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“. . . sure to please readers of horror.”
In 1873 Dr. Paul Clément witnesses the destruction of a zombie while serving at a French colonial hospital in the West Indies. He learns how certain naturally-occurring chemicals are used by voodoo practitioners to create zombies. Inspired by his encounter he develops a fascination with near-death experiences.
Back in Paris Clément conceives the idea of using drugs and electricity in an experiment to take him beyond the boundaries of medical science. By dying and being revived under laboratory conditions he hopes to answer the greatest question known to mankind – is there life after death? Over time Clément develops his theories with the help of a colleague. He questions a number of resuscitated hospital patients about their experiences. A number report dying, seeing a wondrous light and having a feeling of immense joy. Encouraged by this Clément submits himself to the long-planned experiment.
The experiment succeeds but at a terrible cost. Instead of divine rapture Clément finds himself in hell witnessing the torments of the damned. He is revived and returns to the world of the living – but something returns with him. Clément has to fight to regain his humanity and prevent a terrible disaster from striking the world and all he holds dear.
F. R. Tallis writes with a smooth narrative that flows easily across the page, evoking the world late nineteenth century France in a story that is sure to please readers of horror.
Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews