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By Steve Kozeniewski
Red Adept Publishing
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Writing a genre thriller is already a risky thing to get right, but doubly so when one attempts to write it in a winking, jokey style; take Steve Kozeniewski's Braineater Jones, for example, which is essentially a zombie story told in the style of a pulpy detective noir, with our Sam Spade stand-in being a freshly reanimated corpse and the book consisting of his hardboiled, wisecracking attempts to figure out what happened to him, which certainly gets a thumbs-up just for ambition. But like I've said here before, hardboiled detective tales are one of the most overused, tired genres for a person to even write in anymore in the 2010s, with zombie stories getting dangerously close to being this way as well; and instead of being a delightful new hybrid of the two like Kozeniewski clearly intended, Braineater Jones is unfortunately a stale hash of the worst of both these genres, with such easily recognizable beats that I could literally guess the next developments in the story in real time as I was reading each chapter. While Kozeniewski should certainly be applauded for putting in the effort, the lackluster results sadly leave a lot to be desired.
Out of 10: 7.0