Spotlight is my Saturday feature in which I highlight a book I’m looking forward to or really enjoyed. This week, I want to highlight one of the best zombie books I’ve ever read: The Return Man by V. M. Zito.
The outbreak tore the U. S. in two. The east remains a safe haven. The west has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it the evacuated states.
It is here that Henry Marco makes his living. Hired by grieving relatives, he tracks down the dead and delivers peace.
Now Homeland Security wants Marco for a mission unlike any other. He must return to California, where the apocalypse began. Where a secret is hidden. And where his own tragic past waits to punish him again.
But in the wastelands of America, you never know who—or what—is watching you…
If you love AMC’s The Walking Dead, you will absolutely love The Return Man. Heck, if you love zombies, good characters, fast plots and conspiracies, you’ll love V. M. Zito’s debut novel. Basically: You’ll probably love this book.
Not only is Marco a great character you can sympathize with because he stayed back in the Evacuated States to return his zombified wife, but Wu is also amazing. Wu is kind of an ambiguous character because he’s not a villain, but he’s certainly not a hero in the traditional sense of the word. I can’t decide whether I like Marco or Wu better, so their journey together from both points of view was a satisfying thrill ride.
The plot is fast and dramatic (but believable) and the zombies are terrifying. No, they’re not ‘fast zombies’, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t scary. Believe me, with the descriptions Zito gives of the zombies and all the gore they cause, you may lose your appetite. The purpose of those graphic descriptions isn’t so much to gross out the reader as to bring home the point that in real life, a zombie apocalypse would be absolutely horrifying.
I wouldn’t recommend The Return Man for sensitive readers, but for everyone else: Go for it!