DEAD WALK by Bonita Wagner
Writers Club Press, 2000
When her uncle dies suddenly, Sara Fletcher is disturbed. When she finds his coffin open and his body missing, she is more than concerned. Sheriff Roger Bodine wants to believe that the theft is some sort of cruel prank, but when another body turns up missing, he begins to wonder whether something more sinister is going on. Their feelings of dread grow even stronger when a friend sees the dead body walking. Could something truly evil have invaded their east Texas swamps?
Author Bonita Wagner is completely convincing with her descriptions of the voodoo priest and the magic he wields to create zombies by first sending living men into a death-like coma, then reviving them with the magics of Haiti. Likewise, Wagner seems to know and love the rural countryside of east Texas. I found her descriptions of racial relationships, in particular, to be optomistic.
DEAD WALK could have done with a careful edit. Although much of Wagner's dialogue and internal dialogue reflects the dialect of the region, a number of errors cannot be attributed to the local dialect. Some of these were sufficiently serious to drag the reader completely out of the story.
Fans of the occult, and of East Texas, will enjoy DEAD WALK, and appreciate Wagner's deft use of humor--I especially enjoyed Sara's use of saltine crackers to deliver salt to the zombies.
Purchase DEAD WALK from Amazon.com (trade paperback).