Synopses & Reviews
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' 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!
"Two cultural obsessions collide head-on in this fast-paced, thrilling, and terribly funny debut by former actor Brown. In the sleepy town of Killington, Tex., the local high school's football team is having its best season in decades thanks to the efforts of quarterback Cole Logan. Afraid of losing the district championship, the rival Elmwood team sends the Killington bus into a river, drowning everyone on the team except Cole and the coach. Only local witch and football fan Black Mona can raise the players from the dead in time for the game, but if they keep stopping to eat people, they might miss it. Brown handily mixes elements of horror, coming-of-age sweetness, and gore-soaked comedy into a tale that satisfies the same fascination with sports and bloodlust that it cleverly and thoughtfully critiques." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Naturally, the whole premise is completely absurd and prompts lines that even Bruce Campbell couldn't deliver with a straight face....It's all in good fun, though, and undiscerning fans of football and tales of the undead should have a fine old time." Kirkus Reviews
A fresh and riveting supernatural thriller about football player zombies bent on revenge in a football-obsessed Texas town.
In Brown's fresh and riveting supernatural thriller, football-player zombies bent on revenge take over a football-obsessed Texas town.
About the Author
Ryan Brown is an actor who has starred on the daytime dramas Guiding Light and The Young and The Restless, and has appeared on Law & Order as well as in feature films for Lifetime Television. Play Dead is his first novel. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.