Across the entire world the dead a returning, not as limping mindless zombies but seemingly the same as they were before they died. The living can spot them though and can instantly tell of their previous state. Married couple Harold and Lucille are in agreement that these 'Returned' cannot be trust and can only mean harm. But when Jacob, their 8 year old son who drowned years earlier is returned to them they are forced to rethink. Lucille changes her mind instantly, her son had simply come back but Harold's less convinced.
As more and more Returned pile into their small town and the number increase across the world governments panic, riots break out and everyday systems start to fall apart. Soon the President calls for a curfew and before they know it the Returned are being collected together by the military and held in a makeshift prison at the local school. Risking his health Harold refuses to leave Jacob's side and they are jailed together. As numbers continue to increase and fear spreads, tension grows. Groups protest against the Returned, their civil rights are abolished and the prison grows larger and larger, it's only a matter of time before someone breaks.
For those wondering if this book is simply the novelisation of the French television series of the same name I can confirm it is not. They both have a similar grounding in the dead returning but the story is completely different and I would try and treat them so when reading.
This novel focuses on one small community and how the Returned affect it. With such a huge and fascinating idea at the heart of this novel I couldn't help but be left wanting to know more about how the world around them was affected. The question of 'why?' also seemed a little low on the ground and although there was a huge influence from military personnel there was nothing medical at all. Maybe I'm taking all to seriously but that was how my mind wandered as I read this story. Overall it's an absorbing premise with some superbly crafted and heart-warming characters and a great sense of tension but I was almost left wanting too much more.
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