Hang on to your freaking hat here, because this book pulls out all the stops. It’s not long before Halloween and Thomas is bunking with Harry and it’s not going all that well. Remember that insensitive slob you roomed with in college? Yeah, all that and worse. Soon, that’s the least of Harry’s concerns because he receives a package and inside are pictures of Murphy from the attack on the Black Court lair in Blood Rites, as well as a lock of Murphy’s hair (never good where supernatural matters are concerned). The pictures will implicate Murphy both in human courts and in the supernatural world. He’s got to see Mavra and she tells him to find the Word of Kemmler. If he doesn’t, she’ll really screw with Murphy’s life and livelihood. Harry doesn’t have much of a choice.
Harry discovers that Kemmler was an incredibly powerful necromancer and that Bob once belonged to him, making him do unspeakable things. And it gets worse. Three different groups of necromancers are out to get the Word of Kemmler as well as the Die Lied der Erlking, so they can obtain powers so great as to make them a minor god.
There’s a ton of stuff that happens. Harry gets the gray cloak of the Wardens (which, it turns out, even means a steady paycheck!), works with a knowledgeable rare book clerk that turns out to be all in his head (thanks to Lasciel), really opens up to Billy and Georgia and in the final battle royale rides a zombiefied Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex to defeat the necromancers who release the erlking. Yeah, that’ll do.