Police detective Brett O’Shea and his ghostly sidekick—and great-grandfather—Michael O’Shea, take on a suspicious new boss, along with a fortune teller with murderous tendencies, as well as a few zombies in the fourth installment of Jan Walters’s A Ghost and A Cop series.
In Hazzard Avenue, Brett is tasked with investigating a noise complaint on a Des Moines street of the titular name. When police visit the reported home, readers are introduced to Simone Moreau, who is involved in more than just reading palms. Simone becomes unnaturally interested in Brett, as she senses Michael’s presence with him.
Brett also must deal with a new chief of detectives, Carter, who seems to be more than just a jerk when he begins acting suspiciously. Then Brett has a run-in with a zombie at a shopping mall.
Things progressively get weirder as more zombies show up, and Brett must discern what evil is afoot in town. Walters writes of Brett’s ghostly ancestor: “Michael whipped off his fedora and wiped his brow with the back of his hand. ‘Sonny, you need to listen up and start using your “spidey” powers. Something is brewing, and something not good.’”
Brett is a likeable protagonist, and the story moves briskly as both the dialogue and action propel the novel forward. Readers will be anxious to discover how the seemingly disparate pieces—bad boss, evil fortune teller and zombies—fit together. Some, however, might question a few small plot points. For example, Carter dumps Brett back on patrol for a month to punish him; the story mentions a police union in passing, making such punishment seem unlikely to anyone even slightly familiar with law enforcement. This could take some readers momentarily out of the story.
Despite such quibbles, the novel is engaging, and fans of paranormal tales like Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London mysteries will enjoy this ride.
Also available as an ebook.