Title: Braineater Jones
Author: Stephen Kozeniewski
Edition: e-book, 234 pages
Published: October 14th 2013 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Genre(s): Horror; Mystery
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy via the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review.
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 is a darkly comic, tongue-in-cheek mystery about a Zombie trying to figure out who killed him. What’s not to like!?
It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of this book, and I felt like it was trying too hard to be funny at first, but it didn’t take long settle down, and I ended up really enjoying the style of it.
Braineater Jones is set during the 1930’s and written in a simple diary-entry structure. It was interesting to have a narrator with amnesia who was documenting his ‘un-life’ as he calls it, day-by-day. Once Jones has come to terms with his new Zombie self, maggots and all, the first thing he has to do is find a steady supply of hard liquor to keep his brain nice and lubricated, but that’s easier said than done.
However, he soon finds a partner in talking severed head Alcibé (obviously) and together they find themselves starting up a half-arsed P.I business in exchange for somewhere to stay and the much needed Old Crow booze supply.
Whilst solving a crime here and there, and trying to find out how Jones died in the first place, him and the head meet a whole host of shady characters, and he’s never quite sure who to trust. He can’t even trust himself because he can’t remember who he is, or was.
I thought this was a really fun take on a zombie story. It kind of reminded me of a really messed up film noir. Place names like the Welcome Mat (the speakeasy) and Hat Scratch Fever (the zombie brothel where you can build your own prostitute limb by limb), along with the language Kozeniewski uses gave it a strong 30’s/ early 40’s vibe. All the guys are mooks and the girls are twists and skirts…I loved it.
I thought that use of language and style made the ridiculous, pulpy, plot seem a lot less ridiculous. I also liked how Jones answers all of the questions he wrote out in the earlier chapters one by one throughout the book.
If you’re a fan of light-hearted but gory horror with a sense of humor then give Braineater Jones a try.
Oh, and I didn’t even get round to the fetus-like old guy in a jar called ‘the boss’ who uses robotic arms and legs to get around and torture people with….like a cross between Benjamin Button and Dr. Robotnik. But in a jar. Why the hell not?
Braineater Jones is available now in paperback, e-book and audio.