It is the eleventh book in The Dresden Files continuing series about wizard detective Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.

The action starts as Harry's sometime nemesis Morgan shows up on his doorstep needing protection. He is accused of killing a Senior Council Member with important political connections, LaFortier. He says he has been framed, even though he was found standing above the warm corpse with knife in hand and a new bank account with a balance in excess of 6 million USD. Harry takes him in and starts to investigate. As he goes to enlist the help of the werewolves he is stalked by the Skinwalker, and a fight erupts leaving one of the Alphas dead, and another gravely wounded. Harry then asks his brother, Thomas for help in moving Morgan, who is badly wounded, to a safe location. They move Morgan to a warded rental space, and Harry continues to investigate, leaving Thomas, Mouse and Molly to guard the fugitive. He finds that a wanted poster has been placed on Craiglist giving a large reward for Morgan's death, which he believes is not the work of the White Council, who would take care of problems in-house and has no idea what Craigslist is. He also learns that the White Court of Vampires have been framed along with Morgan, the money from Morgan's account being traceable back to them.

Harry's girlfriend and commanding officer, Anastacia Luccio, finds him and tells him that she doesn't believe Morgan is responsible, and that she was worried that Morgan might try to kill Harry, thinking that he is the traitor. Anastasia Luccio discovers that Harry is helping Morgan, and we find out that Luccio and Morgan had a past of unrequited love, and that Luccio has never responded to Morgan believing it was best to stay detached. Tension between Luccio and Harry mounts. The safeplace is attacked by the White Court traitor Madeline Raith and her hireling Binder, and Thomas is taken hostage by the Skinwalker(to trade for Morgan) in the confusion. Morgan's hiding time is running out (Morgan traded in his silver Oak leaf he received for services rendered to the Summer court in exchange for the Summer Queen making him untraceable to the Wardens). Harry decides that he will need more power and binds himself to the mysterious island of power in lake Michigan, under which a layline exists that Harry can tap into if needed. He does this by meeting and fighting the spirit of the Island named Deamonreach. Deamonreach gives Harry the power of knowing everything that is happening on the island.

Harry invites the White Council, the White Court, and the Skinwalker to the island. He tells the White Council he knows who the traitor is and can prove Morgan's innocence, thinking that this would make the traitor show himself. The White Court is there to help save Thomas. The Skinwalker believes that the trade will happen. Harry also brings in the Alphas as back up and Toot toot and his fairies to help out. Once the White Court and the White Council reach the island they are immediately attacked by the traitor(who is helped by Madeline and Binder), and the Skinwalker arrives with half dead Thomas. Harry goes to save his brother as the others fight. On the way he is ambushed by Madeline Raith and Binder. Lara Raith kills Madeline and Harry defeats binder, who gives Harry a cell phone belonging to Madeline that she used to contact the Black Council. Harry succeeds in getting Thomas clear of the Skinwalker, but in doing so Thomas is thrown into the cabin with Molly and Morgan, and he is starving. Harry survives the Skinwalker with the help of Injun Joe and Toot toot. Thomas is prevented from feeding on Molly by a Quartz crystal which Harry created, with the power to create a impregnable sphere, which if taken down in anyway other than one devised by Harry, will cause an immense magical explosion, destroying anything near it but keeping the people inside of it protected. The traitor escapes, seemingly without being witnessed, so the White Council, despite the overwhelming evidence that the traitor exists, believe that it is politically necessary to execute Morgan, who surrenders.

Harry however, has the gateway to Chicago through the Nevernever staked out by a detective taking photos and by Mouse(It turns out a Foo dog is as reliable a witness as a wizard according to many on the White Council including Ancient Mai), and discovers the identity of the traitor. He is a very high placed clerk named Peabody rather then an actual member of the Council. He had been controlling both the younger Wardens, with their relatively easy to break minds, and been influencing the Senior Council through an ingredient in the ink with which they signed documents which made his influence stronger with their otherwise hardened ways. Harry goes to Morgan's trial to give this evidence, but as he does, the traitor pulls out a jar which contains a Mist spirit which has been mixed with mordite (a substance which instantly destroys anything that it comes in contact with) to make his escape. He implanted a watchword into the younger warden's minds that when uttered, they would go catatonic, easily allowing his escape. The Merlin keeps everyone calm, and the death toll is low. Harry goes to apprehend the traitor, who nearly escapes. Morgan gets free and kills the traitor before dying himself.

In the aftermath a new Senior Council member, Cristos, one who is likely a member of the Black Council is elected. So the Black Council managed to pull off their scheme despite everyone's efforts, since it is likely that their objective was to get a man on the Senior Council. We also find out Luccio's romantic feelings for Harry were manufactured by the traitor Peabody. Murphy checks out the cell phone Binder gave Harry. It turns out to have several calls to phone numbers of restaurants in the Algiers and Egypt. Probable locations of Black Council activity. The book ends on a disturbing meeting between Harry and Thomas who had been badly tortured by the Skinwalker and forced to fatally feed on several young human women and now questions his former views on feeding upon mortals and trying to avoid becoming a monster.

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