Harry Dresden, over the span of the series (much beloved by me from its very start, for who can resist the gruff, self-deprecating humor of Chicago's only practising wizard - no love-potions!- and his plethora of assorted friends and foes?) has come a long way. In the beginning, we had this cock-sure P.I. with a dark past and a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas...but events and heartache and the influence of his trusted circle of friends have helped him cope and stay sane.
Now, author Jim Butcher has his main character come full circle, mainly in the form of Susan Rodriguez, half-vampire, full guerilla. "They have our daughter."
"They" being the Red Court, a background story on the sidelines for some time now while Harry dealt with conspiracies, Denarians, family (mainly Thomas) and wizard-only stuff.
This revelation sets off a story that never allows for a breath of relief, only a sip of cold water, then the race is on again.
Characters and stabilizing influences from the previous books (and it's a bittersweet joy to see how the development/radical shifts in the past two books sets the scene for this one) are not present, Jim Butcher makes sure, in a credible way, that Harry is on his own, and there's hardly anyone who he can call on in his rage and despair. Emotions and inner turmoil rule this novel, the Harry who had been so happy about *finally* being a little more Zen...gone. He'll stop at nothing, politics be damned, calls in old debts, browses his Demon Green Pages, and even pitches in, after being denied help from other sources, with Johnny Marcone and the CEO of Monoc Security, aka Sigrun's dad, aka Odin, before his daughter is used in a ritual of blood-magic of devestating proportions!
After this, nothing remains the same.