Deadfall by Shaun Jeffrey
Published: 25 March 2010 by Leucrota Press
Paperback: 252 pages (paperback)
Source: Own library
Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK
A team of mercenaries race to an abandoned mining village to rescue two children held hostage by rogue ex-soldiers. But the kidnappers are a ruse, the real threat more terrifying than any of them could imagine.
Aided by a couple of unsuspecting eco-warriors, mercenary team leader Amber Redgrave must fight to survive against foes that don't sleep and don't feel pain.
Now as the body count rises, so do the stakes, and when the dead won't stay dead, there's going to be hell to pay.
This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. When I first started reading Deadfall I had to push myself to keep reading. I nearly abandoned it several times, but something kept drawing me back – Mr. Jeffrey’s writing skills. The first half of the book was action-packed but also a little bit too ‘military ops’ for my taste.
I liked the main character, Amber, from the beginning. Tough, relentless, no-holds-barred chick with a ‘tude – but for me Deadfall had a slow start, a little like treading water. I had a feeling the action was coming, but I was starting to get impatient. Amber’s interactions with her ‘partner’ Eddie screamed sexism but had me sniggering with their tit-for-tat encounters.
The zombies (and yes, I bought this book because it featured zombies!) took a little bit too long to arrive, and then just as background. But at the halfway mark Deadfall kicked up the action a full two stars. The zombies emerged from the darkness, Amber developed into an amazing character, and the seemingly secondary characters of Lofty and Jill occupied top billing.
As the story kicks into top gear, I was hooked – the characters develop their third dimensions, the writing becomes enthralling and spine-tingling, and the climax left me guessing, and cheering for Amber, Lofty and Eddie.
The added bonus of the alternative ending leaves Deadfall wide open for a sequel….is this another cliffhanger?
(My Kindle edition included an alternative ending - torn!)