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Book #3 in The Dresden Files.
In all his years of supernatural sleuthing, Harry Dresden has never faced anything like this: the spirit world's gone postal. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone-or something-is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? If Harry doesn't figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself.
Tropes associated with Grave Peril:
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Harry versus The Nightmare/Leonid Kravos. Unusual in that the hero gets his butt kicked the first time seeing as he was in a drug-induced coma due to vampire spit. In the rematch, however, Harry turns into a fanged and clawed monster and Eats Kravos alive...er...undead. After letting it kill him for a moment so that he can get backup from his own ghost
- Chekhov's Gunman: Pretty much everyone at Bianca's party. Particularly the pair of Black Cloaks with the athame, who later reappear in Dead Beat as Cowl and Kumori.
- Contrived Coincidence: A superpower for the Knights of the Cross. In this book, for instance, Harry and Michael need to go rescue Charity, but Harry does not want to leave Michael's kids alone. Michael simply opens the front door to show Father Forthill, just about to knock, standing on the steps because his car just happened to break down. He looks between them and says, "You need a babysitter again, don't you?"
- CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Susan brings Harry back to life after a brief death in order to allow himself and his ghost to both team up on Kravid.
- False Reassurance: Harry assures a vampire that, despite his choice of costume for the party, Michael is not actually a Knight Templar. She then grabs his arm and is burned by his faith.
Harry: Hands off the Fist of God.
- Flatline Plotline: Seeing as ghosts are impressions of a person before death, and Harry needs assistance in fighting a particularly nasty ghost, Harry lets himself be attacked, then has his girlfriend revive him so he can team up with his own ghost.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck: Given a humorous jab:
Harry: Holy shit. Hellhounds.
Michael: Harry, you know I hate it when you swear.
Harry: You're right, sorry. Holy shit. Heckhounds.
Bob: (Scoffs). Harry, that's irrational.
Harry: (Snaps at him). That doesn't make it any less true.
Bob: (Meek). Okay. We now have left Reason and Sanity Junction. Next stop, Looneyville.
- Heroic BSOD: After the events of this book, Harry has a total meltdown due to the loss of Susan, to the point where he looks like a crazy hermit and has not done paying detective work in months.
- Innocuously Important Episode: Although this is the third book in the series, it has serious implications reaching all the way out until Changes.
- It Was a Gift: Bianca gives gifts at her party. Many are Chekhov's Guns.
- Never Sleep Again: The Nightmare (aka Leonid Kravos), who kills by entering his victims' dreams.
- Non-Human Undead: Harry encounters an extremely strong ghost he calls the Nightmare, and suspects it's one of these. Specifically, the ghost of the demon serving the sorcerer Kravos. He later learns that the ghost is Kravos himself, whose death had been concealed from him.
- Poison and Cure Gambit: Harry manages to play with this by poisoning himself in order to get Lea to cooperate.
- Rape as Drama: It is deeply implied that Harry (and likely Justine) was gangraped by Bianca's Red Court. Harry being, well, Harry, he never speaks about what happened to him explicitly, but several books later still mentions having nightmares about it.
- Revenge by Proxy
- Story Arc: This book kicked off the war between the White Council and the Red Court that would blaze along merrily in the background for quite some time and set in motion most of the plots of the following books.
- Unstoppable Rage: when confronted by a horde of vampires, Harry unleashes Pyrofuego, to their thorough dismay.