Storm Front (Book One of the Dresden Files)
Storm Front introduces us to America's only openly practicing professional wizard, Harry Dresden. He can be found in Chicago's Yellow Pages, under "Wizards" - and he's the only one there.
Harry needs to pay overdue rent and a decent meal wouldn't go a miss, but business is slow. That is until he gets 2 phone calls. The 1st is from a distraught wife needing his help and the 2nd is from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit. Harry believes things are on the up, but they're about to get a lot worse.
A series of grewsome murders, committed by using immense supernatural forces, takes place. Not only does Harry have to investigate, whilst he himself is under suspicion, but if he can't stop the killing spree, he could be next. He's also got the White Council on his back, they govern Harry & other wizards, making sure he abides by the rules. Black magic is a no no and Harry is under suspicion, if caught he'd be instantly executed. Unfortunately for Harry, he's going to need to dabble very close to the dark side if he's going to solve the murders.
Along the way you get to know a whole host of characters, including Mister (Harry's cat), Bob (a spirit living in a skull in Harry's basement - Dresden's equivant of the Internet) and Lt. Murphy (Harry's friend at Chicago PD).
I became addicted to this novel whilst listening to the audio-book version (read by James Marsters). Half-way though it, I had already decided to buy the 2nd in the series (Fool Moon). Not only do you get to learn the ins and outs of wizards and wizardry, what it takes to solve a special investigations case, but Jim Butcher also injects a bit of humour into the story.
I found it very difficult to put this one down - Whether reading the book or listening to James Marsters read it for you, you won't want to put it down either. You can't read just a chapter or two of it, you always want to read more. This book reignited my love for novels and I'm sure you'll love it too.