Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

They’re all about to play - The Zombie Game (The Dr. Scott James Thrille #2) by Glenn Shepard

The real Zombies of Haiti come alive in this story of a plastic surgeon, a man who "fixes people's faces," racing to stop a plot to kill the Pope during his Papal visit to America. Follow Dr. Scott James as he falls into an incredible world of psychotropic drugs, exotic ceremonies, and murder.


The real Zombies of Haiti come alive in this story of a plastic surgeon, a man who "fixes people's faces," racing to stop a plot to kill the Pope during his Papal visit to America. Follow Dr. Scott James as he falls into an incredible world of psychotropic drugs, exotic ceremonies, and murder.

Jacques Jacobo, “Jakjak,” is the Haitian Finance Minister’s personal bodyguard. He’s just taken two bullets in the chest trying to stop an assassination attempt on his boss.

Dr. Scott James is a volunteer surgeon on a hospital ship anchored off the coast of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He’s got his share of personal demons.

Omar Farok wants to rule ISIS, and the world. He’s just taken over the hospital ship and converted it into a launch platform for a nuclear strike on Miami.

Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. Omar Farok will pay her big money to turn Dr. James into a zombie.

Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. She’s come to Haiti to defuse the bomb.

They’re all about to play The Zombie Game.


Zombies walk the earth, but not as you might think. They are a product of mind-altering drugs and physical conditioning, which, when combined, make a human exceedingly susceptible to influence and suggestion. As I have said in other places, zombies are people to be pitied, rather than feared. 

This basic fact, that zombies are victims, not monsters, is one of the cornerstones of my novel The Zombie Game. As a craniofacial surgeon, I visited Haiti on a charitable mission shortly after the 2010 earthquake, and while I was there I made quite a few inquiries into Vodoun culture and zombies. As you can imagine, these subjects are protected by mass secrecy and fear of reprisal. Regardless, in writing The Zombie Game I was faced with coming to terms with my love for Haitian culture, which is quite sincere, and my natural tendencies as a doctor to feel empathy and alarm for those who have been drugged and abused. Part of me couldn’t help but try to make my protagonist, Dr. Scott James, into a zombie, and part of me wanted to give a behind-the-scenes look at the reality of the Vodoun societies.

Though there are a wide variety of drugs that can be used in the zombie rendering, generally speaking, there are two, main agents that can produce the desired effects. The most common of these is tetrodotoxin. This chemical causes paralysis, so much so that it can sometimes make the victim appear dead. Like the other drugs and procedures used in making zombies, tetrodotoxin must be handled with great care because only a small amount is necessary to cause death. Tetrodotoxin allows the Vodoun practitioner to perform a simulated “reanimation.” In other words, you can make it seem as though you’ve killed someone, and then they can come back from the dead. If you’ve got an audience of believers, that’s powerful stuff. Tetrodotoxin can be found in puffer fish as well as some triggerfish. 

Another agent is scopolamine, elsewhere described as the “drug from Hell,” and the “Devil’s Breath.” Not exactly party drugs, you might say. Once under the influence of scopolamine, victims are easily manipulated. It is in fact a drug-of-choice for some criminals in Colombia and elsewhere because once the agent enters the bloodstream, a person will essentially hand over their car keys. Some of these poor souls even go so far as to say that they knew they were being manipulated, but were unable to stop themselves from complying. When asked for money, they gave money. When asked for the keys to their car, they, indeed, produced the keys. Even more, scopolamine produces amnesia, making it difficult for you to remember who you gave your money to. Scopolomine is extracted from jimson weed, sometimes referred to as the zombie cucumber. 

Not surprisingly, the chief figurehead of Vodoun culture in Haiti for the past decade, Max Beauvoir, who recently passed on at the age of 79, was a professional pharmacist. If you’d like to see what he looked like, you can visit my website.

Then there is the physical conditioning, which can include locking the drugged person in a coffin overnight, and even burial. Asphyxiation, in this case, causes further dementia. If mind-altering drugs and asphyxia are your idea of a good time, you might want to check out the two most accessible texts on zombie-ism in the modern era. They are of course Wade Davis’ books, The Serpent and The Rainbow and Passage of Darkness. Enjoy.
About the author:
Glenn Shepard’s first novel, Surge, was written while he was still a surgical resident at Vanderbilt.

In the following years he wrote The Hart Virus, a one-thousand-page epic about the AIDS crisis, as well as three other novels. In 2012, he created “Dr. Scott James,” his Fugitive-like action-hero, and began publishing a series.

The first volume of the Dr. Scott James series was The Missile Game, followed shortly afterward by The Zombie Game. The third of the series, The Ebola Game, is due out in December, 2015.

Though the books contain many of the same characters, they don’t have to be read in order. Each can be read as a stand-alone.

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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Wow, very interesting! I don't always read the whole post when it is a guest post, but I did this time. You can tell the author did his research.