Henry Holt & Company: The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

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The Returned

With the premise of the dead walking the earth, Jason Mott's debut might seem another addition to the glut of zombie stories currently lurching around; however, nothing could be further from the truth. Mott has created a much subtler, more thought-provoking experience, without a single lumbering corpse in sight.

Harold and Lucille Hargraves have had decades to learn how to live with the loss of their only son, Jacob, who drowned in a river on his eighth birthday in 1966. But now he shows up on their doorstep, very much alive and no older than the day they found his body. All over the world, the dead are coming to life, not as reanimated corpses crawling from the grave, but just as they were right before they died, and generally turning up quite far from home. No one knows how or why the Returned appear, and more to the point, no one knows how to react.

Stimulating, occasionally dreamlike and centered on the most charmingly irascible couple in recent memory, Mott's story of literal life after death will catch readers by their hearts and capture their imaginations. We recommend not waiting around for the TV series in production. Grab this book as soon as you possibly can. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager, Latah County Library District; blogger at Infinite Reads