DEAD MANN WALKING (Hessius Mann #1)
by Stefan Petrucha

PUBLISHER: Roc
RELEASE DATE: 4th October 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 352 pages
GENRE: Horror, Urban Fantasy

After Hessius Mann was convicted of his wife’s murder, suppressed evidence came to light and the verdict was overturned-too bad he was already executed. But thanks to the miracles of modern science Hessius was brought back to life. Sort of. Now that he’s joined the ranks of Fort Hammer’s pulse-challenged population, Hessius attempts to make a “living” as a private investigator. But when a missing persons case leads to a few zombies cut to pieces, Hessius starts thinking that someone’s giving him the run-around-and it’s not like he’s in any condition to make a quick getaway… (Goodreads)

REVIEWER: Melanie

Hessius Mann used to have it all… well if ‘all’ was a heartbeat. He used to be a cop with a photographic memory and anger management issues, but thanks to a bad case of suppressed evidence he ends up executed for the murder of his wife. Hessius however, lives in a world that just can’t let go and science has discovered a way to bring back the dead, but unfortunately, the reanimation brings you back as a zombie.

Zombies in Petrucha’s world are not the shuffling, moaning and groaning, flesh eating kind. They can mostly function in the real world but are subjugated and ostracised largely due to to the ease at which they can get depressed and turn feral. If one or or more turns feral then out comes the moaning and groaning, mayhem and murder that we all know and love from traditional zombie film and fiction.

Hessius was lucky as he is brought back before he had deteriorated too much and is highly functioning for a chak (slang for someone who has been reanimated) and became a PI to help him stay interested in life and to stop from turning feral. However, gone is his photographic memory and he now has to wear a recorder to help him remember key information about his cases. Every good PI needs an assistant and in Mann’s case he has his ‘live blood’ Misty who does more than just make the coffee and type up memos. Misty is also on hand with bleach and the super glue whenever Mann gets in a scrape.

Mann gets more than he bargains for when he accepts the case of trying to find out who is behind murdering chak and leaving their body parts in the desert. The case has him on the run, not just from the villains but also from the police themselves as they try to exact revenge, thinking he actually did kill his wife. Mann is pretty certain he didn’t but then again, with a chak’s memory he isn’t quite sure and neither is the reader.

DEAD MANN WALKING is your typical detective/murder mystery with the atypical twist of the person solving the mystery and hero of the story being a zombie. Petrucha peppers this macabre plot with witty dialogue and amusing zombie slang. In parts it was laugh out loud and not what you’d expect from zombie fiction while at other times you are cringing at the next gory development. It’s the perfect blend of humour, action and mystery.

VERDICT:

DEAD MANN WALKING can only be described as a macabre delight. I am not the biggest fan of horror or zombie fiction but I was gripped from the first few pages. It was funny, gruesome and sometimes funnily gruesome. I never thought zombie fiction could be so enjoyable. Added to this it was an excellent ‘who dunnit’ that kept me guessing until the very end. If you are looking for your first foray into zombie-lit or for a solid murder mystery then I urge you to give DEAD MANN WALKING a go.

RATING: 
SCARE FACTOR:

STEFAN PETRUCHA ONLINE
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER

  1. Dead Mann Walking
  2. Dead Mann Running

BUY THE BOOK

Melanie

A displaced Canadian living in the UK who when not reading is often found trawling through GoodReads looking for something to read or buying another book on Amazon. [Melanie no longer reviews for the site.]

4 Comments


Carolyn October 2, 2012 at 9:34 am

I love it when authors mix paranormal/horror with mystery. This sounds as the it’s done really well. And as I’ve read your review of book 2 (coming soon) I will definitely be reading this series! Great review, M.

Reply

Melanie October 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thanks Carolyn
I have discovered I only really like my horror mixed with mystery. Both books are really quite amusing but Petrucha still has a message underneath. Plus he seems like a really nice guy based on our Twitter convos.

Reply

Carolyn Crane October 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I was just going to say the same thing, especially when it comes to something like zombies, I love the idea of a mystery at the heart of the book. Especially layered with a mystery about the hero’s past. Great review.

Reply

melanie October 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Get them on your TBR pile Carolyn!

Reply

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