Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review: Dead City

Joe McKinney, Pinnacle Books, 2006 (reissued 2010)

In the wake of a series of cataclysmic hurricanes, a deadly virus has spread along the Texas Gulf Coast. The dead are rising, with an insatiable hunger for human flesh, and police officer Eddie Huston must fight off the savage hordes in a race to find and save his family. But time is running out, and Eddie doesn't yet realise the price he may have to pay for failure...

I must admit to being absolutely delighted to see Joe McKinney's Dead City being reissued - with one sequel recently released and another two forthcoming, plus a (be warned, somewhat spoiler-ish) related short tale in the recent anthology, The Living Dead 2 - as this is a novel that (in my opinion) lead the initial 'boom' not merely in zomfic, but in really good zomfic, when it first appeared back in 2006.

The plot is a simple one, with our protagonist struggling to survive in a city overrun by the living dead; pure Romero, although the stakes are raised above the same-old by the specific nature of Eddie's 'quest' - to not merely survive, but to track down his young family and get them to safety. Factor in a sympathetic, though pleasingly imperfect protagonist, and McKinney's concise and descriptive prose, and you have what can best be described as a 'page-turner'.

Dead City is a damned good read, and one guaranteed to please a range of readers well beyond the zomfic fans. Again, it's fantastic to see another bona fide classic of the genre re-issued (Walter Greatshell's Xombies is another recent example) for the benefit of those who have only come lately to the growing zomfic horde, and I'm greatly looking forward to reading the sequels, Apocalypse of the Dead, Flesh Eaters, and The Zombie King.

Dead City is available in Australia through Penguin Books.


Joe McKinney said...

Thanks for the great review!

Chuck McKenzie said...

It was a pleasure. Genuinely.