"A relentless thrill ride... Break out the popcorn, you're in for a real treat." --Harry Shannon, author of Dead and Gone
Battered by five cataclysmic hurricanes in three weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast and half of the Lone Star State is reeling from the worst devastation in history. Thousands are dead or dying--but the worst is only beginning. Amid the wreckage, something unimaginable is happening: a deadly virus has broken out, returning the dead to life--with an insatiable hunger for human flesh...
The Nightmare Begins
Within hours, the plague has spread all over Texas. San Antonio police officer Eddie Hudson finds his city overrun by a voracious army of the living dead. Along with a small group of survivors, Eddie must fight off the savage horde in a race to save his family...
Hell On Earth
There's no place to run. No place to hide. The zombie horde is growing as the virus runs rampant. Eddie knows he has to find a way to destroy these walking horrors...but he doesn't know the price he will have to pay...
"Hair-raising. Do yourself a favor and snag a copy... thank me later." --Gene O'Neill, author of Deathflash
"A merciless, fast-paced and genuinely scary read that will leave you absolutely breathless." --Brian Keene
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1 . This is a great book!
Posted December 08, 2010 by Jean A , FayettevilleI can't wait for the next one...keep them coming!!!
September 30, 2010
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Excerpt from Dead City by Joe McKinney
There's an empty parking lot near the corner of Seafarer and Rood where I used to go to fight with my wife. Most district cops have some hidden little spot where they go to escape all the crap that comes with working patrol, and that parking lot was mine. From there I was pretty much invisible and I could still make almost any call in my district in less than five minutes.
My wife, April, and I were going at it at least once a week back then. When she'd call with that pissed-off tone in her voice that said I was in for a long one, I'd head straight for Seafarer and Rood. There, I'd pull under the canopy of an enormous oak tree near the back of the lot, and hunker down for an earful of whatever I'd done wrong. I used to watch the curves of its trunk and branches while she yelled at me, and even now, when she grows impatient with some little thing I've done, and the old familiar tone creeps back into her voice, I think of the dry, dusty smell of oak.
Six months before that, she'd given birth to a beautiful baby boy, our first. We named him Andrew James Hudson, after his grandfather. That little guy changed my world. After he was born, I'd tell anybody who'd listen that being his daddy was what I was put on this Earth to do.
Before Andrew, I worked the dogwatch shift, eleven at night till seven in the morning. That was back when April and I were first starting out. It wasn't the best for getting time together, because we only had a few hours during the evening to spend with each other. But I got an extra $300 a month for working at night, and that part was good.
Then, when April got pregnant, we started trying to plan the way things would work, and arguments kept flaring up.
One day she had a long phone conversation with her sister, who had two kids already, and that night she told me, "I'm gonna need you here with me at night. The baby's gonna be waking up every few hours to feed, and I can't do that alone."
So I asked some of the guys at work what I could do and found out I qualified for a hardship transfer. That's how I ended up on the second shift, 3 to 11 pm with Wednesdays and Thursdays off. April wasn't happy about me working on the west side, because it was a rough part of town, but when you put in for a hardship transfer, you have to take what they give you.
And hardships are only good for six months. After that, they move you back to wherever they need you, which is almost always on dogwatch.
On this particular evening, we were fighting about me going back to nights when Chris Tompkins pulled up next to me. He rolled down the window of his patrol car, and I gestured to him that I'd be a minute. I kept on listening. April was doing all the talking.
"Eddie, just tell them you need to stay on second shift," she said. "Why can't you just tell them that?"
"It doesn't work that--"
"What do they think? Now that the baby's born you can just go back to working nights? I need you home now more than ever."
"I know, sweetie."
"The whole reason you got the transfer is so we can take care of Andrew together."
"I'm sure you're not the only one with a baby at home. Just go in there and tell them you need more time."
"But, sweetie, it doesn't work that--"
When she started up again, she was so loud I had to pull the phone away from my ear. I looked at Chris and rolled my eyes.
He smiled uncomfortably and gestured, Do you want me to go? He was cool that way, a good guy with a wife of his own. I hardly ever saw him outside of work, but if someone had asked I would have told them he was good people.
I shook my head, still listening for April to take a break.
Chris leaned back and turned up the volume on his car's stereo. He was listening to a news station, and I heard the newscaster say something about the flooding down in Houston. Then I heard something about volunteers from the Red Cross being attacked and beaten by the flood victims they were trying to save.
I didn't really catch it, because April was still going strong. Something about how I had had plenty of time to talk to them about staying on second shift, and the fact that I hadn't yet made her wonder if I really cared about how hard this was on her, staying at home with Andrew all the time.
I put my hand over the phone and said, "What in the hell are you listening to?"
April barked at me.
"Not you, sweetie," I said. "The guy next to me is listening to something on the news."
Chris turned it down.
"Thanks," I said. To April I said, "Go ahead, sweetie."
Just as she started up again, the dispatcher interrupted her. "52-70."
Chris sat up, waiting for me to respond. 52-70 was my call sign. Chris was 52-80.
When I didn't answer, the dispatcher called again. "52-70, Officer Hudson."
I said to April, "They're calling me. Hold on a second." April was still talking when I found the mike and said, "Go ahead, 52-70."
"52-70, take 52-80 with you. Make 318 Chatterton, 31-8 Chatterton, for seven to ten males fighting. Complainant says they look intoxicated."
Chris dropped his car into gear and waited for me to do the same.
I waved my hand at him and said, "Hold on." To the dispatcher I said, "52-70, ten-four. I've got 52-80 with me."
Chris still had his car in gear. He was looking at me with a mixture of impatience and uncertainty.
"Hang on," I told him.
To April I said, "Sweetie, they gave me a call. I've got to go."
"You weren't even listening to me, were you? When are you going to talk to them about staying on second shift?"
"Your transfer expires next month."
"Come on, hon, I've gotta go."
"Fine." But her tone said it wasn't fine. It was very much not fine, and I was going to hear about it later.
I put the phone down on the passenger seat, leaned back, and covered my face in my hands. She wore me out and I had to take a second to regroup before I left for my call. All I needed was to take that frustration with me and then have it erupt during an argument with some drunken asshole. Officers go to Internal Affairs for stupid mistakes like that.
"You okay?" Chris said, but I knew he meant it was time for us to get moving.
"You're too eager," I told him. "Let them fight it out. By the time we get there, they'll be too tired to fight us."
The newscaster on Chris's car stereo was talking about rioting again. I only half listened to it, though. Like most people, I'd grown numb to the terrible destruction that had been all over the news for the last month.
The city of Houston, not 250 miles to the southeast of us, had been hit with five major hurricanes in the span of four weeks, leaving most of the city wasted beneath flood water and debris. Every morning, after I crawled out of bed and turned on the morning news, there were more images of mud-colored water two- and three-stories deep, moving sluggishly through the streets of Houston, the roofs of houses and buildings looking like rafts floating in sun-dappled, oil-stained sludge, and of course there always seemed to be blackened and swollen corpses drifting through the wreckage.
The news had taken a lot of heat for showing all the dead bodies. They claimed they were trying to be discreet about it, but there always seemed to be corpses just the same.
Some of the guys from our police association had gone down to Houston to help out, and they all said that it was the worst thing they'd ever seen. Sanitation was nonexistent, and the whole place smelled like death. Something like two million people had been forced to evacuate, and most of them had come to San Antonio. All five of our military bases and every out-of business shopping center, had been turned into temporary shelters of some kind, and yet they kept coming. I heard on the news that FEMA was flying as many as ten commercial airliners a day into Kelly Air Force Base, and every single plane was packed with evacuees.
Supposedly, there were still at least a million people to evacuate from the areas south of Houston, and conditions for those left behind were nightmarish. Listening to Chris's stereo, I figured they were talking about food riots or something, because there had already been plenty of those.