Those Who Survive is the first book in the Class Four trilogy, which picks up from the events in Class Three. The dead now rule the world, and survivors are forced to eke out an existence any way they can.
My main aim with the book was to convey real people surviving in the apocalypse. The main theme is survivor guilt, and how normal people, having witnessed extraordinary things, deal with the consequences.
There are a number of narratives going through the book, the main one follows an ex-security guard and an eight year old boy, who he has promised to look after, following the death of the child’s mother.
The pair move from place to place, scavenging what they can, but always trying to stay one step ahead of the undead, and of other, less welcoming survivors. After a chance meeting, they strike out for sanctuary, some hundred odd miles away, hoping that with the promise of good people, and strong walls, they can make it through these dark times.
Along the way, they come up against the full spectrum of life in the new world. A freak show with a grisly secret, zombies, and a collection of mad, twisted yokels. Can they face each threat and make it to their journeys end? Even if they do, what condition will they be in?
The security guard is not alone in having a past he wishes to forget, and being a popular figure from my debut novel, Class Three, the readers discover the horrors that befell him on Day One.
Elsewhere, a group of survivors are holed up in an abandoned biscuit factory. Their defacto ruler is The Gaffer, a man who knows what is needed to get through the bleak aftermath of the fall of society. He has instilled a crude system of justice and will act on any indiscretion ruthlessly.
Yet not all of the inhabitants have as clear a head, and the most affected, the ones who have become a liability to themselves and the camp, meet each week, to share their stories, and come to terms with everything they’ve lost.
Unknown to all of them though, the Children of Ishtar, a doomsday cult, who believe that their goddess’ army needs to be swelled, continue to remove any resistance. They brutally ‘help’ the non-believers ‘ascend’ and become part of the undead host.
A clandestine Children of Ishtar operative is taken into the factory, and lays the groundwork for an assault, the likes of which, no one inside could ever hope to expect or prepare for.
These are the stories of those who survive.
Duncan P. Bradshaw is a UK based zombie author, and is man enough to accept that the apocalypse could happen any day. Tolerating his day job with as good a grace as he can muster, he gets through each day just so he can continue building his zombified world for the future Class Four books. Even when they are complete, new stories from this world will be written, painting a vivid picture of the British Isles under siege.