Book Chat: Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter
Once a week I’ll be discussing a Book or Movie/TV Series I love. Or posting a submission from a reader/author about a movie or book in the horror or zombie genre. Sharing the love of a book or movie as if you were talking with a friend.
A retelling of the Lizzie Borden story with a fresh, very different perspective.
Every family has its secrets…
One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?
Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.
I like the author’s premise of “what if” Lizzie Borden killed her father and step-mother because they were zombies. A different, intriguing view of an old story.
It was interesting that Verstraete put quotes at the beginning of each chapter from the trial of Miss Borden. The plot of the story follows Lizzie from the murders, through the trial and after. I can tell the author did her research, including the clothes, language of the times, buildings, etc., giving it an authentic feel. The author writes well, which always makes a book more enjoyable.
Shortly after Lizzie takes out her zombie family, John, a handsome lawyer appears at her door. He is a member of the Saint Alphonsus Society, a group of men who have undertaken the task of killing the zombies in their town. AND keep it from the public eye.
John and Lizzie go through her father’s holdings, including offices and warehouses, trying to discover if her father was tied to the undead outbreak. One warehouse contains many zombies; John, Lizzie and members of the Society take down those locked inside.
Lizzie finds clues in her father’s paperwork that seem to implicate him with the dead, but she isn’t sure how. Interestingly, she hires a fellow Society member, Pierre, to train her in fencing and fighting maneuvers. I’m glad the author included this in the story; otherwise it would have been unbelievable that a lady of that century could fight so well. Lizzie was tough from the very beginning when she had to kill her father & step-mom, so becoming proficient in fighting didn’t seem unrealistic.
By the end, Lizzie does discover how her father was involved and it was horrifying to her what he was doing.
Two areas threw me out of the story with “what?”, One, that Emma (Lizzie’s sister) was clearly not a fighter. But she was left by herself in the carriage more than once by John & Lizzie while they went hunting for clues. Zombies were around the area, so she could have easily been eaten. It didn’t make sense to me why she was dragged along with them.
Two, John took Lizzie with him everywhere in the beginning. Investigating the first warehouse was fraught with danger. I thought when I read it, “why didn’t he bring her the paperwork instead of putting her into that kind of dangerous situation?”. Indeed, later he did bring her paperwork to go through. I understand the author used this device so Lizzie “could see” the action and therefore convey it to the reader. There are other ways this could be shown to the reader.
This is a good read, even with the two areas that were problematic for me. If you like zombie novels, historical horrors, and/or Lizzie Borden’s story, this will be an interesting book for you; a recommended read.