Pay Me In Flesh (Mallory Caine, Zombie at Law #1) by K. Bennett
Publisher: Kensington/Aug. 2011
Mallory Caine series
“Hungry For Justice – And Brains”: Meet Mallory Caine. Attorney at law. Zombie at large. She’s not like those “Living Dead” losers you see in the movies. She doesn’t slobber, drool, or lurch – she’s smart, stylish, and sexy. Sure, she’s a zombie and a lawyer but, hey, a girl’s got to eat. When Mallory’s not in the courtroom, going head to head with her ex-boyfriend, killer-prosecutor Aaron Argula, she’s in the seedy streets of Hollywood, hunting brain after brain. That is, until some psycho starts hunting zombie after zombie…”The Defense Never Rests – In Peace”: The undead are decapitated, a letter “Z” carved in their flesh. Mallory doesn’t want to lose her head, but she’s worried. Like many lawyers in L.A., she doesn’t have a soul – a side effect of being a zombie, not a defence attorney. If Mallory dies before she gets her soul back, she goes straight to hell. No appeals. Objection overruled. If the killer isn’t stopped, it’s case closed for zombies everywhere. But Mallory is an undying champion of justice, and she won’t go down – without a bite…
This one surprised me, in a totally good way! I imagined a quick, fun, read, and it was, but there was also some unexpected depth that caught me off guard. Mallory Caine is an L.A. defense attorney, and she’s also a zombie. Not of the shambling kind, though. Turns out, someone shot Mallory, but what should have killed her, didn’t, and she found herself one of the walking dead, forced to eat brains to survive. Mallory does this by posing as street walker Amanda on her feeding nights, and using her trusty hook to procure what she needs to live. Mallory doesn’t take this lightly, though. In fact, she loathes herself every time she does it, and she hopes to find her killer, get her soul back, and hopefully return to one of the living. As an author, I would imagine that getting your audience to love a character that must kill people in such a gruesome manner would be a challenge, but this author is more than up to it!
In this first installment, Mallory must defend a young vampire prostitute accused of killing a cop. Mallory knows without a shadow of a doubt that she didn’t do it, but proving it will be a challenge, especially when the prosecution is her former love, Aaron Argula, who wants Mallory back. It also doesn’t help that someone is killing the area zombies. With swords. And Mallory might be next.
Like I said, this was such a fun read, combining court drama with supernatural hijinks involving vampires, shape shifters, epic battles of good and evil, and of course, zombies. Mallory is smart, sarcastic, and one kick ass lawyer, and I zipped through this one with a quickness. I’m really looking forward to diving into the 2nd book, The Year of Eating Dangerously!