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' 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.
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A zombie that uses his brain instead of eating brains!
I received a promotional/advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It's November 1, 1934 and the protagonist wakes up face-down in a pool and dead. With no memory of who is, where he came from, or why he was killed; he stumbles around looking for a place to sleep. Having found a a place to sleep, he is rudely awakened by some transients who call him "braineater" and makes his way to "the Mat," a part of the city where his kind are welcomed, to find a place to crash so that he can figure out his identity and who killed him.
In the Mat, he stumbles across people that know people and gets a crash course in being a zombie. Instead of being insulted by the "braineater" slur, he adopts it as part of his name and calls himself "Braineater Jones." After seeing to some basic needs, he helps out another zombie with her problem. Since he needs money to see to his basic needs, he decides to become a private investigator for zombies and starts taking on clients.
One of his clients gives him a missing "persons" case, and Braineater Jones discovers that the missing zombie is being held by a bokor, evil voodoo priest. After saving some of his fellow zombies from the bokor, he ends up taking one of the captive zombies, a head in a jar, as a sidekick and the two take on clients while investigating his life before his un-life.
Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski is a noir, "private dick" novel with lots of 30's slang sprinkled liberally with cynicism and dry humor. It is action-packed and filled with dames, mystery, sarcasm, sex, and violence. It's like reading a graphic 1930's-style private eye novel without the illustrations; which means that Kozeniewski does an excellent job of setting the tone and describing the novel's sleazy setting. If you don't mind some sex and violence, aren't opposed to zombies that use their brains instead of eating them, and enjoy mystery and wit; Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski is definitely worth grabbing.