by Jim Butcher

ROC, $27.95, 482 pages

When readers last saw Harry Dresden, he was shot and dead in the water – literally.

Ghost Story picks up six months after the end of the previous novel when Harry is given the chance to come back to Chicago and help solve his own murder and save his friends (who have fallen apart) from certain death.

Jim Butcher was in a tricky position with this book – not only had he killed the main character, he had to find a way to bring him back and continue his story in a logical way. He does that well and, in fact, having Harry present as a ghost adds some interesting elements, such as him having to find ways to impact the world as a mostly unseen and unheard entity. Using this structure also helps Harry realize the impact of his choices on the world and those close to him. This is particularly evident when Harry goes into his former apprentice’s mind and finds the damage that is a direct result of his choices. In addition to resolving several of the questions from the prior book, the author skillfully sets a very interesting stage for the next installment.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern