One of my favorite zombie novels of the last few years has been Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry. It’s packed with action, has lots of zombies (of the bio-terrorist sort), and is well-plotted. According to Maberry’s Facebook page, it’s been optioned for television.
One of the reasons I like the book so much is that it’s psychologically thoughtful (complex would be going to far). One key secondary character is a practicing psychologist, and the hero has experienced serious trauma that he’s in treatment for. This is portrayed seriously, and without shame, which strikes me as important in such a macho book.
It’s also politically ambiguous. The hero says some middle-of-the road things about the president, and the world’s problems are portrayed as above politics. This makes it easier to ignore some of the less savory aspects of the book, where various individual rights (to person, property, privacy, etc.) are thoughtlessly violated.
So I’m worried about the TV version of the book. It would be very easy to make this a zombie version of 24. I was relieved to find that the pilot was written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach who’s been involved with Lost, Charmed (the TV show), Medium and Jake 2.0. Those are reassuringly non-crazy shows, at least in the political sense. Boomtown is more troubling — I found that show to be deeply misogynistic. None of these shows are action-packed though.
In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this!