Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Braineater Jones wakes up face down in a swimming pool with no memory of his former life, how he died, or why he’s now a zombie. With a smart-aleck severed head as a partner, Jones descends into the undead ghetto to solve his own murder.
But Jones’s investigation is complicated by his crippling addiction to human flesh. Like all walking corpses, he discovers that only a stiff drink can soothe his cravings. Unfortunately, finding liquor during Prohibition is costly and dangerous. From his Mason jar, the cantankerous Old Man rules the only speakeasy in the city that caters to the postmortem crowd.
As the booze, blood, and clues coagulate, Jones gets closer to discovering the identity of his killer and the secrets behind the city’s stranglehold on liquid spirits. Death couldn’t stop him, but if the liquor dries up, the entire city will be plunged into an orgy of cannibalism.
Cracking this case is a tall order. Braineater Jones won’t get out alive, but if he plays his cards right, he might manage to salvage the last scraps of his humanity.
Braineater Jones woke up dead in a pool, thus beginning his new un-life. Braineater isn’t his real name, it’s what un-dead people like him are called when they don’t have enough liquor in them to keep them fresh. Without the alcohol they start to deteriorate, fleshy bits start to slip right off, and are soon likely to go for your brains. So, he’s kinda like those people you find at the morgue with a toe-tag named John Doe.
I’m getting sidetracked.
Jones keeps a journal full of questions he needs answers to, such as; Who am I? Who killed me? How do braineaters live?
In this new world, while on his quest to get the answers he craves, Jones needs money to supply him with lodgings and the liquor he needs. An offer is made for Jones to help out others like him by basically becoming a private eye of sorts.
Jones is heavy-handed servicing his new clients and doesn’t make too many friends on his way to enlightenment. When he starts to question the wrong characters, the bad guys get wind and Jones’ new un-dead life becomes a lonely one.
I really enjoyed the dark humor layered throughout this read which elicited many a chuckle from me. One-liners and un-dead drama such as needing a bedpan to catch the food you eat as it drains from your neck are just one of the many things that kept me smiling till the last page.
The next time I want someone to go away I’ll use this line from the book:
“Why don’t you make like a whore and blow?”
The author was creative with his brand of the walking dead and I don’t have anything negative/constructive to say, which is a big deal coming from me. I could hear Bruce Campbell as the narrator and could so see this as a B-movie.
I look forward to reading whatever (Can we shorten the name, please! Or at least tell me how to pronounce it *wink*) Mr. K. writes about next.
Job well done!