WHAT’S PLAYING: Rob Thomas “Mockingbird”
This week’s first book is Pay Me in Flesh by K. Bennett.
Mallory Caine is not your typical defense attorney. She’s a zombie with an appetite for justice…and brains. When her client, a vampire prostitute named Traci Ann is charged with the murder of a corrupt police officer, Mallory takes the case without a second thought. Even though few of her clients are innocent, Mallory knows that Traci Ann didn’t kill the cop…because she did. To complicate matters, she has to go head to head in a courtroom battle with a very attractive ex-boyfriend who whets her appetite in more ways than one. Then there’s the mysterious sword-wielding zombie killer intent on beheading her along with the rest of her kind. If Mallory dies before she gets her soul back, she goes straight to hell. But she’s not going down without a bite.
I fully expected to hate this book because, as you all probably know by now, I am not a fan of zombies. But Mallory isn’t your typical zombie. She doesn’t slobber, drool, or lurch – she’s smart, stylish, and sexy. She has standards. Her first question for potential prey is “Where did you go to school?” The way she sees it, if she’s going to eat brain, she’d like it to be relatively intelligent. You can’t help but root for her. After all, she never asked to become a zombie, and she hates having to kill to live.
Though I enjoyed this book immensely, I did have a couple of issues with it. One was the cumbersome plot. Bennett left a number of loose threads that will no doubt, be tied up in the rest of the books in the series. Mallory’s sarcastic voice, while hilarious, interrupts the narrative flow in some places. It was just too much. But my main issue with this book is that I didn’t connect with the protagonist emotionally. Of course, this might be due to the brain-noshing scenes, but I think it’s more than that. I never felt that she was in any danger, not even when the zombie killer trapped her in an alley.
Despite all of this, I could not put this book down. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and Bennett keeps the pace moving and throws in enough twists and turns to keep you up all night.
A young couple was just emerging from a Lexus in the parking lot.
“LAPD!” I said. “I need your car!”
The guy, looking like some South Bay arm candy, laughed. The girl shook her head.
“I know, that never works,” I said. “But watch out for the guy with the sword.”
South Bay looked behind him and screamed. The girl screamed.
The guy with the sword screamed.
I was the only one with the decency not to make a girlie noise.
Bottom Line: An entertaining romp. Highly recommended.