When a writer takes off six years, can he pick up where he left off–or does he lose a step? That’s the question I had when I picked up Jim Butcher’s latest Harry Dresden novel, Number 16 in the series. Butcher’s last Dresden novel was published in 2014. Skin Game packed a lot of action into a caper novel (you can read my review here).
Since the Harry Dresden novels feature plenty of combat, I was wary of the title Peace Talks. Somehow, I figured Dresden would end up fighting for his life…and I wasn’t wrong! Just a few pages into Peace Talks Dresden faces death from the Hounds of Tindalos (created by Frank Belknap Long in his 1929 story of the same name and H. P. Lovecraft mentions the creatures in his 1931 short story “The Whisperer in Darkness”). Later, at the Peace Conference, all Hell breaks loose and Chicago–and maybe the rest of the world–face annihilation by a Power that threatens to be impossible to defeat. We’ll find out the Fate of the World in the next Harry Dresden novel, Battle Ground, due to be published in late September 2020. GRADE: B