Reviewed by Elizabetta

Patient ZTITLE: Patient Z
AUTHOR: Becky Black
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publication
LENGTH: 265 pages
BLURB: Two years ago the zombie apocalypse wiped out the world police officer Mitch Kennedy had a role in. But he’s found a way to continue doing his duty, serving as guardian of a small community of survivors, living in the safest place they can find. When the group takes in Cal Richardson Mitch can’t help but be attracted to the first available—and incidentally, gorgeous—man to cross his path in months.

Mitch and Cal can’t resist each other physically, but each man tries to hold back his emotions. Though he’s strong on the outside, Mitch is too badly hurt inside to risk more pain. Cal’s very sure he won’t stay for long. He’s been a drifter all his life and it came naturally to him to survive alone after civilization fell. He’s sure this is a temporary stopover for him. He has no intention of becoming emotionally involved with a cop who is certain to despise Cal when he learns the truth about him.

The longer Cal stays the stronger his urge to run, but the harder it becomes to give up the safety of the community and his new friends. The harder it becomes to give up Mitch.


An offshore oil rig, near the southern US coast, is the setting for this zombie action thriller. This is a clever plot device, it’s what I’d do post-disaster, head for an island or some other structure that gives distance to the moldering mob. It seems that zombies suck at navigating boats and climbing ladders. But, is the rig as safe as it would seem?

For two years the world has been under a zombie takeover. The disease is spread by an infected human biting a non-infected; zombies are only interested in uninfected people, they ignore each other, and their numbers have been increasing. Mitch Kennedy, a cop back in the normal days, has learned how to evade the zombies, he has set up the oil rig as a fortress-haven for himself and a small group of very self-sufficient women and small children. They have learned to survive by carefully scrounging the countryside in well-planned excursions, for supplies, medicine and weapons. More importantly, they have a doctor on board who may have found a vaccination for the zombie pathogen, and it is paramount that her work continue.

There used to be other men on the rig, but when they started sexually harassing the women, they were booted off. In particular, Ethan, who heads up his own on-shore gang of marauding fellow meat-heads. Mitch and his “harem” have learned to live comfortably on the rig and have trained themselves to stave off vicious attacks by Ethan’s gang. Mitch is the only guy left onboard not only because he is a trusted leader but because he is gay and does not pose a sexual threat to the women. It isn’t until they rescue Cal, mysteriously adrift in a small boat found near the rig, that there is hope for Mitch finding someone he can be with. The plot gets messy because Mitch is a stand-up guy, looking for commitment where Cal is, literally, the drifter with a shady past who’s aim is to keep on the move.

The enemies in this story aren’t so much the zombies, but the fellow non-infected humans who covet what Mitch battles to keep safe— the women and rig. The author sets up the well-used premise that in a post-apocalyptic world, mankind can be its own worse enemy, so there is nothing really new here. But, the action is great; the dangerous on-land excursions and confrontations with Ethan’s gang have good suspense built in. And having to kill zombies that one may have known previously poses some ethical issues.

Along with the colorful setting there are a lot of wins here. It’s when the story focuses on Mitch and Cal, together, that it drags a bit for me. They’re nice enough guys, and their characters are well-drawn, but I just don’t find their pairing that compelling. It seems like a set up of convenience where they have to be attracted to each other by their both happening to be gay and the ‘last gay man on earth’ or close to it. So, the romance seems a bit forced to me. Still, this was a fun action/adventure zombie read and I would recommend it for those who like this genre.

Elizabetta’s Rating: four-stars_0

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

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