Created by Stephen Jones
Created by prolific genre editor Stephen Jones, the Zombie Apocalypse series of books have been very popular and contain fake news reports, diaries and stories detailing the apocalypse from a number of writers. The series now continues with a number of spin off novels; this one by Mark Morris and Washington Deceased by Lisa Morton.
For Staff Nurse Cat Harris, busy preoccupied with planning her wedding, the night shift at her hospital in London starts off like any other . . .
Morris hints at a Britain rife with problems; NHS Cuts, a bad economy, armed police, night time curfews following the Trafalgar Square massacre.
Cat’s thoughts are interrupted by what appears to be a drunk woman stumbling in front of her car as she’s driving to work. But as Cat tries to speak to her, she realises the woman isn’t drunk, and she hasn’t been attacked either. There is something seriously wrong with her. She is bestial, feral almost as she lunges to attack Cat in her car.
Still shook up, Cat drives to the hospital for her shift.
The hospital is soon descended on by a variety of people; a young gang after a shoot out and a hen night organised by Lisa that’s invaded by a scary ‘holy’ man with a story of doom who bites a night clubber on the cheek.
The cover art by Joe Roberts is gloriously pulpy and oozes horror vibes, a perfect accompaniment to the content. There are also a couple of nice photographic designs in black and white to illustrate the text.
Morris doesn’t shy away from political opinions here and criticism of the lack of funding and staff for the NHS, but whether it’s just from a character POV or Morris’ own thoughts, it’s hard to tell.
Amidst the mayhem we also have Melinda, just going into labour and her husband Steve, who are heading to the hospital, where all he’ll has broken loose and Cat and the other staff are forced to restrain patients showing rabies-like symptoms.
The action is tightly paced as each chapter spans less than a thirty minute period and each chapter is headed with the time to increase the sense of tension. The virus itself is well played out with authentic medical descriptions of necrosis and the violence is visceral and bloody