Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second book in the Dresden Files, being the first-person chronicles of a Sam Spade-esque Chicago detective...well, wizard, actually, but a wizard who hires out to solve crimes and other difficulties. He's in the phone book. I really love this character and the "hard-boiled detective meets the supernatural" concept in general. I also like the actor who is reading the audio versions to which I'm listening, James Marsters, but it's taking me some time to get used to his narration style. He is maybe two degrees above a mumble most of the time, which means I sometimes have to punch up the volume so I don't lose parts of sentences. Buzzy Media need to raise the bar a bit on their sound engineering, because I should not be hearing mouth noises and gasps of air as I do on these recordings. Ouch. Still, Marsters lends the tales the right tone of resigned, fatalistic self-deprecation, and that works for me.
Still, the only thing that I find really annoying about these first two novels in the Dresden Files series is the character of Connie Murphy, the tough-as-nails Police Detective who occasionally hires Harry to help out with "special" cases. I realize that this character has to be pretty hard-bitten to make it in the mostly male world of law-enforcement and keep the respect of her peers, but she crosses the line in to "bitch" a bit too often for me to like her at all. For somebody who purports to believe and respect Mr. Dresden's abilities and profession, she seems far too eager to mistrust him and slap the cuffs on at every turn. I can't really see why Harry professes to care for her on anything more than a professional (as in "source of income") basis. I'll give the third installment a go and see if she hasn't learned anything by the end of it. At the moment I find her pretty unreasonably tetchy
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