A zombie novel based in Ireland? Yep that is what we have here. Set in the south of Ireland between Cork and Waterford in a sleepy costal town. The fact the author is Irish himself allows him to use local knowledge to his advantage, calling on that knowledge to paint a very accurate picture of both terrain and people.
A plot from decades beforehand gets unearthed and leads to a zombie outbreak. The story starts off at a slow pace, letting the author introduce many characters and giving us a good backstory on them. The slowly growing zombie threat is almost like a subplot at this point and remains so for the first ten or so chapters. The author uses this time well to give us an idea of the town and the surrounding areas, letting us formulate ideas in our head and also letting us wonder which areas will be important later in the story.
Once the pace picks up, and the zombies have recruited so many that they start to resemble a very bitey mob, things start to get nasty. Flesh is torn, and there is a genuine sense of menace.
As mentioned earlier, the author spent some time introducing us to characters, and as the book goes on, he introduces us to many more, again spending time building and expressing their characters. But unlike some other books in this genre, this author has no problem in keeping you guessing as to which ones survive the ordeal, and also has no problem in letting some you thought were obvious survivors meet nasty ends, but also makes sure that other obvious choices do make it.
The setting for the outbreak and the frequent use of time, be it mentioned by a character or simply tagged to the start of chapters, highlights the speed at which the action is happening and gives the story a feeling of a countdown.
The zombies are pretty close to the traditional style of Romero zombie, no sprinters or super strength here, but they also hint at a change, something that was not fleshed out, pardon the pun, and may well be part of a further tale should sales allow the author to continue this scenario.
All in all a good read, and may even be a book that those who normally would not read a zombie book would enjoy due to the eye for detail of the author, and his ability to make interesting characters whose private lives you get to see both before and during the outbreak.