Irish writer James Nally's unusual first novel Alone With the Dead (2015) is a paranormal police procedural set in 1991. Its central character is a young Irishman in the Met, PC Donal Lynch, and the action switches back and forth between London and the Irish Midlands.
In the background, the IRA campaign is still ongoing in Northern Ireland, some of Lynch's London colleagues question his loyalty and he has been disowned by his father for joining the UK police force.
Donal Lynch drinks too much and suffers from sleep paralysis. His brother Fintan is a cynical tabloid hack and Donal also has to contend with the arrival of his ex-girlfriend Eve, who was accused of murder back in Ireland three years ago.
When a woman is murdered on his patch, Donal is among the first on the scene. But there are complications: there is no apparent evidence or likely suspect.
Later that night he is visited by the murder victim, who is slamming doors and clearly trying to tell him something about her death. He is made an acting DC, and with the ghostly visitations he tries to guide the murder investigation while keeping his "special gift" a secret.
About the author
James Nally comes from the village of Rosemount near Moate in County Westmeath. After school he worked as a journalist for 15 years, becoming a crime reporter at a press agency in London in 1991.
He covered trials at the Old Bailey and did dozens of in-depth "backgrounders" on major cases before they came to court. He then became a TV and film producer and documentary director.
- The author on Facebook: facebook.com/jamespaulnally
- Jim Nally on Twitter: @jimnally