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Flesh Eaters Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews
Book 3 of 4 in the Dead World Series

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Mass Market Paperback, April 1, 2011
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--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author



In my day job I'm a sergeant in the San Antonio Police Department, and over the past twelve years I've gotten to do a little bit of everything a cop can do.  I've been a patrolman, a disaster mitigation specialist, a homicide detective and an administrator.  But I'm also a writer, and a lot of people have a hard time reconciling those two occupations.  Especially when they find out I write horror.  "Why?" they ask.  "And why zombies for God's sake?"

To answer that, I have to turn back to the summer of 1983.  I was fourteen.  That summer gave me two landmarks in my education.  The first was George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, a movie that scared the ever-loving crap out of me.  I watched it one night on cable and slept cradling a baseball bat for the next month.  No movie had ever done that to me before, and very few have done it since.

And then, just when I thought I had experienced real fear, Hurricane Alicia made landfall.  I grew up in Clear Lake City, a little suburb south of Houston.  We were just across the lake from the mouth of the Houston Ship Channel and the numerous shrimp camps down along the coast, and we were square in the path of the storm.

I spent all night in a closet, listening to the storm trying its hardest to rip my house from its foundation and send it sailing off like a kite.  The next morning, I went to the front door and looked out over a sea of muddy water.  Every roof was missing shingles.  Trees were toppled.  Cars and trucks were submerged to their roofs.  I saw a water moccasin glide through the swing set in my neighbor's back yard.  And at the entrance to my subdivision was a sixty foot shrimp boat that had been carried seven miles inland by the storm surge.  The destruction was staggering, and for a boy of fourteen, it felt a bit like the world had been turned upside down.

Of course, my fear didn't last long.  Later that day my best friend came by in a canoe and we paddled all around the neighborhood, acting like river explorers heading up the Amazon in search of The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  It was a blast.

Nearly three decades have gone by since that summer, and a lot has happened.  I've built a career in one of the most dangerous professions out there.  I've become a father, raising two lovely children in a world that grows scarier every day.  I've carved out a life for myself and my family.  Doing that puts a hard grain of independence in a man's personality.  It makes him proud.  But it also makes him vulnerable.  And I'm no exception: scared to death for the future, but too obstinate to let it show.

And that's why, when I set out to write about the world I knew, to tell the kind of stories I felt simmering inside me, the words came out as horror.  I don't pretend to understand how that psychological alchemy happens.  For me, the stories have never been about the horrors themselves, but about struggling to be human in a world that is increasingly strange and hostile.  It is about finding beauty and peace in spite of all the obstacles thrown in our way.  That, for me, is why horror works.  It isn't about monsters.  It's about hope and humanity surviving against extraordinary odds.  That's why horror clicks with me.

My zombie horror novel Flesh Eaters is the third installment in the Dead World series.  If you've read Dead City and Apocalypse of the Dead, the first two books, then you're familiar with the world of my zombie apocalypse.  If not, you're still in good shape, because this book is the beginning.  This is where it all got started.  And I think it's fitting that the story pays respects to the fears of my youth.  That's why it's about storms, and zombies.

But the story also mirrors my present day reality, for each of the main characters is a cop struggling to do the right thing in a world that is morally complicated and often savagely cruel.  How does one stay afloat in a world like that?  Flesh Eaters doesn't have the one true answer, because I don't think there is a one true answer, but I hope that it talks to readers about the things that are really important.  Like honor.  And duty.  And most of all, family.

Perhaps you agree.  Or perhaps your priorities are different.  Either way, I hope this book makes you ask questions about what's important to you.  But no matter how you answer, I hope you enjoy the apocalypse!

About the Author

Joe McKinney is the author of numerous horror, crime, and science fiction novels, including Quarantined, Dodging Bullets, and the four-part Dead World series. He has a master's degree in English literature and has worked as a homicide detective and a disaster mitigation specialist for the San Antonio Police Department.

Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice-overs, where he has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials, as well as TV promos, narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel, and films. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle; 1 edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786023600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786023608
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,516,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
... what zombie stories should be about.

This story is not about zombies. It's not about blood and guts, it's not even about a devastating set of storms that flood southern Texas and reshape the Gulf of Mexico seaboard. It HAS all those things, but it isn't ABOUT them.

What it is about, first and foremost, is people.

Far too many writers of horror in general, and zombie stories in particular, think that the horror comes from the situation, and so they splash gore and foul language and viscera about with abandon, never understanding that horror only succeeds when it is happening TO someone that the readers care about. Joe McKinney never makes that mistake. In this unflinchingly terrifying book, the zombies are merely one more in a set of terrible obstacles that face both families and villains, heroes and scum. Indeed, even without the zombies this book would have been frightful, because the reader is made to understand what makes the characters tick, and then McKinney slowly puts those characters through purposeful paces. Some of the people unravel, some of them rise above tragedy to blossom into beauty. But the reader CARES about all of them.

This book is also horrifying in its scope. Though rooted in the experiences of certain individuals and groups, it is a truly apocalyptic tale. Like King's THE STAND and McCammon's SWAN SONG, the book is one about an entire world entering a serious and permanent change. It is the kind of book that puts you into its situations so fully that you find your heart racing, your breath coming in shallow gasps as you become an eyewitness to a paradigm shift in culture, in geography, in civilization itself. You can't help but wonder if you would be a survivor in such a scenario...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Joe McKinney does it again!

Such a fantastic read, high paced and detailed beyond what most books in the genre offer. The character development was top notch, drawing a clear and precise background for everyone involved. Each scene drew me deeper into the story line, and kept me clutching the pages in anticipation of what would come next. As much as I enjoyed the first two books in the series, Flesh Eaters blows them both away.
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It started well, and I was completely engrossed in the story when it suddenly fell flat with the introduction of the bank looting sub-plot and our heroine somehow feeling compelled to pursue her fellow Cop looters for their crime. In spite of the apocalypse, and at the expense of her family`s safety, she opts for this ambiguous moral high ground. In the end, amazingly, she winds up taking the money for herself and her family. Without a qualm, she becomes the filthy looter that had so offended her from the moment she learned of their plan.

Without this duplicity, I believe the looting of the bank could have been, integrated into the plot and made an interesting part of the story.

The plot lapse gives the reader too much time to ponder the weird nature of the McKinney zombies. Throughout his three zombie novels McKinney has insisted that his zombies are alive, and more than once he has invoked the old, "what will kill us kills them" saw.

Maybe he feels that this gives his zombies more believability, but their rotting bodies, and the failure of multiple center mass rounds to kill them, quickly dispels any believability. The occasionally injected ability to drown or strangle a zombie does noting to restore the believability, in fact it only reminds the reader of this silliness, which might otherwise be overlooked, as I did in his previous novels.

Maybe he feels that being alive, on some level, adds humanity to his monsters and allows us to somehow feel empathy for them. Sorry, this also fails. I believe a dead zombie deserves the same sympathy as a live one.

McKinney is a decent author but he needs to get on board with the genre, or move on to crime novels.
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I don't like the zombie craze in general, but I met this author at a conference and really enjoyed his talk--so I bought a book. I stayed up all night to read it.

The female main character, policewoman Eleanor, was strong, gutsy, and all about saving her family. Her husband was a real life man, just a little jealous of his wife, but he shows his own type of strengths that make them a good match and even ends up saving the daughter.

The other characters, the bad guys, racing around to get money, are fleshed out as a very dysfunctional family. I find it sad how it ends, with the man that I thought was only sort of bad going full fledged pyscho (I hope I didn't give anything away), but it felt real.

The strength of Joe Mckinney is in his characters, his understanding of human nature (probably from being a cop so long), and his intimate knowledge of how the government and other agencies would react in a natural emergency such as this. It makes for an interesting and BELIEVABLE read. I so hate books that are supposed to be happening now where the authors mistake an elected official for an appointed on or other such gross mistake--but I digress.

Overall this book is about the people--not the infected--their struggles with a world gone mad and trying to keep both morals and sanity when everyone is losing theirs.
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