Harry Dresden is the only wizard in the Chicago telephone directory. He does special jobs for the police dept and this keeps him busy.
The story begins with Harry being blackmailed by a powerful vampire who holds incriminating evidence that would destroy the career of a close friend. The vampire wants Harry to find The Word of Kemmler, but first Harry has to find out what that is. The answer very quickly becomes clear; The Word of Kemmler is something that a lot of people want. A lot of powerful, ruthless and determined people. Within a very short time Harry is up to his ears in scary bad guys and all hell is quite literally breaking loose all over Chicago.
This is loads of fun. Cross detective noir with a grown-up Harry Potter and you've got the idea. The story is driven along at a cracking pace, you're never too many pages away from a big action scene yet the central characters are well enough developed that you care and understand them.
Not read any of Jim Butcher's work before - not a problem. Everything you need to know is there. Just sit back and enjoy.