Bryan Cassiday’s new zombie apocalypse thriller Zombie Maelstrom is scheduled to be released on December 19th as a trade paperback.
Description: Virulent pockets of plague, first reported in China, break out worldwide and spread with mind-boggling speed. CIA black ops agent Chad Halverson flies to Los Angeles to visit his brother after receiving a call that his brother has been hospitalized after a car accident. Halverson’s Boeing 737 crash-lands in an eerie Los Angeles shrouded with an impenetrable haze of smog. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of Halverson’s nightmare. Lurking in the mist are legions of plague-infected living dead who are driven by an all-consuming lust for human flesh. Halverson’s reunion with his brother must take second place to his own struggle to stay alive.
As civilization crumbles into chaos, it will take all the skills and wits Halverson and his fellow passengers possess for their hunted party to survive in a world overrun with hordes of flesh-craving zombies. Which will pose a bigger threat to Halverson and his ever-dwindling band – their own bickering as they try to organize and defend themselves, their enemies the living dead, or the new “civilization” of men that is superseding the old?
Here’s an excerpt teaser:
When the plague hit, it hit hard.
That was what the president called it, anyway. Plague.
Plague was just a euphemism for zombies, Chad Halverson knew. The president could call it anything he wanted. Halverson knew a zombie when he saw one. These things, diseased creatures or whatever they were, may have been infected by plague, but the creatures themselves, not the plague, were the most imminent threat at this point. The creatures bore an insatiable lust for human flesh.
Thirty-six-year-old Halverson worked for the National Clandestine Service, otherwise known as the black ops division of the CIA. The Agency had been tracking these worldwide outbreaks of plague ever since they had originated in China several weeks ago. The outbreaks were spreading like wildfire.
The director of the CIA, the sixtyish and donnish Ivy League-educated Ernest Slocum, suspected terrorists of engineering the outbreaks of pox. In his mind, terrorists had concocted some kind of supergerm warfare. The question was, which terrorists?
The Agency, therefore, was treating these outbreaks as acts of war and was operating accordingly. As of yet, no outbreaks had been reported on American soil. Slocum, Halverson knew, figured it was only a matter of time.
At that moment, Halverson was flying on a 737 Boeing passenger jet bound for LAX. The jet was beginning its descent.
Seven hours earlier Halverson had received a call at Langley’s CIA headquarters from the UCLA medical center. The receptionist had told him his younger brother by a year Dan had been involved in a car accident. As Chad had been listed as Dan’s next of kin in Dan’s wallet, she was notifying Chad.
Chad had not seen Dan in over three years and was looking forward to reuniting with him. Chad could only hope that Dan wasn’t too seriously injured. Dan was Chad’s one close relative left, now that his parents had both died in, ironically it seemed to Chad considering Dan’s current predicament, a car accident.
As the jet descended, Halverson wondered if Dan’s accident had anything to do with the plague. Halverson had no reason to believe this. It was just that he had plague on his mind after having been bombarded at Langley with myriad reports of the epidemic burgeoning all over the world.
The plague probably had nothing to do with Dan’s accident, Halverson decided. The hospital receptionist would no doubt have told him if the plague was in any way involved with Dan’s hospitalization. But, then again, how long could America go before being invaded by the plague?
As of this day the germ or virus or whatever it was that was causing the plague remained unidentified, Halverson knew. Without determining a source for the plague, scientists could not even begin to discover a cure or vaccination.
It looked even smoggier than usual over LA, noted Halverson, glancing out his port window. Impenetrable fuscous clouds of smog mantled the entire landscape below him. What landscape? he wondered. He could be flying over the ocean for all he knew.
The jet suddenly bucked wildly up and down. Halverson grabbed ahold of his armrests. Luckily, he had his seat belt fastened. He dug his fingers into the vinyl-covered metal supports.
The jet began jerking back and forth. The rocking motion threw Halverson’s head against the fuselage near the window to his left. He blacked out with the impact of his head’s collision with the fuselage. He had no idea how long he was out. The next thing he knew he heard a voice.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please keep your seat belts fastened as we continue our approach to LAX,” announced the pilot ever the loudspeaker with a Texas drawl. “We’re running into a little turbulence here. It should be over momentarily. Thank you.”
The jet bucked again. This time worse than before. Halverson felt his seat belt ripping into his hips. He couldn’t wait to get this flight over with.
Copyright ©2011 by Bryan Cassiday
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