Book Chat: Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel

Constant onslaught of zombie action in this horrifying tale from the master of zombie lore.

 

2011

Amazon

Blurb:

A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang…but a bite.

 

Review:

Yowzer! This was a thrilling ride filled with angst and deeply chilling horror. Maberry’s descriptive style is on fire as he takes the readers inside the horrific disease that turns humans into zombies. The parasites leave people stripped of humanity; hungering beasts intent on filling the raging hunger that consumes them and set on spreading the parasitic infection. The worst part is the infected still have conscious thought.  Trapped inside the monsters, they watch in horror as they attack and rend people.

Where did this ghastly infestation come from? Dr. Volker, a mad scientist, created it. His plan was to torment and punish serial killers. His family had been slaughtered by such a human monster. Because the killer had never been caught, he chooses a truly horrific serial killer as a “representative”, to exact his vengeance on. Homer Gibbons, the killer, will be infected with the parasites so that as he lays in the grave after the state dispatches him, he will be awake; aware and feel the tiny creature’s  as they consume his body gradually.

The mad scientist did not count on fate interfering, that Homer’s body would be claimed by a relative for burial. Gibbons wakes up in the mortuary, alive/undead and twisted with a ravening hunger. After he attacks the poor mortician, things escalate in an out-of-control spiral of undead spreading outward exponentially. Fights erupt between police, civilians, first responders, National Guard and more as others are dragged into the fray.

Dez is a policewoman; a truly bad-ass character. She’s not lovable, with a temper that takes very little to trigger, and can fight like a demon. Only Billy Trout, a reporter, loves her with a deep, abiding feeling that won’t go away no matter how horribly she treats him. Billy plays an important role in getting the message out about the infection. The government tries to cover up, but Trout stops that with his soul searing reports on the internet.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the town of Stebbins will not survive. Whether the townspeople seeking refuge in the school will, is very questionable. Dez is in the thick of the fight and gives readers some hope. Delving deeper, it becomes clear too that the government’s efforts are not adding up to a win. You know that the disease needs to be stopped and cleansed, but Maberry brings us into many victims fight to survive, so that government sanctioned killings (uninfected as well as infected) feel heartless.

I’m already a Maberry fan, but I really enjoyed the ride this book gave me as a lover of zombie lore.  It was terrifying on a level I hadn’t encountered yet in the many, many undead books devoured. It was the abhorrent reality of what the infected felt and their experience of having their bodies overtaken for gruesome acts that follow. The author takes you inside several of the victims so we see and feel what the person is going through. A must  read for horror & zombie fans.

 

NOTE: All my reviews are published in Uncaged Book Reviews emag. This review will be in the July issue.

Uncaged Book Reviews emag