Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter

Written by C.A. Verstraete
Review by Xina Marie Uhl

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father forty-one.”

Lizzie Borden is a well-known murderess from the late 1800s, though some argue that she is innocent. Whatever the case, the murder of her stepmother and father caused such a sensation that children more than a hundred years later still chant rhymes about it. Verstraete takes the Lizzie Borden story in an unusual direction. What if Lizzie killed her parents because they were zombies? And what if her sensational murder trial wasn’t the end of her story? For it seems that the zombies are all part of a larger plan to infect Lizzie’s town and the world beyond.

The novel starts with a bang: the gruesome murder of Lizzie’s parents. The scene is gory enough to satisfy the most avid horror fan. Soon after the murders, Lizzie meets mysterious hunters, all the while dealing with a murder trial.

Lizzie starts the book as a prim and proper spinster of the time but quickly sheds her repressed ways with the help of a monster hunter who introduces her to the habitations of zombies. These creatures are more like ghoulish sideshows than real dangers, though. The characters do not seem to be in imminent danger from them, and the novel in general lacks tension and mystery and contains a lot of editorializing on the part of the heroine, which becomes tiresome very quickly.

Still, if you are on the lookout for a unique take on a well-known historical figure, this novel just might be your cup of tea—I mean, brains.