Book Review: DEAD OF NIGHT by Jonathan Maberry

Dead of NightJonathan Maberry is a very talented writer. In a genre full of similar stories with cliche descriptions, Dead of Night was refreshing and scary. The other book I’ve read of his, Patient Zero, had some of the best zombie action I’ve read. Where that book was more of a thriller with zombies, Dead of Night is a more traditional, zombie outbreak in a small town type of story, which is more to my preference. If you like that kind of book, I recommend reading Dead of Night.

Dead of Night is about a troubled female cop characterized by her curves and the attitude that makes them almost unappealing; her ex-boyfriend who is a journalist drawn to her town through an investigation into a recent execution; and the person who should have been executed but somehow managed to kill everyone in the morgue of his former hometown. Mr. Maberry does a little explaining about how the zombie virus was created and how it turned up in this small town. He also seems to have done his homework on how the police and military would respond.

The characters started out rough, but won me over in the end. The female cop, Dez, is introduced as she wakes up next to her one night stand and has to hurry to respond to a murder scene. Her attitude is not an endearing quality, and even though her father figure police officer superior gives us a hint of a possible redemption story, she doesn’t start off as a character I’d enjoy rooting for as the lead of the story. We soon meet her ex-boyfriend and his journalist partner, Billy Trout and (Something) Goat, and I was really turned off by their sex-centered banter filtered into their investigation of the missing body of the executed prisoner. At this point, the story was decent and the writing above average, but I didn’t think the overall experience was going to work for me because the only character I liked was the father figure, who was a minor character. The place where it turned around was when we heard the aunt of the executed prisoner describe how that poor child was treated in foster care and her regret for letting him out of her care. The other relationships became more endearing as the story progressed and the deaths made an emotional difference because of that.

The sequel, Fall of Night, is out and I am going to get to it soon.

This review was for the audiobook version. The narrator did a great job with characters and adding suspense and humor suitable to the context of the writing. I would seek out this narrator for other audiobooks. A free review copy was provided by Audible for an honest review.

About Timothy C. Ward

Timothy C. Ward is a former Executive Producer for AISFP. His debut novel, Scavenger: Evolution, blends Dune with Alien in a thriller where sand divers uncover death and evolution within America's buried fortresses. Sign up to his author newsletter for updates on new releases.

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