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Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel    by Jonathan Maberry order for
Dead of Night
by Jonathan Maberry
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

As Dead of Night opens, an unscrupulous prison doctor is injecting a condemned serial killer with a concoction that will keep him alive while his corpse slowly rots in the ground. Hours after his execution, the killer awakes, aware that he is dead and equally cognizant that his body is rotting from the inside out. Naturally, through a series of fortuitous errors (or are they?) the killer rises, his hunger to deal out death overpowering, particularly once he realises that the infection he carries is highly contagious.

It doesn't take long for small town cops, Dez Fox and her partner JT, to grasp that something has gone horribly wrong in their town. Why are all their friends and neighbours being horribly murdered, only to rise again as zombies with an uncontrollable appetite for human flesh? And why, once Dez's former boyfriend, reporter Billy Trout, gets the word to major networks about their plight, does the US government target their town for annihilation? Against mounting odds, and a rising army of hungry zombies, Dez, JT and Billy, are determined to save the day.

Wow! What a slick, well-written, action-packed and thoroughly creepy zombie story! Maberry puts a convoluted, yet almost scarily plausible spin on how the shambling and suppurating dead are created. He even manages a couple of three dimensional performances by two of the newly turned: one of whom is burdened with a conscience and a growing sense of doom as his rampant appetite for human flesh slowly consumes him.

Nicely damaged human characters add even more dimension to the book's cast of players, especially hard ass cop Dez, whose close to psychotic behaviour towards her on-again off-again boyfriend Billy Trout livens up the tale even more - until the zombie problem becomes a lot bigger than anyone ever anticipated.

Jonathan Maberry has created a memorable, very graphic and fast-moving zombie tale that's a total adrenaline rush - so it might not be a good idea to read it during the Dead of Night.

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