Here’s another book recommendation which I intended to make when it was released last year: Iain McKinnon’s REMAINS OF THE DEAD.
I love the concept of parallel sequels, and on this occasion McKinnon tells a story which starts at the same point as his previous novel DOMAIN OF THE DEAD, then shoots off in a completely different direction. And it’s all the better for it.
“The world is dead, devoured by a plague of reanimated corpses.
Cahz and his squad of veteran soldiers are tasked with flying into abandoned cities and retrieving zombies for scientific study. Deep in infected territory, hundreds of miles from their support vessel, the ever present dangers weigh heavily on Cahz’s mind as he shepherds his team to make quick, clean extractions.
Then the unbelievable happens. After years of encountering nothing but the undead, the team discovers a handful of disheveled survivors in a fortified warehouse with dwindling supplies.
Surrounded by hordes of ravenous corpses, Cahz is faced with the terrible responsibility of determining the five passengers who will escape in the helicopter. While those left stranded must continue to fight off the infected and starvation long enough to be rescued.”
I enjoyed this book a huge amount, and relished the glee with which McKinnon leads us and his survivors through the dead world. As I said at the time: “Believable characters trapped in a nightmare scenario—REMAINS OF THE DEAD is a breathless, high-octane zombie thriller. [McKinnon has] written another great book here…”
I feel particularly bad about this, but it’s illustrative of how busy the last year has been: this post is horrendously overdue. I met Remy Porter back in March 2010 and I was sent a copy of DEAD BEAT in June last year. I promised to give the book some exposure here but, unfortunately, it took me until this January to get to read it, and another few months have now passed before I’ve finally been able to sit down and write this. Apologies to Remy for the delay!
By now I guess many visitors to this site will have already read DEAD BEAT or at least will have heard something about it. I hope Remy won’t mind me describing it as a ‘typical’ zombie novel to an extent. It has pretty much everything you would expect: a mysterious outbreak, a flawed hero with a beautiful girlfriend, a no-good waster who smartens up and proves himself when the sh*t hits the fan, a family of foul villains who’s depravity knows no bounds, and as much blood, gore and zombie action as you could want. Set in a quiet, rural area, the distinctly British tone and atmosphere makes a refreshing change from many other stories in the genre today.
You might remember me mentioning Iain McKinnon in my post about Grimmfest last month. I said you’d be hearing more about Iain, and here’s why: Permuted Press has just published his debut novel Domain of the Dead. I was honoured to be asked to write an introduction to the book, and you can see my endorsement on the cover above. It’s a great read – an exciting, fast-moving, traditional zombie novel with a cool cast and more than enough wild moments and flashes of originality and invention to keep even the most jaded fan of the Undead entertained this Christmas. As if that wasn’t enough, you can watch a trailer for the book (and an absolutely cracking zombie-short – The Dead Walk) over on Iain’s official website, www.domain-of-the-dead.com.
But if you want to see something REALLY scary, check out this picture of Iain and myself taken at Grimmfest when Iain was kind enough to host the post-screening AUTUMN Q&A session.