In some shameless self-promotion, I felt the need to share this 🙂
Oh, I freely admit that I own a few movies in that genre but that’s mostly because I’m a real fan of Mila Jovovich, the kick-ass heroine of the “Resident Evil” flicks. Until recently I didn’t own any books about zombies, though I’ve read a few over the years thanks to public libraries in a half dozen states.
That said, I was intrigued by the premise of Ian Moore’s “Salby Damned” and so I took a chance and bought it. I’m glad I did because it turned out to be refreshingly different from most zombie fiction. Admittedly, the basic plot is similar to many other books in this genre: The government (in this case the British government) is playing around with things it shouldn’t and something goes wrong, releasing a deadly virus into the air. This creates a horde of zombies who begin savaging the population.
What sets Moore’s book apart from most is the fact that his zombies aren’t the shambling, mindless eating machines so popular in movies and on television. They are, in fact, murderous for a very specific reason. (I’m not going to tell you what that is because that would spoil the surprise.)
They are also fast on their feet in pursuit of their prey.
And they are capable of some semblance of cooperative action. In one scene, for example, they split up in an effort to cut off some people trying to escape from them instead of just trying to outrun the survivors.
Moore has populated the pages of his novel with some interesting characters. Nathan, the hero, is a stalwart fella – kind of a prototypical English working class hero. His love interest in the novel is Evie, a Salby counselor who is opposed to a large corporation’s fracking plans for the area where the action takes place. She, it turns out, is more than she seems and that makes her very interesting in my estimation. (I love characters with secrets and hidden agendas.) Tom and Holly, two children who have managed to escape from the zombies, wind up in Nathan and Evie’s care and become central characters in their own right who play an unexpected role in the narrative.
Equally intriguing are the corporate officials who have – apparently inadvertently – created this mess. Their leader, Colin Snape, is an ugly man both inside and out while his two companions are swayed by fear of long prison terms into helping him.
Finally, there are the military men and women who are charged with trying to rein in the situation while teams of Army and civilian scientists work frantically to find an antidote that can reverse the “zombification” effects.
Moore’s narrative is chock full of information about military weapons and tactics that, in my opinion, add a degree of authenticity to his novel that is often lacking in similar books. Not everyone will appreciate that, I suspect, but I did. His descriptions of the military’s manner of conducting its day-to-day operations are also dead to rights and that is also something I appreciated.
There are some interesting plot twists and surprises in this novel that I never saw coming. As someone who writes mystery novels myself, I can say that doesn’t happen very often and I’m always appreciative when an author can catch me unawares.
Moore’s world-building and storytelling skills are on full display in “Salby Damned” and I have no trouble recommending it highly.
This review blew me away. It is so lovely to hear people content with what we, as writers, produce.
This review is even more poignant coming from a revered mystery thriller writer and I’m taking a
great deal of satisfaction out of foxing him until the end 🙂
If you fancy reading Salby Damned, please click here:
Currently on KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL priced at just £0.99p – ENDS SOON!