The Corpse Whisperer
An Allie Nighthawk Mystery Book 1
by H.R. Boldwood Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery
Welcome to the world of Allie Nighthawk, corpse whisperer and badass zombie hunter.
“If you raise deadheads, you’d better be able to put ‘em down. Nobody said it was pretty. But in this day, when vampires aren’t just for breakfast anymore, and the dead are disposable pawns for necromancers, someone has to ante up. Looks like I won the lotto. Imagine my delight. You should thank me, really, because the world is batshit crazy.”
When the zombie population spikes and no one knows why, it’s up to Allie to solve the mystery. But there’s a hitch. She’s stuck babysitting Leo Abruzzi, a zombie-bitten gangster who’s turning state’s evidence. But the mob and a powerful necromancer will stop at nothing to take Leo and Allie down.
Allie Nighthawk is Anita Blake on steroids, with a fondness for leather and Jack on the rocks. She has a healthy dose of Stephanie Plum and Rachel Morgan in her, too, though she’d never admit it.
The battle between good and evil just got wicked fun.
There aren’t many good reasons for raising the dead, but there are plenty of bad ones — greed, revenge, and absolute lunacy top the list. I’m Allie Nighthawk and raising the dead happens to be my only talent. People are willing to pay for it. Go figure. I’m also one of the few corpse whisperers who puts the “toys” away when clients are finished playing with them. Away, as in hermetically sealed back in their coffins, with their disease-ravaged brains neutralized. That’s shop talk for scattered, smothered, covered and chunked. The last thing we need is zombies clawing up through the dirt like demented whack-a-moles, and gnawing on the residents of Cincinnati.
I was born a corpse whisperer, twenty-six years and too many zombies ago to count. It’s a genetic thing, like blonde hair or blue eyes, except that it’s … raising the dead. Yeah. Okay. It’s not exactly the same. It involves different genetic markers.
Buy a vowel, people. The concept’s the same.
The supernatural abilities that come with this gift have increased with each generation. That makes me very good at what I do. And a little dangerous. If you raise deadheads, you’d better be able to put ‘em down. Whisperers like me take care of business.
I can remember a time when you never saw biters shambling in the streets. But things have changed. Vampires aren’t just for breakfast anymore, and the dead have become disposable pawns for necromancers. Someone had to ante up. Looks like I won the lotto. Imagine my delight.
You should thank me, really, because the world is batshit crazy.
H.R. Boldwood is a writer of horror and speculative fiction. In another incarnation, Boldwood is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was awarded the 2009 Bilbo Award for creative writing by Thomas More College. Publication credits include, "Killing it Softly," "Short Story America," "Bete Noir," "Everyday Fiction," "Toys in the Attic," "Floppy Shoes Apocalypse II," "Pilcrow and Dagger," and "Sirens Call."
Boldwood's characters are often disreputable and not to be trusted. They are kicked to the curb at every conceivable opportunity. No responsibility is taken by this author for the dastardly and sometimes criminal acts committed by this ragtag group of miscreants.
Stuff About Me:
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and have lived there all my life. I am married with two wonderful sons, their lovely wives, a gaggle of granddaughters, and a black lab rescue dog named Poe.
In an alternate universe, I was a Pushcart Prize nominee and was awarded The Bilbo Award for creative writing. I was also a nationally ranked table tennis player once upon a time.
Speculative fiction is my genre of choice. I wrote my first short story, The Reincarnation of Sir Thomas More, in the eighth-grade. We turned in our first drafts, scratch outs, arrows and all, for constructive criticism. The teacher returned my manuscript with A+ scrawled across the top and told me not to bother to rewrite it. I wrote through high school and then took a long break while raising my children. My love of writing resurfaced within the last ten years.
I love long walks on the beach, a good book, and carbohydrates. If I were to choose a spirit animal, I would choose Kulu, The Algonquian Bird of Prey. Kulu, a fierce, giant raptor ate its human quarry alive. Kulu also happens to be the name of the feisty African grey parrot who lives alongside my main character, Allie Nighthawk, and her kinetically-challenged, zombie sniffing bull dog, Headbutt.
Stuff AboutThe Corpse Whisperer
The concept of The Corpse Whisperer sprang from my love of horror, urban fantasy, and monsters — especially zombies. I envisioned an unrelenting tale of darkness, but try as I might, I couldn’t inhibit my quirky sense of humor that insisted on spilling over into the story. Finally, I gave up and let the little voice in the back of my brain have its way.
The protagonist Allie Nighthawk is a kickass female zombie hunter who loves her attitude problem. Allie is Anita Blake on steroids with healthy dose of Stephanie Plum. She also has a fondness for leather, Jack Daniel’s slushies, and two hot male law enforcement officers.
Best of all, she has a strange and awesome super power. She can raise the dead.
Zombie hunting is an ugly job, but in this day when vampires aren’t just for breakfast anymore and the dead are disposable pawns for necromancers, someone has to ante up. Allie carries a custom 9mm Nighthawk, a Baby Glock, and a Ka-Bar knife — tools of the trade as she does her best to keep the residents of Cincinnati from getting ‘corpsified.’
I had an incredible amount of fun writing this book. It’s a fast-paced mystery that alternately makes you laugh and cringe with every turn of the page. Allie Nighthawk is all the things I want to be when I grow up. The cover, designed by Christiana Miller, is over-the-top awesome and exactly what I wanted.
I can totally see The Corpse Whisperer as a movie, featuring the gorgeous and snarky Mila Kunis. I hope once you read it, you will, too. Stay tuned for the next novel in The Corpse Whisperer series, Corpse Whisperer Sworn, to be released in 2019.
Stuff About Writing and Reading (this segment appeared on Monica Kuebler’s blog at Library of the Damned around March 2018)
My favorite female horror authors include a mix of old and new masters. Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House is a masterpiece. Her prose is magnificent:
‘Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.’
Who hasn’t fallen in love with those chilling words?
Mercedes Murdock Yardley’s Loving You Darkly is otherworldly. Sheer brilliance. Again her prose takes my breath away.
Lisa Morton is another fav of mine. She’s completely out-of-the-box! I read her story Cognition in Madhouse and have been hooked ever since. There’s a character in her story Larue’s Dime Museum whose organs are on the outside of his body. I read that story well over a year ago. The disturbing visual still haunts me.
Of course, anything Charlaine Harris writes is always a fun read.
I love strong-willed females with attitude problems. Think Sookie Stackhouse, Rachel Morgan, and Anita Blake.
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