Ghost Story was originally scheduled for release in late March, but was postponed for three months to ensure that it was "full-assed". Jim Butcher finished writing Ghost Story on April 4, 2011. for release on July 26, 2011. Penguin released its first chapter in March 2011.
It was going to be titled Dead, but the name was shot down by publishers.
Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard PI. Turns out the ‘everyday’ world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. But he’s forgotten his own golden rule: magic - it can get a guy killed. Which didn’t help when he clashed with unknown assailants with his murder in mind. And though Harry’s continued existence is now in some doubt, this doesn’t mean he can rest in peace.
Trapped in a realm that’s not quite here, yet not quite anywhere else, Harry learns that three of his loved ones are in danger. Only by discovering his assailant’s identity can he save his friends, bring criminal elements to justice, and move on himself. It would just be easier if he knew who was at risk. And had a (working) crystal ball. And access to magic. Instead, he is unable to interact with the physical world - invisible to all but a select magical few. He’s also not the only silent presence roaming Chicago’s alleys. Hell, he put some there himself. Now, they’re looking for payback.
Immediately following the events of Changes, Harry finds himself between life and the afterlife, where he is informed that there has been an "irregularity" with his death and is given the option to return to Chicago as a spirit and find his killer. He elects to return and heads to Mortimer Lindquist's house, where he finds out that he has been dead for six months. Mort initially refuses to aid Harry, but after Harry helps to defend the house against an assault led by the Corpsetaker, Mort reluctantly agrees. Mort and Harry go to Murphy's house, and Harry is subjected to intense questioning by many of his friends and colleagues to verify his identity. Once satisfied, Murphy explains to Harry that the destruction of the Red Court created a worldwide power vacuum, allowing a group called the Fomor to rise to power.
The next night, Harry returns to Mort's to find that the house has been destroyed and Mort has been abducted. Harry tracks down Mort and finds him trapped by the Corpsetaker, who is torturing him in an attempt to steal his body. Harry summons the army of spirits that sheltered at Mort's, storms the hideout through the Nevernever, and takes down the wards, allowing his allies to physically assault the hideout. Harry returns to confront the Corpsetaker only to discover that she has consumed all of the spirits, increasing her power and giving her the ability to physically manifest - and the ability to steal a body, which she promptly does in the form of Waldo Butters. Molly attacks the Corpsetaker, who responds by entering her mind in an attempt to steal her body instead. Harry is quick to follow.
Molly and the Corpsetaker wage a pitched battle for Molly's mind as Harry seeks out Molly's mental command center. He finds it, and in the process unlocks a memory of his own. During Changes, Harry realized not only that he would have to become the Winter Knight in order to save his daughter, but also that Mab would then turn him into a monster. To prevent this from happening, Harry contacted Kincaid and arranged for his own assassination. In order to prevent Mab from discovering this plan, he then had Molly remove the memory of it.
With Harry having remembered the true events that he arranged, Uriel appears and explains that a fallen angel interfered with Harry's death. The fallen angel's direct influence permitted Uriel to respond in kind, allowing Harry to come back and learn the truth. Uriel then offers Harry the choice to come to work for him, or continue on to What Comes Next. Harry demands to see how his loved ones fare in order to make an informed choice. Uriel complies, showing Harry that Molly was successful in defeating the Corpsetaker with Mort's help, that Maggie has been lovingly adopted by the Carpenters, and that Harry's other loved ones are safe and well. Satisfied by what he sees, Harry elects to move on.
He awakens on Demonreach Island, where his body has lain in the care of Queen Mab and the spirit of Demonreach for the past six months. Mab is simultaneously angry and pleased by Harry's attempt to shirk her service, and tells Harry to prepare himself for her to turn him into her creature. Uriel takes this opportunity to officially balance the scales, whispering to Harry "Lies, Mab cannot change who you are." Harry realizes the truth of this and tells Mab that he will be her devoted knight but will carry out her orders in his own way, and will not permit her to turn him into her monster.
Plot points introduced Edit
- Ghosts can use memories as weapons.
- The "parasite"
- The Fomor - though they are already referenced in the short story Aftermath.
- Harry's former home has been converted into a castle-like building, the headquarters for Murphy's "Justice League" of Chicago, built with money from Marcone and staffed by Harry's allies.
- Harry realizes he does not have to end up like his predecessor and can remain his own man despite being beholden to Mab.
- Ghost Story at jim-butcher.com
- Ghost Story article on Wikipedia
- The Dresden Files Reread: Book 13, Ghost Story Pt. 1 | Tor.com
- The Dresden Files Reread: Book 13, Ghost Story Pt. 2 | Tor.com
- Things to Do in Chicago When You’re Dead. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher | Tor.com ~ Summary
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