After reading only a few pages of DESOLATE ANGEL, which I thought was a debut novel, I was sufficiently impressed to go looking for information about the author. I discovered that Chaz McGee is a pseudonym for Katy Munger, author of the Casey Jones series and (as Gallagher Gray) the Hubbert and Lil series. Katy has been absent from the publishing world for a while, but she has returned in style with the debut of this great new series and, coming in September, another Casey Jones mystery titled BAD MOON ON THE RISE.
Kevin Fahey, narrator of DESOLATE ANGEL, is indeed a dead police detective, who now haunts the streets of his town, unable to connect with either the living or the dead - until the spirit of a murdered girl, Alissa, appears to lead him to the scene of a fresh killing. Alissa was the victim in an old case Kevin worked on. The girl's boyfriend was arrested and convicted, and Kevin thought he'd done his job. But as he looks at the new victim, whose corpse bears the same unmistakable marks found on Alissa's body, Kevin realizes that his heavy drinking and laziness on the job led to the imprisonment of an innocent man. The real killer is still free, and he has taken another young woman's life.
Kevin can go anywhere, he can see and hear everything, he can sense things about people that the living overlook, but he can't communicate with Maggie Gunn, the detective on the new murder case. As he tries in his oblique way to guide Maggie in the right direction and protect her from threats to her own life as she solves both old and new murders, Kevin finds after death the purpose that was missing in his life. He becomes Maggie's shadow partner as well as her protector, determined to redeem himself by setting right all the cases he mishandled in the wasted years of his career.
This is a wonderful book with a unique and appealing hero. I loved it.