Down Solo by Earl Javorsky

A novel by Earl Javorsky, Down Solo - available at Amazon - features a hero whose death takes place before the novel opens. Charlie Miner wakes in a morgue, a hole in his head, dead. It's unconventional as far as books narrated by the Dead go, given the fact that the narrator has retained a corporeal form.

The hero's a private investigator. The plot has a touch of Chinatown about it. With the added originality of a dead protagonist, there are a couple of neat tricks employed - memory loss, and the ability to project astrally - to reveal or hide certain aspects of the plot from the reader. Charlie is keen to find his murderer. Flashbacks are thrust upon the hero, this trope a nice workaround to prevent backstory seeming forced.

The narrative style is first-person private dick fare, done well. Charlie's a functioning addict, crossing paths with the seedier elements of society, both professionally and personally. Beyond a couple of questions raised that are more than worthy of explanation - even with a line or two - the book has a richness in description, and a value for its very original premise in what is a tired genre. The frequently beautiful writing, while a joy to read - punctuates, and occasionally undermines, if one could be so critical - the frequently frenetic pacing. Overall, great stuff. Buy it on Amazon here.