The Bureau of Undead Investigation
by Connor Mackay
Rank 6 Press

"I was expecting like, a mass graffiti protest or something, not a world-wide apocalypse plan."

It has been twenty years since pharmaceutical company LazCorp created “the Blessing,” a fungus-based injection that allows the newly dead to reanimate for a brief time. While most of the undead awaken with a green light on their monitoring systems and are free to spend extra time with their loved ones, a small fraction reanimate with a violent streak. The Bureau of Undead Investigation checks up on and eliminates these “Reds” as needed. When Bureau agents Abby Wren and Lukas Wright look into a case involving an organization of undead vandals called the Dead Prophets, they begin to uncover a shadowy organization’s quest to trigger the end of the living world.

This action-packed story takes place over only a few days and includes shootouts, corporate conspiracies, high-speed chases through the streets of Los Angeles, and buddy-cop-style jokes and hijinks. Despite the fast pace of the plot, the author finds room to create complex characters with deep emotional lives. Abby and Lukas’ partnership provides real moments of connection and humanity. Lukas’ irreverent, almost omnipresent humor helps lighten some of the novel’s darkest moments without detracting from the gravity of the events around him.

Almost a character unto itself, Los Angeles in 2055 presents as real as it does now, albeit with scorchingly hot streets and more references to “old” movies such as the John Wick series. The technology and systems around creating and supporting the undead are interesting and thorough, down to the black market for undead body modifications. The author shows a deft touch at worldbuilding and character development, seamlessly weaving them into the breakneck plot. Not only does the author create a fun rollercoaster ride of a novel, but he also manages to humanize even the undead.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home