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Review: The Dirty Streets of Heaven

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The Dirty Streets of Heaven
The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After ruminating over this rating for quite a bit, I have come to the decision that it’s a 3.5 stars for me. Initially, I thought it was higher, due to the rush of reading another new Tad Williams. I still love him, and his writing is sharp. The style is very similar to the Dresden Files. First person view, a loner angelic attorney who doesn’t trust his superiors and investigates a case on his own.

Bobby Dollar is really Doloriel, an angel who works as attorney, meaning that he pleads the case to be sent to Heaven whenever someone in his area dies, with a demon attorney from Hell trying to get the recently deceased sent down to suffer. Only one day a soul they’re supposed to handle has disappeared, something that is not supposed to happen. Bobby Dollar tries to find out what happened, and why he is involved, and finds out that some angels and demons have their hands rather dirty.

The book is very fast-paced, you don’t really get any breaks. Whereas Tad Williams usually does 1000 pages of exposition, here you just get thrown into the action with very little prior explanation. The tone is more mature than the Dresden Files. Bobby Dollar, angel that he might be, is not the nice guy Harry Dresden is. He also has filthy sex that is described in large detail, and left me entirely as cold as I imagine the Countess of Cold Hands to be.

I liked reading the book well enough, but especially today with me just having started another Dresden book, I finally have to admit that Harry Dresden > Bobby Dollar. I had crazy-high expectations of Tad Williams, and am vaguely disappointed, but I will read a follow-up for sure. I would love to find out more about the power structures of Heaven, and the story is entirely open-ended.

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