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Dead City

(Dead World #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  6,067 ratings  ·  397 reviews
After the Gulf Coast is battered by three tremendous hurricanes, a deadly virus breaks out, turning the infected into mindless, blood-thirsty zombies.

Within hours, the plague has spread throughout most of Texas and shows no signs of slowing down.

San Antonio police officer Eddie Hudson finds himself in the middle of the outbreak, along with a few other survivors.

Eddie doe
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Pinnacle (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,067 ratings  ·  397 reviews

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Oh, zombie books, how I love you and how you hurt me. Some of the worst books I've read this year have been zombie books. Apparently walking dead allows you to substitute out character development, which is such a shame because I believe the best character development can come out of stressful life or death situations. You can get right down to the core of a character with simple actions at the right moments. Maybe I'm looking for too much from the genre.

Dead City is a first person POV told by a
Dirk Grobbelaar
I half expected every step to carry me over the edge of a cliff. It was like there was a big coiled snake moving slowly through my gut. I wanted to sit down and rest, to let the sick feeling inside me pass, but I knew I couldn’t. I still had miles to go before that could happen.

I would normally shun zombie fiction in much the same way I shun the new commercial vampire fiction. However, with Halloween around the corner and having enjoyed The Walking Dead I decided to give this a try.

They all move
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: horror fans, zombie fans
Dead City was my first book. When I sat down to write it, I was thinking of how tenuous our hold on civilization really is. We like to think of ourselves as flexible, resilient, adaptable, and as a species I think we are. But the veneer of our civilization, well, that's another story. As a police officer on the S.A.P.D.'s Critical Incident Management Team I was trained in disaster-mitigation. I saw firsthand the destruction left behind in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, not to mention a score of ...more
Rhiannon Frater
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and devoured it within days. First off,
the plot is not only realistic (a man trying to get to his family), but full of non-stop action, kick ass zombie gore, and fantastic characterization. It was very hard to put this book down and get some sleep at night. I was so hooked it was hard not to keep reading to find out what came next.

Joe McKinney is a real life police officer (he is a homicide detective) and fellow Texan. He brings the flavor of Texas to the novel and
Paul E. Morph
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It feels like zombies are absolutely everywhere these days. We have not just one but multiple t.v. shows featuring our rotting, brain craving friends. There’s a wealth of zombie merchandise available for those who can’t get enough of the living dead. Dead City, published in 2006, is the first in a series of novels chronicling the (some would say inevitable) zombie apocalypse.

Nobody is ever going to call this book Literature with a capital L but I really enjoyed it. The main protagonist was belie
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Completely enjoyed this book. I stayed up late into the night to finish it because I did not want to put it down.

I enjoyed the fact that the author even made us think about the ethical side of zombies. What if zombies were living human beings who had caught a virus and turned into cannibalistic killers? That is the question that we are left to consider after reading this book.

Over all a great read and I am really looking forward to more books by this author.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it did not like it

Actual rating 1.5 stars
cry cry cry.... I'm so uninterested in reviewing this book but here goes...
This book is exactly what a zombie book shouldn't be. All talk but no action. I think McKinney spent 90% of this book philosophising about what moral grounds zombies have. Are zombies alive? Should they be killed? Are they still people?
Look if someone starts decaying and wants to eat the shit out of you, you best put that shit down, no question asked...Even Zombieland was more useful in the event o

Kenneth McKinley
This is my first time reading anything by Joe McKinney. Dead City has been on my TBR pile for quite some time. Three to four years, to be exact. My hesitation has stemmed from the gluttony of zombie stories that have flooded the market in the past decade. It's really too bad, because Dead City is a cut above the average walking dead tale. There's not a lot of original ideas or unique spins to the story. What it has going for it is the authentic view of a police officer. I know. I know. The Walki ...more
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: udate, zombie
You know how clothing addicts have those 'I've nothing to wear!!!' tantrums whilst standing in front of an overflowing wardrobe? Well the other day I had a similar moment, replacing the wardrobe with my bookshelf, stamping my feet and saying 'I've nothing to read - I want zombies!!!!'. So I picked up my trusty e-reader and Dead City caught my eye.

Dead City is what I call a proper zombie book. Why? Because its action packed, gory, scary and creepy, the main characters are tough but flawed and peo
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Dead Men Walking.

In 2003 Robert Kirkman gave the world the story of Rick Grimes, a sheriff’s deputy who finds the world plagued by the undead. Upon returning home from the hospital, he finds his house ransacked and his wife and son gone . While trying to adapt to life in this new world and searching for his missing wife and son, he comes across a group of survivors – this is pretty much the first six issues of the Walking Dead comic and the first season of the T. V. show by the same name.

Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
It occurred to me that while I have seen zombie films I haven't read a book about them even thought my shelf has a few books on that topic all ready. Dead City was my first step into that horror genre and I can say that I will definitely be paying more attention to any books of this kind in the future.

The author was a police officer from what I understand and that proved to be handy when he crafted Eddie Hudson, a San Antonio police officer whose bad day was turning worse. In this tale the Texas
Charles Dee Mitchell
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
According to the blurb on the front of this book, "These are not your mother's zombies."

I was never aware of my mother having had any zombies, and since she passed away several years ago I will never be able to clear this question up. I will say, however, that the zombies wreaking havoc in San Antonio, Texas, in Dead City are not unlike the zombies I have seen in the approximately 100 zombie movies I have watched over the past 40 years. They have no consciousness beyond their desire to feed, the
Nov 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Zombie Lovers
Shelves: zombie-stuff
Dead City by Joe McKinney is an action packed zombie novel and a strong first novel. Dead City has all the action you could want out of a zombie book and the main character is pretty well fleshed out. If Dead City has any true weakness, it's the lack of depth in the setting and the story may be a little bit too straight forward.

The story follows Eddie, a San Antonio cop, as tries to survive the zombie hordes and tries to get home to his Wife and child. Along the way he has to overcome some hard
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

This book is absolutely everything that you would expect it to be. Book one of a post apocalyptic zombie thriller that is standard fare for the genre. It is a short read, too short really. Unfortunately, it brings nothing new to the table.

I like Joe Mckinney's writing, he pens a good action thriller. Eddie is a competent main protagonist. This book is missing the key elements that could have made it great. We get little world building, a scarce amount of backstory on Eddie, and only one
Dec 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: zombies, horror
Wow. 3 of the last books I've read have all been 1 star ones. And each one surprised me at that fact. Especially this one. I've read this author before and liked his books. Looks like a TON of people love this book, including my brother, buuut...

Maybe I'm reading too much GOOD zombie novels that the bad ones are more apparent? Following up Girl With All the Gifts and a chain of Maberry with this one, probably didn't help it. But ehh...I just DID not see it.

I judge zombie novels on a few criteria
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
It is a non-stop action style of read. The issue I had with it was just that...there is nothing to develop the characters at all. There are also a lot of extremely irrational, illogical decisions made by the main character in his plight across the city. He never seems to be tired even though he's been running, shooting, jumping off of rooftops and so forth. A decent read as an action novel, but nothing more. It does play out much like a First person shooter style of video game. Many chapters, in ...more
Zebulynn Hanson
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
McKinney is the king of zombie literature
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun. It's the story of a night of mindless zombie mayhem, and reads like the play-by-play transcript of one of those first-person video games where the goal is to survive by walking about and shooting zombies. There are some interesting twists along the way, and the characters are much more engaging than those in many zombie adventures I've encountered. I'm going to read the sequel now.
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing

I chose to read this book for two simple reasons: I adore the zombie/apocalypse genre and I had never really read a zombie novel before. I did some research over a few books I could possibly choose from, and this one seemed to catch my eye. I wanted a book that would give me zombies, but I wanted a more traditional story about them; not a story about super-powered zombies, zombie teenagers, or anything like that. I prefer the Night of the Living Dead/Dawn of t
Michelle Greathouse
Dead City is the first book in the Dead City series by Joe McKinney and a novel of Fiction from Pinnacle.

Book Blurb:

Texas? Toast.

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 hum
I picked this one up because the third book in the series managed to win a 2011 Bram Stoker award. I realize that this was McKinney's first ever novel so I cut him some slack but this novel has that distinct and unsubtle scent of Eau de Video Game which was slightly annoying and exhausting to read at times so I found myself skimming a lot of pages. You spend a lot of the first half of the book following the cop protagonist and narrator running around finding ammo for his gun or 'leveling up' by ...more
David Church
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it
If this was one of the first zombie books I had ever read, I probably would have loved it. But unfortunately this is my umpteenth zombie book, and while really well written it is nothing ground breaking. I actually felt like it was a video game, it had a lot repetitiveness to the book. Wash, Spin, Rinse, Repeat. Drive car run over zombies get out run some more get in cars run over more zombies repeat. The book felt more interesting in the beginning before the first zombie attack. I enjoyed McKin ...more
Oct 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
Likely the worst book I have read in 10 years. I am ashamed to admit I read the whole thing. I guess I was expecting it to tell a story somewhere in the 288 pages. But it never happened.

This was not a book, this was a video game minus the graphics. Some character development would have been nice, but all we got was a cop meeting up with two other cops who then traded one-liners until someone ended up dead.

I will scratch this author of any future reading lists.
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror

"Dead City", the debut horror novel by Joe McKinney, is a worthy read, equally impressive as a first novel as it is an intense zombie book. The first few chapters have a nice buildup as the reader experiences the outbreak through the eyes of a San Antonio police officer. The action explodes very early on and never really stops, and while I did enjoy the intense sequences, I think the violence would have been more effective if it was balanced with more suspenseful and quiet moment
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dead City is the first in a series of zombie horror novels by Joe McKinney. Officer Eddie Hudson, a San Antonio police officer, is working the nightshift, when suddenly violence erupts...corpses walk the streets hungry for flesh! As Eddie tries to make his way home to his wife and newborn son, he soon realizes the entire city is crumbling around him, wave after wave of ravenous zombies make that effort a deadly and near impossible task. Gritty realism coupled with true emotion makes this horror ...more
Alondra Miller
4 Stars

I am a new fan.

I love when zombie novels start off with a "typical day at the office"... Our main character Eddie Hudson, just wants to get home to his wife and child, after realizing just how wrong things are getting. It is a long day and a circuitous route, just to get to the other side of the city. He loses friends, co-workers and those he was sworn to protect. Through it all, he is able to keep things in perspective and get to his ultimate goal....but, what will he find when he gets
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book if your looking for non stop action survival book. i was late to so many events the month i was reading this book because i just couldn't put it down, the fact that i even tried to read and drive home is a testament to how much action is in the book.
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am not a big fan of first person stories, but it worked in this case. I really enjoyed this story. It was fast paced, I read it in a day. I just could not put it down. A very good zombie story.
Nov 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
OK, This is probably more like 3 1/2 stars.

This is a good solid zombie book.
It is told from the point of view of a San Antonio police officer, and you can tell that the author really knows his stuff.
There's a nice balance of why did this happen vs. how do we survive, and the world is populated by very interesting characters that behave "realistically" to the zombie outbreak.

My only real problem with the book, is that the end of the came very abruptly. It seemed like a lot of stuff was just rush
Paul Brown
Nov 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
About half way though this one. Standard zombie novel. Very weak on character development.
Also, like most zombie books, the characters do such stupid stuff. This one is going all over the place looking for a vehicle when the streets are jammed bumper to bumper with abandoned vehicles.
Let's go downtown to look for a car! Good idea! Let me just climb over the two thousand abandoned cars to get there.

Update: I quit reading this. The main character and his friend spend a good third of the book drivi
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Joe McKinney has been a patrol officer for the San Antonio Police Department, a homicide detective, a disaster mitigation specialist, a patrol commander, and a successful novelist. His books include the four part Dead World series, Quarantined and Dodging Bullets. His short fiction has been collected in The Red Empire and Other Stories and Dating in Dead World and Other Stories. For more informati ...more

Other books in the series

Dead World (4 books)
  • Apocalypse of the Dead (Dead World, #2)
  • Flesh Eaters (Dead World, #3)
  • Mutated  (Dead World, #4)

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