Review: Deadfall by Shaun Jeffrey

April 21, 2011 - 11:53 am 1 Comment

Deadfall

Author:  Shaun Jeffrey

Publisher:  Leucrota Press (US)

Price:  Various/$8.99 

Page count:  252pp

Reviewer:  Theresa Derwin

Zombies come in all shapes and sizes. Romero slow shamblers, 28 Days Later style runners and the delightful talkative torso from Return of the Living Dead.  However, if you like your zombies, the odds are you like a little blood, violence and gore.  If this is indeed the case, then you will certainly enjoy Deadfall by Shaun Jeffrey. 

Following a job that results in the death of her elderly client, soldier for hire and heroine Amber Redgrave, or Red, leads a team of mercenaries in a race to an abandoned mining village to rescue two children held hostage by rogue ex-soldiers. But the kidnappers are a ruse, the real threat more terrifying than any of them could imagine.

Using the dead as “cheap but effective weaponry”, the virus causing the zombification of local villagers is not natural. It is genetically bioengineered, which makes the premise more interesting than the normal zombie novel.  Amidst the fighting, the novel also features an enjoyable sub-plot as two animal rights activities get mixed up in the danger, adding a lighter tone to the story. Inadvertently they break into a military facility to investigate what they believe to be animal cruelty but find something much more horrifying. The two are a little stereotypical, yet their characters offer a welcome breather from the non-stop zombie action and it is clear that Jeffrey is aware of the clichés and is playing with them.

As a whole, the novel is enjoyable with some interesting surprises. Red is a heroine in the ilk of Alien’s Ripley or Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake; passionate, feminine yet strong and more than equipped to deliver violence and bodily harm in an extremely violent world. Red is a strong lead and lead she does; her interior monologues coming across as real. The military play also feels accurate. I’m no expert but Jeffrey appears to know his military weapons, language and procedures.       

With its characterisations, slick bloodshed and solid action this is a good old style fun zombie romp.

Take a look at Jeffrey’s website Horror Writer Shaun Jeffrey

One Response to “Review: Deadfall by Shaun Jeffrey”

  1. Shaun Jeffrey Says:

    Thank you very much for the review. Alas the publisher went bankrupt, but fear not, a revised eBook edition with a bonus alternative ending is available:

    Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/eqE01J
    Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/fZIsdO
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48929

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