Mab, the Queen of the Winter Court, calls in one of the two favors that Harry owes her. Johnny Marcone has been kidnapped and she wants Harry to find him. The fact that Harry is acting as the emissary of the Winter Court means that Harry is now on the hit list of the Summer Court.
Wow, how hurt can one person get and just keep going? That was my only problem when reading this latest in the Harry Dresden series. The fact that he's ALWAYS beat up is uncomfortable to me. And so much action keeps the tension level high.
What I really love about this series is the humor, Harry's loyalty to what he believes is right, and the fact that it takes place in Chicago, often destroying well-known places, and this one is no exception.
And of course, I'm often amazed at the wit Harry displays in rising above seemingly no-win situations, more often than not with a great deal of sarcasm and humor.
Harry also explains things to us in great detail; the hows and whys, before taking action. While much of this is for our benefit, in some places, it seemed to get long-winded.
Many people/characters from prior stories are in this book. Thomas, Michael and his family, along with Sanya, the other knight. Mister and Mouse also have a little more to do. Ivy, the Archive is back along with Kincaid, her bodyguard. Murphy is getting in deeper with the supernatural world, gaining respect from the various groups. You'll recognize some of Marcone's people. The Denarians are back - those Fallen Angel guys with the coins. We also get to meet a bunch of new creatures from the Summer and Winter Courts.
Some long standing questions are answered and we're presented with new ones as some situations change- and some of these are big.
You don't need to read the other books before picking up this latest one, but I think you'd get a great deal more satisfaction from the book and better appreciate the different relationships and the larger significance of some actions if you read the series in order.