Established fantasy author Williams’ first foray into the world of urban fantasy is an unevenly plotted and paced novel, featuring a wise-cracking, street-smart angel. There are lots of frenetic action sequences that make it difficult to follow exactly what’s happening, and the worldbuilding is a bit sloppy: The afterlife is explicitly described as adhering to no specific religion, but looks an awful lot like the Christian conception, right down to the existence of heaven, hell and purgatory.

The angel Doloriel or, as he’s better known, Bobby Dollar, is an advocate for recently departed souls, arguing for their salvation against demons who have an interest in eternal damnation. When a soul turns up missing, Bobby finds himself mired in conflict and conspiracy, with no clue what’s going on. He can’t trust his heavenly superiors, demons keep punching him in the face and the only entity willing to share any information is the demon Countess of Cold Hands. (DAW, Sep., 400 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs