A cleverly-combined, multi-genre novel
I was asked to read Habeas Corpseus as an advanced reader in exchange for an honest review. The novel is a combination of genres; none of which are normally to my taste but I was excited to delve in to the story nonetheless.
Habeas Corpseus is probably best described as a dystopian-noir-mystery-detective novel with a side dish of fantasy-sci-fi in the form of zombies and vampires, and comedy for dessert. P.R. Johnson cleverly combines these genres and churns out two lovable main characters, as well as a host of secondary characters in a dark, post-apocalyptic world where you can’t trust anyone.
Set in the dark recesses of what is only known as The City, Detective Sam Frome is tasked with solving a mystery that has the potential to effect the futures of the City’s inhabitants. With the help of ex-cop-ex-dancer Lauren Emerson, Sam attempts to track down the missing ‘meat’-the food that feeds the infected members of society.
One of the strongest elements of the novel was the ‘odd couple’ dynamic between Sam and Lauren. Sam is an old-fashioned, set in his ways, technophobe with has his own way of doing things. He comes across as the archetypal detective in that he is divorced, sleeps at his office and has a drinking problem.
Lauren is a former NYPD cop-turned-dancer who offers to work with Sam to solve the mystery plaguing the City. Lauren is much more ‘with-the-times’, and is set on dragging Sam into the ‘times’ too. The dynamic between the two lead characters leads to plenty of hilarious exchanges, including the constant threat from Lauren each time Sam pulls out his Bogart impressions.
Despite their differences, Sam and Lauren are a perfect fit within the story and I found myself waiting for the moment they became romantically involved because their chemistry and, dare I say, banter, seemed deserving of some loving.
The main characters, along with the secondary characters, are wonderfully written, enough for you to care how their story unfolds. As much as all their stories are concluded at the end of this book, the potential for further books is there, and I for one, look forward to the next instalment.