Genre: urban fantasy / zombies
I have won this book at Amberkatze blog, and it has the smaller cover. I like the new one better.
Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn’t the most glamorous career choice, but at least if offers stable employment – until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the clientele … as part of an extortion racket. Now Bryn faces being terminated (literally) with extreme prejudice.
With the assistance of corporate double agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem … pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She’d better do it fast before she becomes a zombie slave … a real working stiff.
She’d be better off dead…
I am determined to read some of the books I have won, and so I slowly worked my way through this book. I really dislike zombies, and I had to force myself to read on. Some of the decomposing scenes were gruesome and awful, and I will never read another book in this series again. And preferable not another zombie book as well, unless written by Laurell K. Hamilton. Even though Bryn does not crave flesh or brains, it was bad enough.
Bryn has just ended her career with the militairy, she is now 27 and looking for a job. She has become used to dealing with the death and so she thinks working at a mortuary center might be a good one. After all, there will always be death people. Her job is to sell their services, to lead the often grieving family members through the decisions that have to be made about the casket, the flowers, the service, everything. There are not that many people working at Fairview, apparently, the turnover is very high, people get burned out on this job very quickly. Dealing with grief and grieving people is hard. So for now, there is a receptionist, mr Fairview himself, the owner and funeral director, and Fast Freddy Watson, the guy who takes care of the bodies, the embalming and stuff. And Freddy really is a freak, a scary person. He comes on to Bryn very strong after the horrible first day she had at work.
And as she suspects he left the new bodies out in the open when he left, she goes back downstairs to take care of them. Not thinking of getting caught by Joe Fideli, one of the customers of that afternoon. Only Joe is not really a customer, he is trying to find out about the drugs being sold at Fairview. And when Freddy and mr. Fairview unexpectedly come back, Bryn is caught while snooping on them and the strange customer they brought with them.
So they decide to kill her. Then Joe Fideli and his collegues bust the funeral home, to arrest all the players and to find out how they got access to the top secret new drug Pharmadene is making. But it all comes to late for Bryn, who dies.
There is a new drug on the black market, Returné. It will make a dead body come back to life after death, but it will have to be taken daily to keep working. If not, the body will start to decompose and rot, while the person inside is still aware of everything that happens and unable to do anything about it. The nanites in the drug will keep repairing the body and mind unless destroyed in a fire, or by decapitation. And having your body decaying on you, the sights, the smell, the feeling, true death would be far better than being aware of living in that nightmare.
Patrick McCallister, Joe’s boss, decides to bring Bryn back, hoping she can tell them some more. Bryn certainly is not happy about that, she will be dependent on the drug for the rest of her unlife, or undead existence, and she will be forced to do whatever they want her to do. Or witness her own body decaying on her, with her inside of it. And when they tell her Freddy has escaped, as they did not know he was a zombie like her, her existence is not safe.
Pharmadene sets Bryn up as the new owner and a newly discovered niece of mr. Fairview, in the hope that the supplier will contact her, and they can track him down that way. They have to find the leak in their security, and fast, as Returné is very expensive to make, and ms. Harte, one of the executives in charge, has big plans for the drug.
Bryn will have to become accustomed to her new unlife, she still needs to eat and drink and sleep, but she will never be able to have children. And what man will ever love a dead woman? Joe Fideli is happily married with three little children, and that first night he takes her home with him, to keep her safe.
And Pat McCalister, who seems to be so very cold, might have had his own reasons for bringing Bryn back, and when she gets to know him better he certainly is not that cold!
They will have to find the supplier, but also shut down Pharmadene for good. And what consequences will this have for Bryn? After all, she needs the drug every day.
Again, I hate zombies. I hated the gruesome scenes with decaying life bodies. I kept reading though, as the story was original, and Bryn was very lifelike and strong, though she had a difficult time accepting it all. The bit with the stupid sister I disliked, she was clearly added for the sole purpose of being used to blackmail Bryn.
If you do like zombies however, I think you might like this book. Rachel Caine has a captivating writing style and I like her characters. Still, sex with a zombie, I can’t get my head around liking it. I can’t stop thinking enough to enjoy it all.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian