Private detective Harry has got some
serious issues. His secretary is a demon (literally!), he
doesnít have the money to pay his rent, and his lover is stuck
in Limbo. Just when he thinks things canít get any worse, the
angel Gabriel hires him to be a courier for some kind of
magical item. He agrees because it will help his lover,
Frankie. Heís about to start his mission when another angel
offers him what seems like a better deal. Can Harry
On the Payroll: First Shift
has the atmosphere of an old hard-boiled detective novel.
Harry trusts no one, curses like a sailor, and is very
cynical. The only thing he cares about is Frankie, a priest
he fell in love with and is willing to do anything for.
Despite Harryís many flaws, his deep caring for Frankie had me
rooting for him to succeed. At one point during the story,
Frankie is able to contact Harry. Itís obvious even from
their brief interaction that Frankie loves Harry as well, and
is worried about him. I could see why, though, because the
angels and demons in the story all seem equally self-absorbed,
crafty, and even cruel. Everything about the politics of
heaven and hell comes across as corrupt and dangerous in this
story. At first I felt confused by the litany of characters
involved, as many prominent angels and demons are mentioned.
By the time I finished this first installment of a series,
however, the major players were clear, even if their
motivations werenít. And of course, the story ended in a
cliffhanger. Dallas Colemanís dark, gritty world and
multi-layered characters have definitely hooked me. Now I am
anxiously awaiting the next installment of this series!