Having gotten caught up on The Dresden Files on audiobook in the car (because listening to James Marsters read it is the best way to do Dresden), and then read Charles Stross' Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise (which I dearly wish he was willing to continue, but oh, well), I decided to take a try at The Atrocity Archives, first in The Laundry Files, next. I had previously avoided this because I'd heard it described as Lovecraftian horror, which isn't really my thing, but that turns out to not do it justice at all. In fact, I'm quite reminded of Dresden.
Both are stories of The Wizard as a Young Man, gradually leveling up as the inevitable apocalypse forms around him. Bob Howard's wry first-person wit is similar to Harry Dresden's, but he's actually less of an asshole than Harry, and the story has a slightly more satirical edge to it. (I just got past the brain-eating Powerpoint slide deck.) In the idiosyncratic world of the Laundry, magic, math and computer science are all largely the same thing (I will admit that a grounding in computers is useful to understanding some of what goes on). And the Laundry's bureaucracy (and in-fighting) makes the White Council look downright warm and cuddly by comparison.
The Great Old Ones *are* very much in the background (so far), and some parts of the Laundry Files get *very* creepy. But this is more a story about politics and espionage than about horror: the Laundry are basically the British government agency devoted to protecting the public from Horrors They Must Never Know About, and is often darkly hilarious.
I'm only on the second book, but I'm hooked. Good stuff, and well worth checking out...