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Reviewed by J. C. Steel for Readers' Favorite
In Dead Sea Games, J. Whitworth Hazzard throws us into an alternate New York, where an engineered virus known as the Osiris Agent has turned the majority of the population into carnivorous zombies. What little of the human population remains uninfected after the Emergency has taken refuge barricaded in the upper levels of sky-scrapers, reliant on government-provided food drops to stay alive. Loot from abandoned buildings is the common currency, and a few packs of AAs can be worth a life. Only the exiled orphans and the insane venture down to street level, and only Deathwish is willing to bet that he can stay alive there for more than ten minutes. No one knows who released the virus. No one is immune.
Dead Sea Games is a fantastic example of the action/horror genre where the characters are unquestionably real and the action grabs you in a choke hold and never lets up. J. Whitworth Hazzard has created a gripping mix of martial arts, mystery and murder, overlaid by the martial law of the Colony and underpinned by the seething masses of the wandering dead. Deathwish’s struggle for justice turns into a fight for survival that provides a perfect frame for the stunningly imaged life and death stunts that punctuate the narrative, and the lure of finding out who actually released the Osiris Agent forms a strong undertow to the storyline. This is a thrilling story, and a call to look beyond the simplistic, one that’s going to keep you reading and guessing the outcome.