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Review: Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine (Revivalist #1)

won from Book Chick City

Synopsis from Goodreads
Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn't the most glamorous career choice, but at least it offers stable employment--until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the clientele as part of an extortion racket. Now, Bryn faces being terminated--literally, and with extreme prejudice.

Wit the help of corporate double-agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem--pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She'd better do it fast, before she becomes a zombie slave--a real working stiff. She'd be better off dead...

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond(£4.41)


* * *
 This was one of those extremely gripping and chilling conspiracy thrillers with excellent characters, pace and world-building. Why then 8 out of 10? you would ask.

To put it simply, I'm squeamish. I love zombie novels, but my perfect zombie is someone who I can kill away as a mindless monster. You know, like in Zombieland?

Bryn, the main character, dies on her first day at a new job as a funeral director simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her boss is selling this new powerful drug from a medical corporation Pharmadene, which literally can revive the dead to the same age and perfect condition when they died.He does it under the table, and the corporation investigates him to find the leak - his supplier. All clients are recently dead who agreed to pay extortionate sums of money just to keep living.

Bryn stumbles onto one such transaction and in a struggle of a corporation security team bust she is killed and revived for an interrogation. The catch is she has to prove her worth to keep on getting injections of Revive once a day and keep on living. If you miss just one dose you body starts decomposing... but the subjects can't die easily unless they are dismembered or incinerated...

You remember that black comedy with Bruce Willis, Death Becomes Her? 

This book is very much like it.

Only there is not an ounce of paranormal, and Bryn's situation is truly horrific. At one point the sadistic corporation vice-president decides that she doesn't need her anymore and wants her to die naturally while she records the process, and you go through all the pains of decomposition with Bryn...

I truly felt for her and admired her sheer will to keep plodding along no matter what.

However in all this the attraction of McCallister, her overseer, to Bryn was making me feel slightly queasy.

All in all, this is intense and gripping story which I hope to God will never happen in real life. There is much more to it than I mentioned and I really recommend it. It just wasn't exactly right for my constitution, which doesn't mean you'll feel the same way.

* * *
На самом деле Работа Мертвяком - это леденящий душу триллер без тени паранормала. Идея его настолько безжалостна, что леденит душу. 

Одна большая медицинская корпорация случайно открывает препарат Ревайв, который способен вернуть человека к жизни, постоянно регенирируя его плоть. Брин, только что начавшая работать в похоронном бюро, оказывается в неподходящем месте в неподходящее время, натыкаясь на нелегальную продажу препарата боссом похоронного бюро, умершим клиентам. Когда тот убивает нашу главную героиню, секьюрити корпорации, следящее за бизнесом в надежде понять кто внутренний источник, что продаёт препарат на стороне прерывает процесс, и оживляет Брин в надежде, что она обладает хоть какой-то информацией.

Теперь бедной Брин, чтобы выжить необходимо каждый день доказывать, что её жизнь этого стоит, не только пытаясь найти продавца Ревайв, но и работая в тайне против корпорации, прекратить создание Ревайв, препарата, что может привести к катастрофическим последствиям, если о нём станет известно миру.

Она нуждается в инъекциях каждый день. Пропусти дозу или две и тело начинает разлагаться. Сам процесс не только жутко болезненный, но просто морально ужасный. В один момент в книге, ненормальная вице-президент корпорации решает, что Брин ей больше не нужна и запирает её в комнате с камерами, чтобы запротоколировать весь процесс разложения. 

Те, кто возрождены к жизни таким образом легко не умирают, их либо надо разрезать на кусочки или кремировать, иначе тело и мозг будут продолжать жить на самых последних стадиях...

В общем-то на фоне всех этих ужасов, меня подташнивало, особенно когда один из работников и двойных агентов корпорации, Патрик МакКаллистер, начал проявлять к Брин любовный интерес.

Я конечно ей сочувствовала всей душой, но с другой стороны, моя голова согласиться с какими-либо чувствами между Патриком и Брин совершенно отказывалась, и вот это, несмотря на увлекательность сюжета, остаётся тем камнем прекновения, что мешает мне дать высокий балл книге и решиться на прочтение продолжения. Как и книги Марка Генри, эта серия не для меня. Менее щепетильным душам я её советую.


Birgit said...

This book's been on my wishlist since ... way back last year already! And luckily I'm not all that squeamish at least not when it comes to reading good horror, hahaha! But seriously, it sounds like a great and definitely slightly different book on zombies - right up my alley so to speak! When July rolls around I know what I'll do ... order me some zombie, yay!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Birgit, I am scared to see you going on a rampage when your book ban is lifted :))) LOL. I bet you will like this book! It's a clever, fast paced thriller. Roll on, July!

Cherry said...

I bought Working Stiff a month or so ago on a whim but never got around to reading it yet... it got gone and done buried now in my TBR pile... I think I will wait for your review before digging it out again :)

Mel said...

This is one of my TBR books - but I thought there was some paranormal elemnt to it besides the drugs! I do like my zombies though so I think I will give it a try at some point...

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Honestly, Mel, there isn't! That's what surprised me so much. She is a normal human being, she sleeps and eats normal food, it's just if she doesn't have her drugs once a day, her body reverts to dying. That's it.

Give it a try, Cherry! It's very well written book.

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