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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2012
Love this book! So realistic, I was scared to read it at night. Great imagery! Not another "silly" zombie story!
Loved the character development! Can't wait to see more from this author!
You will be hooked by the end of the first chapter!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
It has that good ole Texas feel. It has a humor that had me chuckling until I got scared. It had me reading until I got nightmares. I really really enjoyed the character devolpment and ambiance.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2012
D. Nathan Hilliard brings the scares with "Dead Stop". The past of Masonfield rises as the town is on the brink of a major storm. the inhabitants of the Textro Truck Stop must band together to survive the dangers that approach.

The cast of character in this zombie novel are typical but not cookie cutter stereotypes. You have Deke and Harley, friends, set out on a romantic dare. Stacey, Marisa, Benny, and several other patrons at the truck stop. There's budding romance, gore, and a bit of comedy as well.

The author's use of description is the key and really helped sell the book for me, also the science behind the plot is plausible and interesting. I got a kick out of the 'Buddha Boy' character as well, very menacing.

In closing, "Dead Stop" is a great read that kept me on the edge waiting for whatever would come.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2012
Lets just get past this part, I hate horror novels almost as much as I hate snakes. To top this off, this one was about that old cliche, zombies. But, this one had enough humor in it and this is what spurred me on to reading less than 24 hours. Now, I won't be sleeping for a week, thank you very much D. Nathan Hilliard.

OK, back onto the proper trail here...the novel is about zombies, that's all I'm giving you, because it really is a good read and there are so many variables in there that just when you think that you're going to relax and everything is sunshine and roses again you get zapped by something else. Oh, and the humor is very well placed throughout the story....pretty much so that you can let your guard down just to be jolted back to unreality, as it were.

Then there's the that makes you go, "grrrrr", but in a good way. That's because at this point you've relaxed and there's now a twist that you didn't see coming. Just watch for makes cliffhangers on our favorite suspense shows look like a fifth grader wrote them. Trust me, it really annoyed me that I didn't see it coming, but with more twists and turns than a roller coaster, it really did take me by surprise. The only thing that would have been calculated was if....wait, I won't give you my thought here, you've got to read this yourself!

A good novel, to be sure. Mr. Hilliard has done a very good job on his previous novels, but he has definitely outdone himself on this one. As I said before, well done, Mr. Hilliard! Well done!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2012
Think of this as a zombie beach novel - something to lose yourself in for a couple of hours. It's not jaw-droppingly spectaculor, but it also isn't absolute dreck. It's in-between.

The precipitating factor in the making of the zombies was unique - and actually kind of plausible. Even better, it wasn't bio-engineered!

Yes, alot of the characters were cliches: the pretty (yet tough) waitresses at the truck stop, the rich kid who was an arrogant, entitled ass, the good ol' boy who can't get ahead.... They all managed to mesh together nicely. Those that didn't were either killed off early on or injured and unconscious for the rest of the book.

The description of the interior of the store and truck stop were a little confusing - I kept misplacing doors in my mental map, and wondering just how someone got from point A to point B so easy.

This can either be a stand-alone novel or part of a series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2012
This book should have been a train wreck. I mean, it sounds a little . . . corny, doesn't it? A bunch of zombies attack a truck stop? Two rednecks, two gorgeous waitresses, couple of good ol' boy truckers trapped inside? It could have been pretty crappy.

Fortunately, D. Nathan Hilliard has the right touch for this story. He took some cliches and turned them upside down, added some humor and still managed to scare the pants off the reader. These zombies are freakin' terrifying. The waitresses are more than a couple of pretty faces and the rednecks? Well, one's a tough-as-nails war veteran and the other one turns out to be a hero, too. The truckers? Not who you'd imagine. And then there's the recently widowed veterinarian - yeah, veterinarian -- who uses her animal-healing skills to patch everyone back together after their battles with the undead. And then the "city feller" who sneers at the ignorant bumpkins, all the while putting himself and his long-suffering girlfriend in more and more peril.

These are real people with unique personalities, not stereotypes, which would have been tempting for any writer. Hilliard chose the high road, and came up with a book I could not put down. I'm hoping he has a sequel up his sleeve, or at any rate, more zombie stories. One of the best zombie writers I've found.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2012
I loved this book. It was fast paced and full of action right from the beginning. I liked the idea behind how the horde looked, a little something different. The author made you really care about the characters and left you rooting for them all the way. I really hope there will be a continuation of this story and the characters because I would really like to see how they adapt with their new world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Dead Stop" is definitely one of the best Zombie books I've read. The Author is so descriptive in the details, especially when it comes to gore, that, at times, I've felt like I was standing right there with the characters in the middle of the action. Hell, I even checked myself a couple of times to see if blood splattered on my clothes.

The story takes place at a rural truck stop - the closest citizens live in a town roughly a mile away. The highway is empty of traffic as most of the locals are filling the bleachers at the local high school football game. The activity around the truck stop is quiet, casual and normal: truckers are in the shower and preparing for the night, mechanics are closing up shop, Lizzy the prostitute is making her rounds among the parked trucks, a customer wanders through the store and patrons occupy seats within the restaurant. The first sign of any trouble is when the three local sheriff cars and two state police cars speed by with lights flashing and sirens blaring - heading toward the nearby town. There is some speculation about the police emergency, but those inside the main building soon return to what they were doing before the interruption. Little do they know that zombies are exiting the cornfield, at the rear of the property, and are starting to attack the living. Soon, those within will be surrounded by the living dead and the siege will begin.

These zombies are different and the method of reanimation is unique to this genre. They are very strong, ferrel, quite fast and dressed in their Sunday best, however, many are missing faces; the author refers to them as "the terror". Those inside must try to survive on their own. There is no outside information or help, no weapons, and they can't die like normal zombies. Some parts of the story are so intense, that I found myself thankful afterwards for an opportunity to catch my breath. Those type of breaks occur often, but don't get too comfortable, because the intensity will start all over again within a heart beat.

There are some typos throughout the story, but those can be easily overlooked as they don't impact the tale. "Dead Stop" is highly recommended - especially for those liking this genre. It opens up a whole new possibility for future books. I would assume there will be a sequel (the ending leaves it open for one), and if so, I look forward to reading it when it becomes available.

Great job!

John Podlaski, author
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 21, 2013
For the past few weeks I have been on a serious zombie kick. This means I've recently been exposed to a share of craptacular zombie flicks and books. But embedded in that odorous heap are a few gems like Dead Alive,DEAD SET [UK, 2008] [NTSC All-REGION DVD] (the 2008 British television mini-series), Steven W. Booth and Harry Shannon's The Hungry, Peter Clines' Ex-Heroes: A Novel (which I'd re-read for the third time now), and this one, D. Nathan Hilliard's DEAD STOP. I hear the "D" in his name stands for "Dis-arming." Heh.

In rural Texas, in dusty Mazon County, off in a corner of Highway 103, stands the Textro truck stop and diner, and it's a slow evening so far. Later on, when the local high school football game gets done, the Textro staff expect a boisterous crowd. Until then the author takes advantage of the lull by establishing his characters. It'll pay off in the end because you and me and other readers get so invested in the characters that we're just about left biting our knuckles and hoping they survive what's coming.

Two local boys drive up to the truck stop with a mind towards asking the hot waitress out on a date. A fatigued veterinarian, haunted still by a tragic loss, drops in to get a bite. A pair of out-of-towners are over there embarassing themselves and p!ssing off the other hot waitress. A trucker or three gaze into their coffee. If Edward Hopper were still around, maybe he would've immortalized this greasy spoon scene as well. Or maybe not.

Outside a storm is brewing. A murder of crows darkens the horizon, sweeping in closer, harbingers of something even more ominous. There are several ways to tell a zombie story. DEAD STOP makes use of one of my favorite plot conceits: that of the humans trapped inside, besieged by the undead trying to claw their way in. D. Nathan Hilliard has crafted one of the best zombie stories I have ever read. The writing is so damn good. It balances rich character beats and dark humor and even a budding romance or two, and a towering sense of wet-your-pants terror. There are several passages that are so harrowing I almost wanted to skip thru them. In a way, it reads like DIE HARD in a truck stop. And, again, it's all because the author makes you care about the characters. It's refreshing that those trapped in the diner are - barring one asshat - written as fairly intelligent folks. Faced with the zombie awakening, they're mostly able to talk things thru and plan sensibly and demonstrate teamwork. Still, it's only human to make bonehead decisions, and some are made here. Because when there is a mindless ghoul just yearning to pounce on you, you're forgiven the occasional lapse in judgment.

No spoilers, but D. Nathan Hilliard provides a nifty scientific explanation for the zombies. In fact, what he comes up with seems very plausible within the context of the story. He goes into fantastic detail regarding the zombies' physiology. I love his explanation for why these zombies, some of whom are these falling apart husks, exhibit such tremendous strength. It's believable faux-science.

The only glaring flaw is the proofreader's aversion to the use of possessive apostrophes, at least on my Kindle. Other than that, DEAD STOP is seriously recommended. A level-headed hero. A tough, feisty heroine. Unrelenting suspense. Action sequences that elevate your pulse to unhealthy speeds. The Textro truck stop and diner has had its share of suspect clientele, and nothing's more suspect than a pack of the walking dead. Maybe the staff should've been quicker with holding up that "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" sign.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Dead Stop by D. Nathan Hilliard

It's a dark and stormy night, and Armageddon is dropping in for dinner . . .
Welcome to the Textro Truck Stop, a typical middle of nowhere establishment with all your favourite archetypes from the highways and byways of the American Dream. Truckers stop for coffee refills, chirpy waitresses serve hot coffee and greasy food, while the local rednecks grab a bite to eat before the big game in town. Hilliard sets his location well and instantly creates sympathy for his characters about to be dropped into a nightmarish version of hell. A potent storm brews on the horizon then the crowds of the dead arrive, freshly and mysterious awoken from the local cemetery; and harbouring a vast and unrelenting hunger. One by one they start to devour the various ragtag patrons and staff of the Textro Truck Stop.
I've been a fan of Mr Hilliard since reading one of his short stories last year and I've have been looking forward to a longer work from him for some time. Dead Stop doesn't disappoint in grabbing the reading by the throat from the get go with a fantastic description of a zombie awakening whilst trapped in the grave. Carrying on throughout are some excellent descriptions of the zombies physiology and even the reasoning behind the biters great strength is told so well it's believable.
I'm a big fan of The Return of the Living Dead series and even the novel by John Russo (the cover gave me nightmares), and Hilliard catches the desperate essence of a B-movie with an ever diminishing bunch of characters that he's quite hard on at times, chipping away with bites and scratches, though I feel he loved his characters a bit too much and a few more deaths during the later pages might have added a bit more shock value to proceedings. If you're not going to explore a character in too much depth, then by all means feed them to the zombies. But with the ending left wide open for a sequel, I understand why Hilliard wanted to save a few souls for desert.
Never the less, I felt for the main character of Rachel Sutherland and rooted for her to survive above anybody, and ballsy waitress Marisa is a fun read as she tries her best to evade being eaten whilst keeping her Latino pout on her face. Even the image of Buddha Boy, a grotesquely over weight trucker was described to the point of being a thing of macabre beauty. The action is sweaty balls-to-the-wall and the smart one-liners bring light relief in-between the hero's being torn apart.
Dead Stop isn't the best zombie novel out there, but it's certainly is a fun little ride to while away a dark and stormy night.

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