Dead Trash perfectly captures the seventies style grindhouse films that it tries to emulate. The tone, style, and content set the right mood for the novel, which features two woman, Irma and Arkansas, who are incarcerated while a zombie apocalypse unfolds. They are able to break out of the prison as the zombies are storming the place. There they go on the run, first joining a biker gang, and then a man trying to keep his falling ghetto neighborhood intact. Their ultimate goal is to reach Irma's ex, an abusive creep whose supposed murder she was convicted for. When she finds out that he isn't actually dead, she makes it her mission to eliminate him from the crazed world they inhabit. They run across strong-willed characters who seem capable of handling themselves, but no matter where they go, their allies are overtaken either by the zombies or the nasty humans who are just as bad if not worse than the zombies themselves.
The strongest element of this novel is the writing itself. There isn't anything overly original about the plot. Zombie apocalypses have become fairly commonplace in literature, television, and movies. But the story moves at a fast pace with little wasted motion or words. The action never stops until the explosive conclusion. The characters are well-developed. Besides Irma and Arkansas, many of the minor characters are fleshed out and relatable. My only complaint is the lack of realism in the fighting scenes that can be found in the final part of the novel. Otherwise, this might just be the best zombie novel I have ever read.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street