Sam Spade with a tarnished halo, the dame who walks into Bobby Dollar's life has a hint of brimstone to go along with her perfume. Though Bobby's day to day angelic duties are more Law and Order than P. I. work, when a soul turns up missing he is forced to start investigating things on his own.
It took me a chapter or so to get used to Bobby's noire point of view, but I was hooked once the focus moved from how the immediately-after-life works to pounding the pavement in search of answers.
Angels are a tricky business, and while the character dynamic of THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN won me over and had me laughing out loud, the afterlife machinations that had Bobby Dollar on the run never really made sense to me. Heaven erases angels' earthly memories, Hell does not, and it's not really clear to me which practice is being shown as "bad". Williams writes convincingly of angels as "human" workers, advocating to win souls without nit picking on moral matters, but it's still unclear how these flawed foot soldiers fit in to the greater celestial picture. If Bobby's fleshy body and work in the trenches makes him so relatable, I suppose it makes sense that Heaven, which Bobby himself has a hard time remembering, remains amorphous and mysterious. The unfortunate side effect is that the higher angels that reside in Heaven, and that are supposed to add half piece of the urgent plot driving Bobby, never emerge as effective characters.
Full review to follow.
Sexual Content: Sex scenes.