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Dead Mann Walking

(Hessius Mann #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  337 ratings  ·  68 reviews
After Hessius Mann was convicted of his wife's murder, suppressed evidence came to light and the verdict was overturned-too bad he was already executed. But thanks to the miracles of modern science Hessius was brought back to life. Sort of.

Now that he's joined the ranks of Fort Hammer's pulse-challenged population, Hessius attempts to make a "living" as a private investiga
Paperback, 1st Edition, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Roc
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  337 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

I am excited to give you my very first "First-Reads" review:

This book is a great twist on the private eye genre. Here we have Hessius Mann, our protagonist, a former police detective that is now a private eye. Former, you see, as Mann was apparently  convicted wrongly, sentenced to death, killed...then brought back due to the defense finding conflicting evidence contradicting his death sentence. Presently, Mann is scraping by (literally) as a private investigator, thanks to the remarkable
All Things Urban Fantasy
The word "noir" doesn't even begin to capture the dark, gritty world of DEAD MANN WALKING. Hessius Mann is an undead Humphrey Bogart, battered and flawed and wry, and his relationships with the other lost souls in Fort Hammer are poignant moments in this mix of mystery and undeath.

Petrucha's zombies, called "chakz" (mangled Spanish for “jerky”, as their bodies dry out), come back to life with lowered IQ’s, memory loss, and bodies that cannot heal beyond what Krazy Glue and stitches can hold toge
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it

Hessius Mann used to be a police detective, with a photographic memory, and anger issues. Now, he's simply a private detective with some memory issues to go along with his rotting skin. Dead Mann Walking is the first book in the Hessius Mann  urban fantasy series by Stefan Petrucha, it was quite a cool novel.

A new technology was developed that enabled bringing back people from the dead, essentially making them zombies. Hessius Mann is one of these z
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Dead Mann Walking is zombies,but with a twist. These zombies aren’t mindless shamblers,instead they are sentient beings. They’re also not the risen dead come to life as a result of some sort of virus or spell. Using good ol’ American ingenuity,a solution to the rapid rise of innocent death penalty victims was born,and upon exoneration,were brought back from the dead. The process soon became somewhat of a fad,with families
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: firstreads
I got a copy of this though goodreads first reads.

Overall, I was kind of disappointed. I didn't really dislike the book, but I didn't like it either. I didn't like any of the characters, and just when I thought there might be an inkling of caring about a character developing, that character was killed off. If you like cynical detective stories--or are really, really into zombies--you'll probably like this book. I just found it too stark for my taste. Primarily, it didn't make me care about anyt
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes their urban fantasy on the dark side
Recommended to Gary by: Beth Dawkins
Dead Mann Walking is an urban fantasy that manages to break free from the pack of most of the other urban fantasies I've read. Most of those others involve sexy vampires, sexy werewolves, wizards, or other...well, romantic figures. Ghosts. Fairies. Elves. That kind of thing.

Hessius Mann is a zombie. But they don't call them that. They call them chakz, after the Spanish word for "jerky," or "dried meat."

Mann, who was a policeman in life, was accused of murdering his wife (for good reason), and fo
Ren Thompson
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Hessius Mann, wrongfully executed for the murder of his wife, is brought back to “life” by way of a new scientific procedure known as “Ripping”. When this procedure became accessible to the general public, people started bringing back their relatives like crazy, unaware of the downside to this great plan. The Auntie Lulu that came back from the dead is not the Auntie Lulu that they remembered. The people that were brought back were more or less zombies now or the politically correct term “Chakz. ...more
Qwill / The Qwillery
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My description and thoughts:

Dead Mann Walking is the first in the Hessius Mann series by Stefan Petrucha.

Hessius Mann is a zombie (chak), but not the shuffling zombie of the Romero movies. Hessius is a sentient high functioning chak. He's one of the lucky ones having been brought back to 'life' before he had deteriorated much. His reanimation was sanctioned by the government because of his wrongful conviction for his wife's murder. In addition to those reanimated due to a miscarriage of justice,
Beth Dawkins
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Hessius Mann is an undead PI. He was accused of his wife’s murder and killed. In this world when someone dies they can be brought back, so when evidence turned up that he was no killer he was brought back. He is hired to track down an undead man with a similar back ground. Soon there are reports of hacked up bodies, and Mann feels as if he has some kind of connection to them.

I like zombie stories, but this isn’t one. Mann is undead, but not a zombie. They call them chakz. Chakz can go feral, and
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is not the type of book I would normally read. I'm not a huge fan of detective stories. I do have a fondness for zombies, however, and that is why I entered the giveaway. Who knew that I would end up becoming a fan of both the book and the genre.

The hero of the book, Hessius Mann, is a zombie detective. Not a detective for zombies (although he is that too)- he is an actual zombie who also happens to be a detective. The zombies in this novel are not your average walking dead like the ones I
Bailey Meeker
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I got this book through a goodreads giveaway.

This book is seriously good urban fantasy. Think Jim Butcher, but with a man whose only power is that he's dead. Unlike the typical urban fantasy detective, he's forgetful, kind of thick, and far from a lady magnet. He tends to shamble from place to place, and can't use a powerful weapon in case it dislodges his arm. But he uses his experience as a police detective to help other "chakz" (zombies) that the government ignores.

The main character, Mann,
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I thoroughly enjoyed this as my first first-reads experience. The story of Hessius Mann, private detective who also happens to be a zombie, was funny, engaging, and left me looking forward to another book in this series.

Seeing as we are currently inundated with vampire books, movies, and t.v. shows it was nice to read something a little different. It also helped that it was well written and I found myself rooting for Hessius to solve the mystery and keep his sanity intact. I would definitely re
Nov 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mount-tbr-2019, dnf
Even by zombie standards, this is just too unbelievable. I thought I would finish - I got almost halfway done. But when I realized I wasn’t interested in reading the sequel to this, why would I even finish it then?
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review was first posted on my blog at
This book was a total surprise for me. I was a bit hesitant to pick it up but I figured I'd at least give it a try. I'm not a big zombie fan, some zombie books are okay and I've read a few that I ended up loving, but I'm still a bit wary of them. Luckily I'm open minded enough to at least try things because I would have missed out on a great story if I hadn't bothered! I ended up liking this one a lot!

This book doesn't hav
The Reading List (Megan)
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was easily swept away into this zombie novel because it is a completely different take on the urban fantasy genre.

Petrucha has done his research on zombies, even going so far as to creating different levels of cognitive awareness which varies from zombie to zombie. Fortunately for Hess he came back "highly functioning" which means he is much more intelligent than some of the other types of chaks. But all chaks, even the higher functioning ones, have a hard time remembering things. Hess often r
Nov 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Livebloods call us chakz-a mangled version of charqui, or, en ingles, jerky-dried meat. If we're still oozing, whch is pretty rare, they call us gleets or juicers. Then there are danglers, but I'll leave that definition to the imagination.~Hessius Mann

It's like the holidays came early this year and every couple of weeks I am lucky enough to read a really fabulous book, one that I would easily recommend to every person that I know. Dead Mann Walking is exactly that kind of book, full of action an
Stephanie  G
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hessius Mann is an undead PI. He was accused of his wife’s murder and killed. In this world when someone dies they can be brought back, so when evidence turned up that he was no killer he was brought back. He is hired to track down an undead man with a similar back ground. Soon there are reports of hacked up bodies, and Mann feels as if he has some kind of connection to them.

I like zombie stories, but this isn’t one. Mann is undead, but not a zombie. They call them chakz. Chakz can go feral, and
Brian Blocker
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hessius Mann is a zombie private detective. You read that right. Now, does that mean he investigates zombies, or is he a zombie that investigates live bloods? Yes and yes. Brought back from the dead by the judicial system to correct executions based on wrongful convictions, Hessius Mann is one of the ‘lucky ones’. Now he exists in a plane between the living and the dead, a gray area that society barely recognizes as relevant. Mann would fight to clear his name and find his wife’s real killer, if ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Equal parts Raymond Chandler, George Romero and Laurel K. Hamilton -- but original enough to be called its own beast. Yes, this is a zombie novel written with braaaiiinnssss, and also quite a bit of pathos. Hessius Mann is a great character, and his narration gives us a book crackling with snapping zombie bones and witty noir humor.

I have to say, I really feel for the zombies in this universe, who are the recently dead resurrected by science gone wrong and lacking a key piece of their personali
Stacy Bell
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this was interesting enough...for a zombie story. It seems as if for a few years now I've heard of way too many books and movies with zombies. I usually steer clear of it all because after a while, it does become repetitive right? I've already read a book with a zombie detective and it was very colorful but I think I enjoyed reading this one more for some reason. I felt like I was watching an old black and white crime movie sometimes and if not for the mentions of modern technology, it ...more
The word "noir" doesn't even begin to capture the dark, gritty world of DEAD MANN WALKING. Petrucha's zombies (called "chakz", a mangled version of the Spanish word for "jerky" because they dry out) deal with not just the decline of their flesh but with memory loss, their tissues drying out, and roving bands of "livebloods" coming to hack them to pieces for weekend sport. It's a novel twist to hide in the dark with zombies, afraid of the living coming to kill them, but Petrucha isn't just playin ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hessius Mann is a detective. He used to be a cop, back before his wife died. Before he was arrested and convicted of her murder. Then he was dead. Executed for her murder. Too bad he was innocent.

Then the scientists came up with this new treatment thing that brought the dead back to life. Well, make that half life. Hessius Mann is also a zombie.

Totally different look at the whole zombie thing, and I really enjoyed this book. It looks like there are more to come, and I will read those too.
Kerry Allen
Quit on page 133.

1. I've decided I don't like zombies as protagonists. They're gross. They're too fragile to be effective. They're supposed to be dead, so I just can't sympathize with their survival goals.

2. The premise that a "signature" pattern on a pair of clippers would leave an identifiable impression on a shear injury doesn't work.

3. "It" requires an antecedent. I had to spend way too much time figuring out what "it" was on way too many occasions. One of those cases of "Did an editor ev
Zombie fiction is pretty much my last choice for something to read, but Petrucha earns the “most creative and original storyline I’ve read in a long time” award hands down. Loved this book. And it had so many twists and turns--I never saw the bad guy coming. This would be a great “crossover” book for fans of hardboiled detective novels that want to try something new, or for zombie fans looking for a dash of reality.
Sep 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
This was a maybe book for me. I made it about 30 pages before giving it up. The beginning of the zombies was confusing for me, along with how they were set up in the story. I was meh on the main character, his forgetfulness annoyed me more than it intrigued me. In the end, this one just wasn't for me.
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I don't normally read these kinds of books but I'm glad I did. A must read for anyone!
Feb 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Zombie saga. I want it. I need it.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I will be the first one to admit that I had a really big hunch that this book was going to be one of those books that I put down and NEVER pick up again! But I was wrong. This was a surprisingly good book. Yes, it probably could have ended somewhere around chapter 33 but DANG that plot twist was good! It was well written and not too overly descriptive; you know if the author had gone into too much description of the zombies then I for sure would not have made it through. If you enjoy detective s ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good, bizarre read.
Dark Faerie Tales
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A zombie horror mystery that makes you think what it would be like to truly not be able to die.

Opening Sentence: Sixteen pieces. That’s how many chunks the newslady said Colin Wilson was cut into.

The Review:

Hessius Mann is a chak, a re-animated corpse. A cop before he was sentenced to death, he now spends his time as a private investigator. Hessius is hired by a lawyer to find a missing chak, at the same time the news is reporting zombies being
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Stefan Petrucha (born January 27, 1959) is an American writer for adults and young adults. He has written graphic novels in the The X-Files and Nancy Drew series, as well as science fiction and horror.
Born in the Bronx, he has spent time in the big city and the suburbs, and now lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, fellow writer Sarah Kinney, and their daughters. At times he has been a tec

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Hessius Mann (2 books)
  • Dead Mann Running (Hessius Mann, #2)

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