I’m not much of a zombie fan but a novel like Portlandtown, written by Rob DeBorde, was a book I could not put down. It’s not just a “zombie story” or an “Old West” story. It’s a story of secrets, magic and mystery. It’s a story of two men, a man and his son-in-law, trying to bury the past and move forward in life. But some things are not meant to stay buried – especially if they’re the kinds of things that can’t die. Something like that is even scarier, especially when you have a family you are trying to protect.
I love Old West stories and the author really brought Oregon during the 1880s to life in this book. It’s almost as if I was there seeing the buildings, the period clothing and the horses tied to posts. I also love to read stories set in Oregon, since it is a state I am still a bit “new” to. This is what attracted me to the book, and the zombie aspect was not overdone either. The zombies were scary, yes, but the living characters are the ones who really made this story stand out. The Hanged Man was probably one of the most creepiest villains I have come across in fiction in a long time.
Since the character, Joseph Wylde, is blind in one eye, things are different for him. His senses are stronger and he relies on them a lot to help him perceive his surroundings. This is written very well and I liked how the author wrote about Joseph’s wife wearing a certain perfume to make it easier for him to find her or how his son, Kick (one of his twin children) whistles a certain way so he can find him, too. I also liked how the history of the Hanged Man and how he is able to do the things he does was explained in a believable way. The character Andre Labeau was a character I liked a lot, because he was respectful of everyone and very patient even though he was on a dangerous mission to put a stop to the curse behind the Hanged Man. The way he talked and acted around people made it clear he was a man to be taken seriously. I really enjoyed reading this novel and would definitely recommend it.
-- Joseph Wylde is a blind bookseller living in Portland who hopes to keep a dark chapter of his past buried for good. But something about a curse placed on his father-in-law refuses to let the past go and once an insatiable evil is unleashed, it is up to Joseph and his retired lawman father-in-law to stop it before it destroys everyone he loves.
Welcome to Portlandtown, where no secret is safe---not even those buried beneath six feet of Oregon mud.
Joseph Wylde isn’t afraid of the past, but he knows some truths are better left unspoken. When his father-in-law’s grave-digging awakens more than just ghosts, Joseph invites him into their home hoping that a booming metropolis and two curious grandtwins will be enough to keep the former marshal out of trouble. Unfortunately, the old man’s past soon follows, unleashing a terrible storm on a city already knee deep in floodwaters. As the dead mysteriously begin to rise, the Wyldes must find the truth before an unspeakable evil can spread across the West and beyond.
Rob DeBorde's Portlandtown is a supernatural western, a fantastic blend of horror, magic, and zombies sure to excite even the most demanding genre fan.