Set in the fictional village of Roarton (Lancashire, England) after The Rising, in which teenager Kieren Walker was re-animated along with thousands of people who died in the year 2009. There quickly followed 'The Pale Wars' in which the zombies were hunted and killed by armed bands of militia. After months of rehabilitation and medication, the zombies (now referred to as partially deceased syndrome (PDS) patients by the government, but pejoratively known as "rotters") are judged ready to return to society, their homes and families. They are given cosmetics and contact lenses, so they can 'pass,' and to conceal their partially deceased status. They must maintain a strict program of medication to avoid going "rabid" again, which is one injection a day. Many are haunted by returning memories of the atrocities they committed while rabid. In the extremist village of Roarton, PDS sufferers face prejudice from the villagers upon their return.