DYING IS HELL . . . SOLVING YOUR OWN MURDER IS PURGATORY
When Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus storms a Lincolnshire farmhouse, he expects to bring down a notorious drug gang; instead, he discovers his own dead body and a spirit guide called Daisy-May.
She’s there to enlist him to the Dying Squad, a spectral police force made up of the recently deceased. Joe soon realises there are fates far worse than death. To escape being stuck in purgatory, he must solve his own murder. A task made all the more impossible when his memories start to fade.
Reluctantly partnering with Daisy-May, Joe faces dangers from both the living and the dead in the quest to find his killer – before they kill again.
My thoughts: I don’t know if you’ve seen a film called RIPD with Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges, which was not great but I love Jeff Bridges, well this is a bit like that but miles better and British, so the humour is drier and pitch black.
Joe Lazarus (really, that surname, I wonder if anyone gets the Biblical reference) is dead, but not completely. His soul is recruited by the afterlife’s very own police department – as Daisy-May puts it – the Dying Squad, and first job – solve his own murder. Except well, that’s not exactly what he’s doing, but no one told him or his new partner that.
Daisy-May is a brilliant character, smart, funny, and dealing with a heck of a lot. Including Joe, who’s a bit hopeless. The dying thing really throws him and what they’re learning about his life (the dead lose their memories) isn’t exactly great. The Duchess, their boss, has her own somewhat disturbing plans, and things are going a bit sideways in purgatory.
I really hope there’s more of Simcox’s afterlife stories with these characters as I think there’s scope for so many more.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.