Dave Stewart is a man with a plan for almost everything. But the zombie apocalypse taxes even his skills as he tries to get his family and friends out of Springfield, Missouri. Caught at work, all he has to help him survive is his normal "everyday carry" gear, the contents of his get-home bag and, most importantly, his wits to keep himself alive as chaos and death reign around him. As Dave struggles to reunite with his family and friends and fight his way clear of the city, he will discover that the dead aren't the only enemies he will have to deal with. Some of the living are just as deadly, and he discovers that a sinister element in the US government may have a plan of its own for the zombie apocalypse, and that it includes the estranged wife and son of his friend and benefactor, Nathan Reid.
As he makes his way to his homestead outside of town, Dave will see the best and worst of humanity, and will be pushed to his limits and beyond. Can Dave overcome the dangers posed by both the living and the dead, and survive his exodus from Springfield?
When Dave receives an alert message from an old military friend warning him to get out of the city, he takes it seriously. Escaping the building is the first challenge and the gathering zombies are the second challenge. Now Dave has to link up with his friends and get them all out of the city to his ranch which is quickly being overrun by zombies, psychos and the military who are suddenly looking for Nate's family...
Nate, a military contact sends Dave a message at work about a complete news blackout on the east and west coast just as the building security starts asking if anybody has visited these states or been sick recently. Dave is worried that the building is in lockdown and people are being segregated, so along with work friend Porsche, they try to escape the building-to find a zombie apocalypse waiting for them outside. Dave now has to find his girlfriend Maya and her daughter, then locate Nathan's family before trying to get out of the city, which will be more difficult than any of them thought.
This book fits the zombie profile that I enjoy so much. We get to see the early stages of the zombie apocalypse breaking out and how quickly society falls apart with panic and armed thugs roaming the streets. We see the MC trying to gather up the people he cares about as he encounters both zombies and bad guys. There is then the desperate attempt to get to relative safety outside the city. But there is a lot more to this book than just that. A military faction want to capture Nate's family to use as leverage against him which is why Dave needs to rescue Cassie and Bryce, and survivors are being rounded up for transport to safer places which does not fit into Dave's plans. But dodging the military is going to prove very tough.
I liked Dave. As a prepper and former military man, he is the guy you want to be with during a zombie apocalypse. He has organised extra supplies and weapons, along with transport out of the city to a safer location. He and Nate came up with a detailed plan for any disaster but the zombies are proving to be a test even for Dave. I liked his colleague Porsche, and for once we have the joy of a male and female character who are just friends! See, authors, it DOES happen in real life! Dave has to locate his girlfriend Maya who has a frosty relationship with her ex husband Karl, but being Amy's father, Dave is not prepared to leave Karl behind. There is tension between the two men but not enough to detract from the story. I also liked Cassie and Bryce.
There is also good action as Dave moves across the city dodging man and zombie. There is the action of his escape from his workplace, the hairy trip across town, the botched rescue of Cassie and Bryce, and the big scenes at the stadium which I enjoyed as a change from the usual plot. It then switches to the dangerous journey out of the city where the action and tension are never ending. The traditional zombie fan should enjoy the way the book progresses and although we have an evil government subplot, there are plenty of zombies to keep everyone happy.
After reading this book, I purchased the rest of the series and look forward to reading them.
Read January 2017.