Book Review: “Grave Peril” by Jim Butcher

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Grave Peril
by Jim Butcher

Book 3 of The Dresden Files is even more spooky, witty, and action-packed than its predecessors, Storm Front and Fool Moon. This book finds Chicago’’s finest (i.e., only) hardboiled wizard detective chasing an outbreak of increasingly violent ghosts. Even with the help of an upright, heroic, devoutly Catholic knight armed with a sword that can hew spiritual flesh, Dresden is outmatched. Someone, or something, is stirring up the spirit world, and they’’re going after people Dresden cares about, inflicting horrible spiritual suffering on them.

It is a type of evil magic Dresden has never encountered before, and it makes him wonder: could it be the work of a rogue sorcerer he helped capture and put away? Could it be connected with the faerie godmother who has been after him ever since Dresden’’s mother made a bargain with her long ago? Could it have something to do with a local vampire madam’’s elevation to the Red Court? Accompanied by his yellow-journalist girlfriend and his knight-in-shining-armor buddy, Dresden attends a party full of beings that want his blood in a very personal way… and ends up in even more trouble than he expected!

Parents be advised: this book contains both “adult” and “occult” content. The violence is more graphic than the sexual content, but both are there, along with exorcisms, summonings, dealings with faeries, and encounters with demonic forces. Dresden is trying to protect the people of Chicago from these things, but his methods are not always pristine. He is, after all, a “hardboiled wizard,” so you may often question his choices and ethics. You see this especially in this book because of the contrast between how Harry and his friend Michael operate; nevertheless, they somehow work together for the same ends. So, exercise your own judgment about whether or when to share this series with your kids. But first, give the book a spin and see if you enjoy it yourself!