Storm Front (Book One of the Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher:
If Ivanhoe was a wizard for hire in modern day Chicago, he’d be Harry Dresden. Harry, who owes back rent and lives on the edge of eviction, is truly good, truly a defender of the weak, and assuredly the foe of evil.
When a woman comes to Harry’s office begging him to find out what is going on with her husband, when at the same time Lt. Murphy asks for Harry’s help in solving the murder of a couple whose hearts burst out of their chests (according to Harry, not possible for just one wizard to have this much power), Harry won’t stop until he fulfills his promises to both. Doing so puts Harry on the wrong side of a major criminal, on Lt. Murphy’s enemies’ list, in the cross hairs of a White Council warden who wants Harry dead, and next on the list of the murderer.
True to his heroic nature, (which Harry easily sees in others, but not in himself) Harry won’t quit until the murders are solved, and the evil is destroyed. Even hamstrung by the rules for a white wizard, Harry is awesomely powerful. No wonder the White Council fears him.
Harry, with his tall good looks and his wise-cracking sense of humor, enchants. This was the third time I’ve read this book. I rarely read a book a second time, but I would read this one and the whole series over and over. To escape to Harry’s world of good and evil where good is funny, handsome, has the devotion of his thirty-pound cat Mister, and triumphs over evil is ... perfect.
Review by Kath Marsh. Visit her Letters from Earth blog