Matt has been ignoring all the news in the media about the pandemic for days and is unaware of how bad things are getting beyond his farm. It is only when he goes into town for lunch that he comes face to face with the zombie apocalypse. Jack is a cop in NYC but the spreading infection is out of control and he leaves the city for a dangerous journey. The stories of the two men are going to collide when they are both in the middle of a zombie attack and they decide to work together with other survivors to escape the zombies.
This is not just a straightforward zombie novel. We have the ordinary zombies who can be evaded if you are careful when you go about town but when it gets dark the beasts come out to hunt. They are a fearsome animal like zombie with superior senses for hunting and more intelligence than the shambling mobs. When these things get your scent, you are in big trouble. It added a new twist to the zombie story knowing that you had to hide indoors at night and hope that they didn't find you. I liked this for a change.
Matt is not the smartest guy in the world. When he goes into the town it takes him an age to realise that he is dealing with zombies. He looks at the deserted and abandoned cars, blood everywhere and signs of a battle at the police station and keeps wandering around. I would've been out of there and tuned into local radio or TV or internet to find out what happened. He sees the zombies in a big pack headed their way and wonders why everyone is drunk, looting and covered in blood. Even when they moan and come towards him he is clueless! I was yelling at the book by this stage! It's only when he sees that they have missing limbs that it dawns on him what is happening. However he is still a character you can like.
Jack is the capable police officer who gets out of the city just before control is totally lost. He is travelling when he meets Dina on the road and they stick together for safety. They have an encounter with the beasts and see exactly what the things are capable of. Carl and Winnie are Matt's neighbours who open their home to the survivors while they consider getting out of the area because of the beasts. We also meet Brad and Ashley, the nasty popular kids from school. What I liked is that we were told how bad they were at school before leaving town and reinventing themselves and starting over, so both of them were actually ok. The group are completed by Claire and the oorphan kid that she found as she travelled. Overall, a good set of characters.
I liked much of the plot too. We get action with the zombies and the scarier action with the beasts which increases as the book goes on. I always like the supply run or escape parts of the zombie plot and this book was no different. My one niggle was the insertion of the romance plot which I felt was unnecessary to the story when the zombies were enjoyable. But as I liked all the characters so it didn't annoy me greatly.
Would I read on? If I saw the next book at a reasonable price, yes I would. However this book came out in 2014 and there is no sign of a book two, three years later.
I rate this book 3 out of 5 on my star rating which is different to this site.
Jack and Matt experience the start of the Apocalypse in different ways. They and some strays picked up on the way fight to survive. There are 'regular' zombies, and faster, stronger ghouls, not to mention bad guys. The book ends with the small group heading south to Texas for the winter. A few small editing errors but not enough to interfere with the enjoyment of reading. it's a short book but the characters and situations are well-drawn. It's arespectable addition to the Zombie genre.