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Play Dead

Play Dead

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Today’s #1 New York Times bestselling thriller writers agree: Ryan Brown’s compulsively readable first novel is unbeatable—a darkly humorous, rich and pungent zombie shocker that melds our national obsession with football and the newest wave of fascination with the undead.

For the first time in Killington High School history, the Jackrabbits football team is one win away from the district championship where it will face its most vicious rival, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. On the way to the game, the Jackrabbits’s bus plunges into a river, killing every player except for bad-boy quarterback Cole Logan who is certain the crash was no accident—given that Cole himself was severely injured in a brutal attack by three ski-masked men earlier that day. Bent on payback, Cole turns to a mysterious fan skilled in black magic to resurrect his teammates. But unless the undead Jackrabbits defeat their murderous rival on the field, the team is destined for hell. In a desperate race against time, with only his coach’s clever daughter, Savannah Hickman, to assist him, Cole must lead his zombie team to victory

. . . in a final showdown where the stakes aren’t just life or death—but damnation or salvation. Boundlessly imaginative and thrillingly satisfying, Play Dead gives small-town Texas an electrifying jolt of the supernatural, and is unquestioningly The Zombie Novel of the Year!

The Comeback Story of the Season . . .
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  • Pocket Books | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439171615 | 
  • May 2010
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Writer Ryan Brown discusses his book PLAY DEAD

A fresh and riveting supernatural thriller about football player zombies bent on revenge in a football-obsessed Texas town.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Three Days Earlier

GAME day.

Cole Logan had awoken and begun working long before the alarm went off. He considered it work even though it was something he did while lying in bed, his eyes closed. It usually took him a good half hour to run through the entire offensive playbook, watching the X’s and O’s shift around his mind like Scrabble tiles. Years of practice had enabled him to visualize with vivid clarity the pass routes of his primary and secondary receivers, to read shifting defenses and assess the balance of the field. He was about to start in on the no-huddle offensive series when... see more

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Author Revealed

Ryan Brown
Q. how did you come to write Play Dead?

A. The idea for PLAY DEAD came to me around the time that the steroid scandals in professional sports really began to break with alarming frequency. Many of the athletes found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs claimed they had done so to remain competitive with the other users on the field. This idea planted the seed for PLAY DEAD - It takes monsters to beat monsters. From there, I considered what type of 'monsters' could actually be competitive against the most juiced-up football team I could imagine? Why, zombies of course. I really got excited about the idea of a zombie football team being the good guys...the team to cheer for. I also had a lot of fun playing on the idea that, at least on paper, zombies make the perfect football players. They have no fear; they feel no pain, and they are driven by a singular focus - victory. Also they make sure to eat plenty of...um...well, perhaps protein would be the most appropriate word.

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