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Walkers

Novel by Gary Brandner (USA) 1980.

Joana Raitt is enjoying the party until she drowns in the swimming pool. But moments after dying, she is called back to life by her boyfriend. This is all seen as a miraculous recovery and everyone is naturally very happy. Everyone, that is, except the dead. They believe that Joana belongs with them and thus send walkers to finish the job. These are members of the neighbourhood who seemingly survive electrocutions and chokings that would normally have killed them, only to head straight for Joana with one intention in mind. Once they fail, they die, which causes concern because, pathologically, they were pretty much dead anyway.

After playing safe with werewolves in The Howling and its first sequel, Brandner tries something different. He takes the zombie theme that he would later use so effectively in Quintana Roo and injects some original ideas to produce a worthwhile book. The characterisation isn't up to his normal standards and the book carries the potential of being so much more than it ends up actually delivering, but it ends up on top because of its breathless pace and its good ending. Not his best, but worth a look. Published in the UK as Death Walkers.


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