Everyone over 14 has been struck by a mysterious disease. Those left alive are afflicted by rupturing boils and crazed with a hunger that can only be satisfied by eating the flesh of children. In this third book of Higson’s horror series, DogNut and Courtney lead a small band of children to look for friends from whom they were separated at the end of book two, The Dead. They travel across London, meeting other clusters of children and battling groups of adults. Not all of DogNut and Courtney’s group will survive.
This is a horror book for children that is truly frightening. The adults are basically zombies, but they aren’t caricatures – they have personalities and thought processes. Tension is ratcheted up, since any of the children, even central characters, may be killed. The plot ties together events in the previous two books, finishing at the same point as the first, The Enemy, but with the reader having a crucial piece of information, unknown to the children. This cliffhanger of an ending leaves the reader desperate for more.