What do you do when the hero of your series is at the end of the last novel riddled with bullet holes? If you’re Jim Butcher and your main character is a professional detective-wizard you write a novella that deals with the fallout.
“Aftermath” picks up hours after the jaw dropping, hold your breath action that occurred in Changes. Fans of Harry Dresden are still reeling from what occurred and after that emotional roller coaster left fans wondering, what next? That’s what his comrade Karrin Murphy is trying to figure out.
With her status on the police force in doubt Murphy like the readers are attempting to sort out the possible outcomes of what happened to Harry when she is called upon to help out another of Harry’s friends. Will, a werewolf seems to be missing his pregnant werewolf wife. Things seem to go downhill from there as Murphy has to navigate between the supernatural and the real world. Readers have seen Dresden do it with ease so many times that they figure that’s what you do when you’re a detective. You’re supposed to have a staff with ruinic protections on it, the same goes for the coat you wear, even in the Chicago heat – because there are worse things than heatstroke that can get you. But here we see Murphy hold her own. After all she is a cop and good old detective skills are at the heart of this narrative. His way of blending the occult with everyday life makes this world realistically normal.
Still the audience will miss Harry’s almost Asperger’s approach to his work, or his intensity when it comes to those magical throw-downs. Murphy is great as a supporting player, and their relationship has been the cornerstone of many of Dresden’s adventures. However, if you were reading a Justice League comic would you follow the happenings of The Question or wait for Batman to return?
As the last story in Butcher’s latest effort Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files (a compilation of short stories), Aftermath will help those who are anxiously waiting Harry Dresden’s return. If nothing else this novella has whet the appetites for the next novel as more questions than answers have come up. Will Harry’s disappearance leave a magical chasm that cannot be filled? And how will Murphy and those left behind deal with the fallout? Tune in to find out.