St. Martin’s Griffin, Oct 26 2010, $13.99
In less than twenty-four hours, billions are dead. The virus killed so fast that on one block a William Price was first to go and within five minutes his entire street had become a cemetery. Less than 1% of mankind survived the first wave. Those who do are in shock as they say good-bye to loved ones and in Britain they soon realize when no one responds to 999 or anything on the radio that civilization as they know it is over.
Factory mechanic Carl Henshawe cannot believe his beloved wife and their little girl is dead. Computer company executive Michael Collins gives lecture to a class of teens ignoring him when he horrifically watches them die. Fighting a cold medical student Emma Mitchell skips class and goes to the nearby shop to buy food only to see the owner and other patrons die. The few survivors find one another at a dilapidated community center waiting for first responders who never come. Instead as supplies dwindle, the dead begin to reanimate. The noise of the living disturbs the undead and even loved ones are coming to silence those who have not changed; the only thing that stops them is their rotting flesh.
This is an enjoyable cerebral zombie thriller in which David Moody looks deep into the souls of those who survived the virus; for instance others like Phillip struggle to move on pass a deceased loved one. Slowly the few humans find civilization stripped bare until the only thing left is whether it is worth the fight to stay alive. Though the story line is at times deliberately slow as Michael, Carl and Emma rotate internal pensive musings, readers who relish a different bite on zombies will appreciate the grim moody atmosphere of Autumn.