The Dresden Files is a book series set in modern Chicago, narrated by Harry Dresden, a wizard. He works as a PI, occasionally gets work from the Police, and deals with most of the spooky stuff that happens in Chicago.
I will try to avoid spoilers as best I can, but...Well, the Zombie T-rex has already been mentioned...so that cat's out of the bag.
Ok, so he's got the cliche "Tragic Past" of 90% of all fictional characters. That might get a bit annoying, if it was a normal tragic past. Nope.
-His mom died in childbirth, so he was raised by his dad, a stage magician who knew Houdini.
-After his dad died, he was eventually adopted by a powerful Wizard named Justin DuMorne. Everything was fine...until Justin tried to get him into Black Magic (In the books, Black Magic is, to quote Harry "It was easy and fun to use. Like Legos.")
-And then, after killing Justin with magic, that gets him in DEEP SHIT with the White Council, the governing body of the wizard world. There are 7 laws, and breaking ANY of them results in immediate death by beheading. He only got probation, since it was self defense. But it was "one strike and you loose your head".
Harry has been described by one of the other characters as "Gandalf on crack and an IV of Red Bull, with a big leather coat and a .44 revolver." The only thing that's inaccurate about this is that we actually SEE Dresden use magic. A lot. Usually, it involves burning things or blowing them up. Or hitting them with the kinetic energy stored in a ring he wears, which is about as much as getting hit with a car. Theoretically, he could do a FALCON PUNCH, since he wears one of these rings on every finger.
Here is a brief list of what he has gone up against and survived:
-Sorcerer who likes ripping hearts out
-Werewolves who are also FBI agents
-The ghost of some dude he killed in between books.
--Okay, this one needs some fleshing out. He 'kills' the ghost by letting himself die, and then having his girlfriend, who is becoming a vampire and could easily rip his throat out, give him mouth to mouth. And, because ghosts are impressions of strong emotions at the time of death, Dresden AND his ghost kill the other ghost.
-A bunch of faeries from The Summer Court who are trying to cause a massive climate shift and end the cycle of violence between Summer and Winter. One of theses Faries is a Queen of Summer, giving her power on the same level as a minor god.
-A madman who shares his body with a Fallen Angel, and wants to use the Shroud of Turin to unleash a plague.
-A Vampire Lord who is killing off porn stars. Yeah, I'm serious. Oh, and there's also another vampire who's sending her minions after him
-A bunch of Necromancers, who were apprenitces of the most evil necromancer ever. This dude started World War 1, and it seems like he did it just for the hell of it.
-A bunch of monsters that feed on fear, and transform into monsters from movies.
-A few vampires that are killing women with magical talent, since magic is passed on through the mother.
-The dude with the Fallen Angel again, but he has more with him.
-The Skinwalker, as well as a traitor within the White Council.
And He's survived all of these.
The Order of the Blackened Denarius.
-In the Dresdenverse, Fallen Angels are seriously bad news, but they can't interfere with mortals unless they have permission. The Order are the exceptions.
-There are 30 Denarii, the same pieces of silver that Judas was paid with for ratting out Jesus. Each one houses a Fallen Angel, and they can take over the minds of any weak willed person who picks up the coin.
-They are led by Nicodemus Archleone, who has probably been around since the Crucifixion. He is invincible, thanks to the special tie he wears. It's actually the noose Judas hung himself with, and it makes him invulnerable to nearly everything. He's also a Complete Monster. Why? He tortures a 9 or 10 year old girl to make her mind weak enough that she'll accept one of the coins. As in, he strips her naked, puts her in a magical floating ball (It has no friction, so if she tries to move at all, she spins around like crazy), shaves her head, and surrounds the prison with demonic guard dogs.
-Each Knight of the Blackened Denarius (Harry calls them Nickleheads, because their real name gives them too much dignity) can shapeshift into a form that's more suited for battle. Nicodemus's daughter turns into this weird, red, scaly thing with metal blades for hair. Another one, Thorned Namshiel, had spikes growing from every joint on his body. All of them have a second set of eyes in this form, which are the Fallen's eyes, and a glowing symbol on their forehead.
-Nicodemus is one of the stronger-willed Nickleheads, who work in partnership with the Fallen, instead of being dominated. And he doesn't shapeshift. Anduriel, his Fallen, takes the form of his shadow. It can punch, hit, and even strangle you.
Now, we'll deal with the rest of the supernatural creatures he encounters.
There are three different types of vampires in the Dresden Files.
The Red Court
-These are the most common type. They look human, but it's just a 'suit', and their true form is a huge, ugly...
Okay, so she looks hot in her human form, but a dose of portable sunshine...
The Reds also have narcotic venom, which is addictive so that they can feed on the same person multiple times.
The White Court
-The Whites are the most human of the three. They don't look monstrous, and they don't feed on blood like the others. Instead, they feed on emotions. They also love manipulating people, rather than going head to head in physical combat.
-There are 3 main houses of the White Court, and each feeds on a different emotion. Skavis feed on Despair, Malvora on fear, and Raith on Lust. The Raiths also control the porn industry, and out of the 8 or so that Harry has met, only 2 are guys, and all the women are BABES.
-The downside to getting it on with one of these babes, and the reason why Harry hasn't: when they feed, they drain your life force, and can kill you. Also, True love harms House Raith, and Harry has that protection. Seriously, true love actually burns them.
The Black Court
-These guys are straight out of Stoker, and Harry has mentioned that the White Council had Stoker publish Dracula as a secret guide on how to kill them. There aren't very many left because of this, but the ones who survived are old and powerful. Sure, they look like rotting corpses, but they can kill you quite easily.
-They are weak to the basics. Sunlight (but it doesn't bother the old ones as much), garlic, holy water, etc.
As Badass as Harry is, he still needs help from time to time. And he gets it.
Bob the Skull
-Exactly what it sounds like. He's a spirit with tons of magical knowledge, and he's stuck inside a skull. Oh, and he likes boobs.
-Head of Special Investigations department of CPD, the place where all the wierd stuff gets sent. She can kick ass and take names, despite being five feet tall.
-For example, remember the Billy Goats Gruff? Yeah, The Gruffs are actually Goatlike Faeries who are the Summer Court's go-to guys for troll killing. At one point, Murphy, who is a normal mortal with no magic whatsoever, stares one down, and tell him that if he keeps threatening Dresden, she will shoot him, which is a lot worse for Faeries, since Iron burns them.
-Harry's ex-Parole officer, and one of the most powerful Wardens on the White Council. When it looks like Harry went evil, Morgan went up against him, WHILE HE HAD THE ZOMBIE T-REX!
-Oh, and that thing I mentioned earlier, about the Skinwalker getting nuked? That was Morgan. He led it on a chase, that ended in Nevada. He stepped through into the Nevernever (Spirit World) and closed the door behind him, leaving the Skinwalker with front row seats to the test of the Manhattan Project.
-Harry's mortician friend, he helped power the Zombie T-Rex. See, the Desdenverse Zombies need a Drummer, someone who magically substitutes a drumbeat for the heartbeat, allowing the Necromancer to direct them. Some use a big subwoofer with the bass turned up all the way, some use actual drums. Butters? He uses a POLKA SUIT!
-Also, Butters is the first person that Harry knows of to figure out why Wizards have such insanely long lifespans. (The Merlin, Leader of the White Council, grew up when America was still just a bunch of British Colonies)
-Harry's mentor after he killed Justin, Ebenezar is an old Scotsman who has done one of the most destructive acts of magic in the entire series. After a Red Court Duke cheated in a duel with Harry and ran away, Ebenezar pulled an old Soviet satellite out of orbit, and onto the Duke's manor in South America.
Gentleman Johnnie Marcone
-The mobster who currently runs Chicago's underground, the man has class, and as Harry said, "balls that drag on the ground when he walks".
-Why? He hired a consultant from Monoc Securities, one who deals with threats to his business from the supernatural realm. Harry helps Marcone, but they usually hate each other's guts. However, Marcone's business strategy is to cut down on violent crime, so the cops won't come snooping (Just in case the bribes don't work), and he will kick the ass of anyone who messes with his employees.
--Monoc Securities, by the way, seems to be run by ODIN. Yes, that Odin. The Allfather, the lord of the Norse Gods. Why do people think this, even though the author has never said anything on the matter? The consultant who works for Marcone. Ms. Gard, whose first name is Sigrun, is a blonde, Nordic-looking woman who has, on 2 separate occasions, flown into battle, driving a Huey helicopter, with Ride of the Valkyries playing on the speakers. No further evidence is needed.
-Marcone once pulled a knife out of his sleeve fast enough to stop a psychotic man with a tire iron. And he has survived being tortured by the Denarians.
Michael Carpenter and Sanya
-These two are God's answer to the Denarians. There are three swords, and each one has a Nail from the Crucifixion embedded in it. Currently, the previous Knight who had the Sword of Faith died, and Harry is looking for the next one.
-Michael lives in Chicago, and has saved Harry's ass on a number of occasions. He met his wife when he saved her from a dragon. No, seriously.
-Michael's sword is The Sword of Love. Also, it's probably Excalibur, which is badass as hell.
-Sanya is a black Russian, and he's also agnostic. Despite having been given The Sword of Faith by the Archangel Michael himself. And he is the only person in the series to actually cast away his Coin, and stop being a Denarian.
-The Knights of the Cross can kick major ass. Example: When Harry, Michael, and Sanya were fighting Nicodemus on top of a moving train, Michael ended up Dual-Weilding Amoracchius(The Sword of Love) and Fidelacchius(Faith) against Nicodemus. Amoracchius is a broadsword, and Fidelacchius is a Katana/cane sword. Remember, HE WAS ON TOP OF A MOVING TRAIN!
-Harry's dog. He's actually a Chinese Temple Dog, which makes him really useful. He can tell when people are lying, or generally suspicious. And he's survived getting hit by a van.
-He's huge. When he's on all fours, his back reaches the middle of Harry's upper legs. And Harry is really tall. 6'8" or so.