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jailbait-zombie

BY SEAN CLARK

Author: Mario Acevedo

2009, Eos

Best ebook deal: Diesel eBooks

Filed under Horror, Mystery

I honestly can’t remember why, or when, I bought this book. I think it must have been on a whim while killing time in a bookstore one day, although I’m not sure what it says about me that I go for something called Jailbait Zombie on a whim.

The premise is silly to say the least: a vampire private eye teams up with an underage psychic harlot to put an end to a rash of zombie attacks in a remote Colorado town. There are mobsters and even machinated zombie chimera cyborgs too. It’s written with a satisfyingly noir-ish, hardboiled flavor, and the book, it turns out, is surprisingly entertaining.

Acevedo paces his novel nicely, with chapters rolling into each other like a swelling tide. The narrative tension rarely slackens, with characters and twists constantly added to keep things moving. He also does a nice job of establishing his own rules of the  supernatural (apparently this is the fourth in a series, though knowledge of prior events wasn’t necessary for my enjoyment), and this adds a nice feeling of uniqueness to a book in a subgenre that is quickly becoming crowded.

Jailbait Zombie retains a sense of humor about its characters and subject matter, and this ultimately keeps it out of the realm of schlock. Acevedo plays with cliches nicely, keeping the supernatural elements tongue-in-cheek. That the book doesn’t take itself seriously definitely works in its favor.

At its heart, this novel is more of a hardboiled detective mystery than it is a work of horror or science fiction. Fans of crime fiction and detective stories who aren’t turned off by the supernatural twist will find Jailbait Zombie to be a fun romp. And readers looking for a new vampire/zombie novel to slake their undead thirst will find plenty to like about this book as well.

Other books to read: Nobody Move (Johnson), Frisco Pigeon Mambo (Payne), A Dirty Job (Moore)

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