Two men become friends in a graveyard in this moving novel of love, loss, and redemption.
Arthur Tor steals the dead for a living. As a resurrection man, he creeps around graveyards with his shovel, hoping to dig up corpses so he can sell them to the local medical college and pay his tuition there. He also holds a strange position in underground society. If someone is dying a slow, painful death, the family members come to Arthur and beg him to end their loved one\'s pain. Arthur can never refuse, and he helps the dying painlessly cross the threshold in a process he calls the Black Rounds. Unfortunately, a local judge has gotten wind of Arthur\'s activities and has sworn to send him to prison—or the hangman\'s noose.
Jesse Fair has fled his corrupt family in Baltimore and landed in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he becomes the town gravedigger and undertaker, and he works hard to help grieving families through their pain with warmth and compassion. Some families make odd requests for their dearly departed, and Jesse discovers that the undertaker must often deal with the absurd side of death. But his venomous family is still searching for him. Relentlessly. And once they find him, Jesse will have to make a terrible choice.
When Jesse catches Arthur in the act of robbing a grave, the two of them form a strange friendship and even stranger partnership that digs deep into social taboos—and into their own souls.