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Your Brother’s Blood by David Towsey

The Blurb On The Back:

Thomas is thirty-two.

He comes from the small town of Barkley.


He has a wife there, Sarah, and a child, Mary; good solid names from the Good Book. And he is on his way home from the war, where he has been serving as a conscripted soldier.

Thomas is also dead – he is one of the Walkin’.

And Barklay does not suffer the wicked to live.




It’s the future. Following an apocalyptic event, humanity has rebuilt itself. Thomas McDermott was born and raised in the small town of Barkley where he runs the town store with his wife Sarah and daughter, Mary. Barkley is a good town filled with good people who strictly adhere to the teachings of the Good Barkley as preached by Pastor Grey. They don’t tolerate the Walkin’ in the town – any who return are burned as an example.

Then Thomas is conscripted into the Southern Protectorate’s army war against the Walkin’. He dies in battle, but his body emerges from the fire pits as a Walkin’. Lost and confused, Thomas decides that he has to return home and see his family one more time but he doesn’t know that Pastor Grey has stepped up his campaign against the Walkin’ and Thomas’s return risks more than just his own life …

David Towsey’s first novel (the first in a horror trilogy) adds a slow burning character study to the crowded zombie genre. I liked the idea of the zombies retaining their memories and personalities and Towsey does well at showing Sarah’s and Mary’s conflicted emotions at seeing Thomas again when their religion tells them that they shouldn’t and also how Nathaniel, the grave keeper, struggles to deal with having allowed his first wife to leave as a Walkin’ and how that impacts on his second marriage. I also enjoyed the hints at a society of Walkin’ that they’ve built for themselves in the Black Mountain with Towsey touching on the impact that their elongated lives have on how they view the world. However Thomas didn’t particularly grip me as a character and I found the religious elements two dimensional – particularly Pastor Grey who is a ho-hum fire and brimstone type who uses his control of the congregation to try and gain political power over the town while his acolyte, Luke Morris is similarly thinly characterised and his extreme devotion and fondness for violence in the Lord’s name didn’t hold my interest. There also wasn’t enough plot here for my taste (which is purely a personal thing) as it basically amounts to a chase with a predictable finish. Although I’m usually a fan of zombie novels, this one didn’t have enough to grip me and as such I won’t be reading on with this trilogy but I will read Towsey’s other work.

The Verdict:

David Towsey’s first novel (the first in a horror trilogy) adds a slow burning character study to the crowded zombie genre. I liked the idea of the zombies retaining their memories and personalities and Towsey does well at showing Sarah’s and Mary’s conflicted emotions at seeing Thomas again when their religion tells them that they shouldn’t and also how Nathaniel, the grave keeper, struggles to deal with having allowed his first wife to leave as a Walkin’ and how that impacts on his second marriage. I also enjoyed the hints at a society of Walkin’ that they’ve built for themselves in the Black Mountain with Towsey touching on the impact that their elongated lives have on how they view the world. However Thomas didn’t particularly grip me as a character and I found the religious elements two dimensional – particularly Pastor Grey who is a ho-hum fire and brimstone type who uses his control of the congregation to try and gain political power over the town while his acolyte, Luke Morris is similarly thinly characterised and his extreme devotion and fondness for violence in the Lord’s name didn’t hold my interest. There also wasn’t enough plot here for my taste (which is purely a personal thing) as it basically amounts to a chase with a predictable finish. Although I’m usually a fan of zombie novels, this one didn’t have enough to grip me and as such I won’t be reading on with this trilogy but I will read Towsey’s other work.

Thanks to Quercus for the review copy of this book.

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