Latter-Day of the Dead is Kevin Krohn's third novel. Krohn is also the author of the Severed Ties thriller series.
On a seemingly calm night, a man with a developmental disability named Benjamin (in real-life, I would say "retarded," but this is the Internet so shhhhhh!) crosses the Utah border into Arizona to visit a strip club. Benjamin is from an isolated, polygamist, Mormon compound, so visiting a strip club is absolutely forbidden, and of the utmost taboo.
But, funky teeth and all, Benjamin is determined to live on the edge, and see what boobies are all about. This prologue to Latter-Day of the Dead is swanky, sexy, and twisted all at the same time, and definitely a great way to kick off a zombie-horror thriller.
Shortly after receiving an invitation to the champagne room, Benjamin becomes infected by a cracked-out zombie stripper, and manages to drive himself all the way back to his compound sans a vital body part. After this very creepy and disturbing prologue, the novel segues into the first-person viewpoint of Brother Elias, the compound's doctor and unsuspecting hero.
After Benjamin's infection is treated with no luck, he is soon convicted for his transgressions. Sadly, it's a little too late, as Benjamin may already have infected some of his Brothers and Sisters on the compound. The residents must then deal with a major zombie outbreak - all while remaining secluded on the compound.
Latter-Day of the Dead is downright creepy, as are the Mormon polygamists who make up the characters in this novel. I can take blood, guts, and gore with my horror any day, but when horror is blended with religious zealots and cults (and Mormon polygamists!), the effect is tenfold creepier because I know all these types exist. I even have difficulty watching horror movies that throw in the scary religious element.
The fast-paced action in Latter-Day of the Dead is addicting and pleasurable, especially since the novel sits at a very brief 175 pages. Even as I write this review, I'm still contemplating whether or not I find Brother Elias creepy along with the rest of the polygamists, or if I have any remorse for this godly man. I'm leaning toward the former, but either way, it's fun to read about zombies tearing up the residents on this compound.
Upon finishing Latter-Day of the Dead, I felt disturbed and a bit troubled. I know horror novels are meant to make you feel this way, but it also made me curious about the author. Is Kevin Krohn a Mormon or former-Mormon? Did he have bad experiences with Mormons? Are his family members Mormon? Persistent on finding answers to these questions, I was able to locate several interviews with Kevin Krohn, and what I found was interesting. Learning more about Krohn's inspiration for this novel caused me to appreciate Latter-Day of the Dead even more! What a trip.
Fans of horror novels, especially zombie-horror, will enjoy Latter-Day of the Dead. Even if you lack basic knowledge about Mormonism and polygamy, don't worry: Krohn fills you in with the basics on this religion near the beginning of the novel, which is another bonus!
Check out these other books by Kevin Krohn, Severed Ties volumes I and II:
You'll most likely enjoy reading Latter-Day of the Dead if you enjoyed other zombie novels, such as Autumn by David Moody, the As the World Dies series by Rhiannon Frater, Dead City by Joe McKinney, and This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers.
What are your favorite zombie novels? Who are your favorite horror novelists? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!