Zombie Book Review: Assassin

Pete Bevan brings us a new story about the dead and another amazing and captivating character with Martin in Assassin, a novella written in five parts.  The storyline is simple – zombies overrun London and our hero is trying to survive. But, with the magic that is Bevan’s writing, this simple story seeps under your skin and it isn’t until Part Five that you realize that you are holding your breath and praying for Martin to succeed.

As a paid assassin, Martin has made a fortune from killing and used that fortune to craft the illusion of propriety.  He is calculating and ruthless.  He lives alone and keeps all acquaintances at bay. Would the gentlemen at the club accept him as the hired gun as opposed to the supposed banker they believe him to be? In his early 60’s, Martin is not your average movie hero assassin. Seasoned and hardened, you can almost see his blank stare as he thinks through his interactions with other characters.

Although this character doesn’t say a lot, we get a great sense that his mind is always working even when we don’t understand what he is doing. He also has a skill-set to rival Liam Neeson’s in Taken and we see the extent of this by Part Five. Maybe I just have a thing for older guys but Martin, with his cold deliberation and hidden loyalty, is extremely sexy.

In addition to Martin, Bevan introduces a much larger cast than in his previous All the Dead Are Here. While the main story of the Minister had just three main characters, our assassin stumbles onto a group of five survivors, shop-owner Mohamed and his mother Binita, Kelly, Jez and Emma, whom he reluctantly rescues. They then make their way to a military camp where the real villain shows himself. Besides Martin, Jez was my favorite character because he was so loud and crude but sweet at the same time. He was a typical punk kid and I found him really endearing.

In perfect Bevan style, each character has such a well-defined personality that, even without “he said” or “she said,” it is easy to pick out who is saying what in the dialog. Well-defined does not mean predictable however as Bevan has a few great twists up his sleeve.

We get enough into Martin’s head to know that he is an assassin but past his prime. His chances of survival are higher than average because of his skills and his coldness. Bevan then throws him in with a group that desperately needs his help but he never seems like a fish out of water, just aloof and cautious. This works very well and makes it more satisfying when you realize that he has grown to love his group and has felt that way for some time.

Now with this said, don’t think for a minute that this story lacks any real action. There are plenty of gore, carnage and daring escapes in this narrative but the most dangerous animal is the army not the zombies. We want to put our hope in the Colonel and his platoon but we learn quickly that our group is not safe in their hands.

My only real complaint would be that Bevan should expand part Four. He used this entry to make a case for the Occupy Movement but it seems a bit rushed. He shines when dealing with subtleties and I’d like to see that in this portion as well.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel confident in saying that Pete Bevan is one of the greatest writers out there right now.  I was so drawn into the world of Assassin that I was inspired to work on my own writing.

Like I said with All the Dead are Here, just read it. Read this book.

Grade: 4.5 zombie heads out of 5



Good one Angie! The assassin character is an interesting one… but I’m not sure I would be able to buy the idea that a guy who made a living out of killing other people could suddenly care for someone else than himself. In taken, Liam Neeson is a real badass in “Taken” but he’s a former CIA agent.. still “a good guy”, not a gun for hire.
If you have not read it yet you might find interesting to read “the Junkie Quatrain” by Pete Clines there’s also an assassin involved, but a very different one (and quite coincidentally the story was also written in 4 parts).


Thanks guys! I’ve been sick so not really leaving comments. I think I remember Greg’s review of Junkie Quatrain which sounded pretty good.

Pete Bevan


In answer to your question, he didn’t. He cut himself off from humanity and its only the extremes of the ZA that force him to re-evaluate his thinking, in addition I think there comes a time in everyones life where they question the decisions they have made. My view is that if anything can change you as a person, it would be the ZA.

Pete Bevan

Also you assume someone who is an Assassin is not a ‘good guy’. I think the situation is more ambiguous than that.


Thanks for the feedback Pete! I agree that it is certainly more ambiguous than the good/bad guy dichotomy. My problem is that I do not have much faith in human nature so in my opinion if the ZA could indeed change someone it would probably not be for the best… but that’s just my own perception. I guess I should read your book and see if I could believe in your character’s redemption!


Sounds like another book to add to my ‘get it’ list!
Still to buy All The Dead Are Here, may have to get the lead out this weekend!

Mr Bevan sir……thoroughly enjoyed The Minister……as a native Edinburger…following Paul Jollie through the streets……made me feel like I was there! Nicely done!

Pete Bevan

@Greg – I would be interested to know, and for a buck you can’t go wrong either way (even if you don’t believe in the redemption there is a cracking bit of revenge in there)

@Dex – I’m a Scot myself and spent a few misty mornings in the city. However, its been a few years so Google maps came in handy. And if you enjoyed the minister then the final part of the tale (part 4 sorta) is at the end of the book, and the rest of the stuff that isn’t on Tales of World war Z is pretty good too. Even if I do say so myself.

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