Ar, a member of the Dead Letters, aka, Grim Reapers, gambles with the devil to regain his humanity. After winning, the devil double crosses him and gives Ar six months in which to find the symbol of his office or face damnation. Before Ar can protest, he finds himself alive again, near the battlefields of Waterloo, with a newly liberated gremlin as his companion. Soon, he meets a disgraced, young, pregnant widow and marries her out of kindness. Yet, as the weeks pass, Ar finds himself growing to love Genie, his wife, and though his powers baffle her, she feels something in kind for this strange man who has defended and befriended her so well. However, will death claim its due, or will Ar find happiness is a question that hangs over them every moment.
**** This book reminded me of the classic film, Death Takes a Holiday and of the first, and best book in Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, Bearing an Hourglass. The premise, though not wholly new, is one seldom explored and is very well executed. Ar's pet gremlin is an added bonus, providing an amusing note to balance out the necessary moodiness. ****