just manages to overcome her spell and Michael luckily saves him before she takes his blood.
However, the work they do doesn’t always fly with the police as they get arrested. Michael’s wife, Charity, comes for Michael and reads Harry the riot act. Susan also comes for Harry, in a slightly better mood as with her man she has another story for the newspaper she works for, The Arcane.
As the two head back to Harry’s place they encounter something they weren’t expecting, Vampires.
But these vampires promise no attacks. They were sent by Madame Bianca to invite Harry to the Vampire Court, as Bianca is elevated to the rank of Margravine of the Vampire Court.
Susan wants to go to the Vampire Ball, but Harry is not interested. Bianca is still angry about what happened in Storm Front, and has threatened to kill him. While the invitation protects him from any vampire harm such as sucking of blood or direct killing, they could use a loophole and find a way to destroy him. Better watch out Harry, non-magical people don’t always understand everything and Susan is tenacious. She’ll find a way to get into that party, even if it becomes the death of her.
The two spend the night together, but are awoken early by Michael. Michael has heard from the priest of the church Harry placed Lydia. Something tried to attack her last night, but was kept out. She started freaking out going through withdrawal (from either a mortal or magical substance) and tried to go out to the creature. The priest was able to protect her during the night by reading the scriptures. But in the morning she disappeared.
Harry decides the only thing to do next os to go to a psychic in Oldtown, Mortimer Lindquist. When Harry comes upon him packing, he knows Mortimer must know something he’s not telling. When Harry questions him further, Mortimer brings up an old book of his, They Shall Rise. He’s convinced the border between our world and the magical Nevernever is constantly eroding, new ghosts are coming over, and that there is something even eviler, a Nightmare.
Things go from bad to worse as he is called in by the Chicago Police Department for an old friend, Mickey Malone. Before Harry can enter a true “home, he has to be invited in by a family member. Mrs. Malone complies, he comes in to see Mickey chained up as he is a madman.
When he uses his Sight, he sees that Mickey’s soul and mind have been torn apart as if he was attacked by a wild animal. To top it off he has “spiritual” barbed wire curled around him, just like he saw in the other ghosts he’d been fighting. Who is trying to control these ghosts and people? Why?
Harry is able to destroy it, but through great pain. What is this Nightmare? And can Harry stop it?
There is only one thing left for Harry to do in order to get his answers. He must go to the Vampire ball, but will he manage to survive it?
As always Butcher presents a powerful, thrilling, and suspenseful story.
Burt let me worn you, this one is full of pain, angst, and was pretty harsh. I’m on a Jim Butcher break after reading this as it was heart wrenching.
The hardest thing was what happened to Susan. Now I may never have been a fan of her and Harry together, but I never wanted her turned into a vampire. Super intense ending, totally heart crushing, yet powerful.
For more Dresden Files, go to Fool Moon
For more private investigators, go to A is for Alibi
For more supernatural mysteries, go to Just Because You’re Paranoid, Doesn’t Mean a Demon’s Not After You: Storm Front
For more mystery reviews, go to The Midwife’s Tale