Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: Dead Mann Running by Stephan Petrucha

Book Description:

Just because a bullet has your name on it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t duck…

Either I’m stubborn or it’s rigor mortis, but being dead didn’t stop me from being a detective. But it’s tough out there for a zombie. These days the life-challenged have to register and take monthly tests to prove our emotional stability. See, if we get too low, we go feral. And I’ve been feeling down lately myself.

So when a severed arm – yeah, just the arm – leaves a mysterious briefcase in my office, my assistant Misty thinks figuring out where it came from will keep me on track. But this job goes deeper and darker than I imagined.

Turns out the people after the briefcase know more about my past life than I can remember, and even more about what I’ve become.



Hessius Mann is one cool chak!

I'm not much into zombies or reanimated creatures because I'm a big fat baby and I'll have nightmares for weeks after watching show or reading a book. It's why I had to stop watching Walking Dead. That being said...I love what Stephan Petrucha has done with zombies, or chak, as he calls them. His premise in a nutshell is: this creepy company has discovered the technology so that people can be reanimated having basic functional features with a few cosmetic differences with the only drawback being the risk of going feral. When a chak gets too low they can essentially go bananas and lose what brains they have left, making them extremely dangerous. It's actually much more detailed than that but you get the gist.

Mann was once a cop that was (wrongly) accused of murdering his wife and sentenced to death only to become one of the poor chaps to be experimented on. He is a very high functioning chak, that along with the help of Misty, his secretary and friend, manages to run his own detective business. His memory is faulty at times but he copes by carrying a recorder that Misty gave him. DMR begins when a hand brings a mysterious briefcase to his office, yep, just the hand, and from that point on all hell breaks loose. The bad guys come fast and furious, conspiracy theories flying and new danger around every corner with everyone wanting the blue tubes inside the case.

DMR is packed with fast paced gory action all the way to the last page. The creep factor just goes higher as the story moves on. Its always cool when you read a mystery/thriller that you just can't figure out, making it like a giant surprise at the end, and Petrucha does that for me every time. I never see what's coming! This series is very well written: full of sarcastic humor as Mann mocks himself and his situation, and tons of suspense as the reader tries to uncover who is behind the chak evolution. Mann maintains a humanity and morality that is unusual for a chak, which makes him a target, but it also moves the story past the mindless zombie apocalypse that has gained so much popularity. Ultimately, the chak have turned the zombie mythology on its ear!

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