Salby Damned opens at a fracking wellhead near Salby, in Yorkshire, where drilling appears to have released a highly contagious and lethal virus. Transmitted via bite, the symptoms include increased healing, damage to cognitive functions, and most damaging of all, a destructive, homicidal rage. Freelance reporter and ex-sergeant Nathan Cross, covering the opening of the new well, didn’t expect to be hauled out of bed at the crack of dawn to the news of a disaster at the well, and he certainly didn’t expect his sudden, overwhelming attraction to Evelyn Langford, the woman he’d met the night before at the well conference.
The story features the staples of the zombie genre, including last-ditch stands against oncoming zombies, unexpected alliances and dalliances, and the revelation of the true cause of the outbreak, along with a variety of blunt, bladed, and projectile weapons used to varying effect against the diseased. I did find that the story as a whole was given to a level of description of trivia that impacted the pace of the action, as well as extraneous scenes that seemed by the end of the book to have done little to directly move the plot along. However, I definitely feel that the book has a lot of potential, and the character development was by and large strong and consistent.