Escape From Dead City by John McCuaig is an exhilarating story about a small group of survivors trying to flee from a zombie outbreak in London. Gordon and Pauline, co-workers and lovers, find themselves forcibly trapped by the military within the hospital the two doctors work at. They manage to slip out of the lockdown, and meet up with Pauline’s younger sister, Margot, and Margot’s boyfriend, Arthur. The foursome eventually joins up with a mixed group of scientists and soldiers hoping to find sanctuary outside of England. Before they even make port in France, the survivors are given reason to believe the reanimating virus has spread worldwide.
At first, I was distracted by the slang/dialogue between the two doctors in the beginning (and if Pauline or Gordon kept using the word “darling,” I was going to throw up), and I wasn’t very impressed with the characters in general (could have been a bit more developed), but the action soon wiped away all my reservations. There was far more drama than I was expecting; even though I didn’t really care who lived or died, I was fascinated by the way the characters interacted with each other, particularly Mary (head of the scientists) and Colonel Page.
I was disgusted (in a good way) by the mild cliff-hanger at the end of the story – I didn’t realize this book was the beginning of the series, and I’m anxious to find out how everything worked out with the three-way conflict between the civilians, the scientists and the soldiers. McCuaig did a great job of making me a captive reader for his series.