Author: Jim Butcher
Publisher: Orbit • 438 pages • £12.99
The tenth in the Dresden Files series does nothing new, but does what it does excellently. By now the characters are well established – not just Harry Dresden himself, but his friends, their families and even his enemies. Unlike many supernatural action novels, Butcher’s are stuffed with well-developed characters, not mere puppets serving to interact with (have sex with/plot shallowly against) the main character. Butcher’s put as much effort into creating them as he has into his hero, and it shows.
Harry’s on his usual mission to save something or someone, in this case Gentleman Johnnie Marcone, a gangster he’d usually be happy to see the back of, but with several sinister parties involved, he – and you – are never quite sure exactly which is the greatest threat or what their exact motivations are. Moreover, there are more hints that various nefarious nasties are teaming up, and Harry’s no idea who – though they’ll probably pop up in a future book. Small Favour may not be innovative, but it sure is fun to read.