Handling the Undead

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s first book ‘Let the Right One In’ was a wonderful book that took the vampire story and handled it from a completely different perspective. His next one ‘Handling the Undead’ was also a gripping read. The premise is that suddenly in Sweden .After a horrendously hot summer something goes wrong. All of the appliances in the city refuse to turn off and everyone suffers from a massive headache. Then, the dead come back to life. Some of them even return from the grave. None of them are more than two months dead (thank goodness!) and some have only just died. One of these new ‘reliving’ has been in a car accident and is extensively damaged. She is of interest to the hospital because she still has some capacity for speech, she is of more interest to her loving husband and young son. Some citizens cope with equanimity when their loved ones return, and some, quite naturally, are very alarmed. The government has to work out how to manage and eventually allows families to visit with their ‘relived’ relatives. Of course, human nature being what it is, eventually things go awry and then the horror ensues. Lindqvist is notable for writing horror stories where the humans are more monstrous than the ‘monsters’ and he does this very plausibly.
While I enjoyed this particular book very much, I have to admit, the ending was somewhat disappointing. While I won’t give it away, I found that it seemed as if he just wanted to wrap things up and it did not seem as planned as it could be.


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