The author of the Joe Ledger series sticks close to home, still writing about zombies, but this stand-alone effort is lighter than the Ledgers. Not an out-and-out comedy, it seems designed to provoke equal quantities of chuckles and screams. The set-up could have come straight from a grade-B horror flick: a rather twisted doctor injects a condemned prison inmate with a concoction that will keep the man’s brain alive while his body deteriorates. After he’s executed, the body is shipped off to his only living relative in a small Pennsylvania town, where the dead man proves he isn’t so dead, after all. It’s up to two local cops to figure out what’s behind the sudden outbreak of gruesome mayhem. But even if they can wrap their heads around the truth, can they stop the evil before it speads through the country? Maberry continues his renovation of rickety old zombie themes, turning clichés into trendsetters. Fans of the genre will want—absolutely—to read this highly entertaining yarn.
This review originally appeared in Booklist, August 2011.