book review, horror

The Unwashed Dead by Ian Woodhead

I was a bit surprised to see a horror book in a promotion for science fiction and fantasy novels and novellas, but I love zombies, so I thought I’d give it a chance.

It’s a normal weekend night in an English housing estate. Darren is having a party, his dad is around the pub, Kevin is hoping to perve on his neighbors, and Dennis is trying to crack his deceased wife’s hot chocolate recipe.

It’s all fun and games until the zombies arrive.

Before the night is out, the inhabitants of the estate will know each other intimately, as they try to survive, or feed.

This novel shares a lot of elements with most other zombie novels. The undead arrive quickly, the survivors have to dispatch loved ones, and not all monsters are zombies.

Woodhead manages to put his own spin on the formula and keeps the novel interesting. I particularly liked the setting, and the fact the origin of the zombies is explained. I don’t need an explanation when reading a zombie book, but it is refreshing when it’s part of the plot.

I also liked the choice of heroes that populate this book. Anything that subverts expectations is always a plus.

Unfortunately, I found this book extremely crude. While it does lessen to a degree as the book progresses, the language remains consistently foul. The vulgar dialogue and the crass behavior of the characters, especially in the first half of the book, was not to my liking. I understand why the characters were written that way, and I appreciate that vulgarity can be used for humorous or shocking effect in horror, but in this book it seemed that the characters’ behavior was worse before the undead arrived.

I award The Unwashed Dead

Click here to get The Unwashed Dead, and 31 other books, free until the end of June.

10 thoughts on “The Unwashed Dead by Ian Woodhead”

    1. I agree. I think you get diminishing returns if you use it too much. While people may behave and speak like that in real life, I find it breaks the illusion of a story while well placed bad language or crudity enhances it.

      Liked by 1 person

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