The hundred or so survivors in the fortified heart of Ashley Oaks are running out of food and room. The newly-renovated historic hotel seems a perfect sanctuary—if can be emptied of zombies. A pitched battle in the banquet room is the start of a harrowing, room-by-room struggle from Reception to roof. The connection between beauty and death has never been more apparent to Katie, Travis, Jenni, and Juan than when they celebrate and mourn in the hotel’s lovely rooftop gazebo. As search-and-rescue teams bring food, supplies—and more survivors—back to town, they draw unwanted attention. Bandits see the fort’s citizens as competition for dwindling stocks of unspoiled provisions . . . and as a ready source of women to be used and abused. The bandits’ first few attacks are minor skirmishes, but Travis and Juan, unofficial leaders of the community, know there is worse to come. Outside threats are not the fort’s only concern. The mayor’s failing health spurs a battle for power erupts. Travis’s vow never to kill faces its greatest test. A vicious assault on Katie leads to vigilante action that shatters the rule of law. Jenni’s tenuous hold on sanity begins to slip. Juan is accused of murder. And beyond the fort’s walls, the zombies shamble, moaning, eyes fastened hungrily upon the living.
Self-Published Version - March 2009
Tor Trade Paperback - November 8, 2011
Tor Mass Market Paperback - January 2013