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About Frank Tayell
Strike a Match 4 Over By Christmas, out now: Twenty years after a nuclear war, the world has regressed to the age of steam. Food is rationed, prospects are slim, and crime is on the rise. As a terrorist insurgency sweeps through Europe, only the officers of the Serious Crimes Unit can prevent the collapse of their fragile democracy.
1. Serious Crimes, 2. Counterfeit Conspiracy, 3. Endangered Nation, 4. Over By Christmas
Surviving the Evacuation, Life Goes On, & Here We Stand: Within hours of the outbreak, Manhattan was overrun. Within days, the living dead had spread throughout the world. Within six months, fewer than ten thousand people were left alive. This is the epic saga of how they survived.
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As nations rebuild, democracy is under threat.
In 2019, the AIs went to war. Millions died before a nuclear holocaust brought an end to their brief reign of terror. Billions more succumbed to radiation poisoning, disease, and the chaotic violence of that apocalypse. Some survived. They rebuilt. Twenty years later, civilisation is a dim shadow of its former self. Crime is on the rise.
During the investigation of a routine homicide, Police Officer Ruth Deering prevents a group of Luddites from destroying the telegraph. This act of sabotage is only the beginning. As arrests are made and criminals are caught, evidence emerges that the saboteurs are connected to the AIs, the counterfeiting, and to the assassination. The shadowy figure behind the conspiracy must be unmasked before their fragile democracy is destroyed. (86,000 words)
Though this concludes the investigation begun in Serious Crimes, the story will continue in Book 3, out soon.
Policing Post-Apocalyptic Britain.
They called them Artificial Intelligences. Sentient viruses were closer to the truth. They spread throughout the world until every networked circuit was infected. Then they went to war. Millions died in the nuclear holocaust that brought an abrupt end to the AI’s brief reign of terror. Billions more succumbed to radiation, starvation, and disease. But millions survived, and they rebuilt.
Twenty years later, a ceremony is being held to mark the first transatlantic broadcast since The Blackout. The Prime Minister of Britain and two of the Presidents of the United States will speak to an audience of nearly ten million people. Not all are celebrating. Crime is on the rise, and power is once again a prize worth murdering for.
Ruth Deering, a new graduate from the police academy, doesn’t care about ancient history or current affairs. She only joined the force to escape the smog-infested city. Those hopes are dashed when she is assigned to the Serious Crimes Unit, commanded by the disgraced Sergeant Mitchell. Her first case seems like a simple murder, but the investigation uncovers a counterfeiting ring and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy their fragile democracy.
A post-apocalyptic thriller set in a world of rationing and ruins, where a democracy struggles not to become a dystopia. The investigation continues in Counterfeit Conspiracy. (77,000 words)
As the much-depleted United Nations meets in Canberra, the scale of the global catastrophe becomes clear. The tsunami left Brisbane a flooded ruin. Vanuatu has disappeared. The Madagascan evacuation has failed. Vancouver has been reduced to a radioactive crater. For as far west as Mozambique, as far to the east as Chile, and as far north as Canada, the world is a catalogue of devastation. From the Atlantic, there has been no news since the early days of the outbreak, four weeks ago.
With the satellite networks down, searching for survivors is difficult. With the relief fleets destroyed, rescue is impossible. While the fallout is still settling, the collective minds of the refugees in Australia focus on rebuilding as a distraction from the rising risk of radiation and extinction.
Commissioner Tess Qwong has a different duty. She must find those responsible for this ultimate crime against humanity. Her investigation into the failed coup provides the identity of those behind the outbreak and the location of their lab.
With her misfit group of Special Forces and civilian conscripts, she heads to Mozambique. There, a New Zealand frigate will take them on into the unknown dangers of the Atlantic. But while they hunt the radioactive seas for the war criminals, below the waves their enemy is hunting for them.
From Perth to Panama, from South Africa to South America, from paradise islands to radioactive wastelands, the battle against extinction continues.
It’s been six years since Pete Guinn last saw his sister, Corrie. He always hoped to see her again, but feared she was dead. When an elusive billionaire reveals Corrie is living under an assumed name in the Australian outback, Pete unquestioningly jumps at the chance of a reunion. But you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket, and billionaires don’t do favours for free. Corrie is in hiding from her old employer, and from the Rosewood Cartel. Now that they’ve both found her, only a miracle can save the two siblings, and what happens in Manhattan can’t be described as miraculous.
What begins as a viral outbreak soon turns into an impossible horror. People are infected and die, only to rise up and continue transmitting the infection. Even as the army is mobilised, the virus spreads beyond the borders of the United States. Nowhere is safe from the living dead.
As Australia is quarantined, the mining town of Broken Hill becomes a transit hub for the relief effort. Tourists are evacuated while civilians are conscripted, Pete and Corrie among them. Together with a bush pilot, a flying doctor, and an outback cop, the struggle to maintain civilisation begins. Supplies run low. Looting is rampant. Laws are forgotten, especially by the cartel who haven’t abandoned their search for Corrie and their quest for revenge.
Set in Broken Hill and beyond as the Australian quarantine begins.
As this book returns to the beginning of the outbreak, it can be considered a good entry point for readers new to the series.
A year after the outbreak, a sharp winter is followed by a sudden thaw. Spring has come early to Nova Scotia, bringing new hope. For the thirteen thousand survivors who’ve found sanctuary in northern Canada, and for the first time since the apocalypse, extinction isn’t imminent. But it looms large in the near future, a legacy of the nuclear war that destroyed civilisation.
As the weather improves, some survivors quit the small community. Even more plan their departure. The old-world supplies of food, oil, and ammunition have been consumed. More will have to be grown, drilled, and made. Medicine, paper, clothes: in a few years there will be none left to salvage. If it can’t be manufactured, it will have to be forgone. What knowledge can’t be preserved will be lost.
Humanity’s future appears bleak unless more people can be found. Hoping there is some truth in the rumours of a redoubt in Vancouver, an expedition to the Pacific is launched. The journey will be perilous as North America was ground zero for the outbreak, and for the nuclear war.
Set in Canada and beyond, as survivors from the Atlantic and Pacific meet.
Please note, this book features places and events, and heroes and villains from the saga of the Pacific survivors told in the series Life Goes On.
Two deaths could be an accident. Three must be murder.
2039, twenty years after the AIs went to war, plague and famine has reduced the global population to a hundred million. Most of the planet is a wasteland, with only a handful of enclave-nations preserving a dim shadow of civilisation. Technology has regressed to the era of steam trains, telegrams, and sailing boats, but democracy survived and is again under threat.
Three terrorist insurgencies have swept across Europe, pillaging farms, burning villages, destroying two decades of fragile recovery. Those refugees who escaped the massacres fled to the coast. Like a century before, Calais and Dunkirk have become the front line.
On the home front, rationing continues, and another ice-age winter has begun. Christmas is only days away, but Constable Ruth Deering’s mood is anything but festive. In the walled city of Dover, a lonely chef is discovered dead, poisoned. What first appeared to be an accident is soon suspected to be the work of a serial killer who is certain to strike again.
On the front line, Henry Mitchell doesn’t view this as war, just another crime against humanity during the twenty-year-long battle for survival. As hastily built bastions are fortified by a conscript-militia, Mitchell ventures deep behind the lines, hunting for the mastermind responsible for this latest assault.
In the new British capital of Twynham, a peace treaty with the separatist kingdom of Leicester is in peril. Until it’s signed, the soldiers laying siege to the royalist redoubt can’t be redeployed to the front.
As rusting tanks are recovered for repair, as new regiments are raised, and spies are sent east, the nation prepares for a war that certainly won’t be over by Christmas.
When Pete Guinn went to Australia to find his missing sister, he left behind the woman he loved. In the city he once called home, panic and chaos arrive long before the living dead. As South Bend burns to the ground, Olivia flees, seeking safety in the remote woods of Michigan. But the backwoods are no safer than the outback, and nowhere is remote enough to escape the horrors of the living dead.
With global communications systems fractured, Pete Guinn and his sister, Corrie, are a small part of a large effort to re-establish contact between the forces still fighting the undead. As they journey east across Canada, they instead find the frontline. An army is being formed out of Canadians and refugees from the United States, out of retirees, reservists, and conscripts. Night and day, a war is waged against an enemy that doesn’t tire or retreat, ask for quarter or offer it. But victory is in sight. The undead can be defeated. As long as the supply lines are maintained. As long as the ultimate sacrifice is selflessly made again and again. As long as the worst of the apocalypse is behind them. But though the apocalypse has begun, the reckoning is still to come.
Set in Canada and the U.S. Midwest, continuing the story of the survivors in the Pacific, which began in Outback Outbreak, No More News is a story of love and war as the apocalypse tears our world apart.
They said there was no outbreak in Ireland. They lied.
Within a few minutes of the outbreak, Manhattan was overrun by the living dead. Within a few days, the undead had reached every corner of the globe.
There was no evacuation of Northern Ireland, and no quarantine in the Republic. A Royal Naval blockade prevented ships from docking, but they didn’t prevent those who could reach the coast from fleeing by sea. There weren’t enough boats for everyone. Those who were left behind took refuge in castles, police stations, churches, military bases, and any other buildings with strong walls. The walls weren’t strong enough.
Eight months later, there are only a few dozen survivors left on the entire island of Ireland. They are certain that there is no safe refuge anywhere on the planet. Stranded on the southwestern coast of the Irish Republic, Bill and Kim head north. They know that there is a safe haven on Anglesey, but that is hundreds of miles of undead Ireland and a treacherous sea crossing away. They begin a journey on which they will have to rescue the innocent and confront the past before they can embrace the future.
Set on the island of Ireland, eight months after the outbreak, this is the next volume of Bill Wright’s journals.
Three weeks after the outbreak, most nations have collapsed. An ever-increasing number of refugees flee, by boat and air, to the perceived safety of the remote Pacific nations. In Australia, every able body is conscripted, local and newcomer alike. The lucky few are put to work in the new factories, farms, and mines. The unlucky many are given tools for weapons, put aboard cruise-ships and cargo freighters, and returned to the ever-moving frontline. But even though the death toll rises, victory is still within reach.
The recordings made in North America by Pete and Corrie Guinn contained more than the siblings realised. The footage from Canada and Michigan is further confirmation the outbreak was no accident. The Canadian scientist, Dr Avalon, can prove it.
As Commissioner Tess Qwong takes justice to the increasingly lawless outback, Anna Dodson brings order to the chaos of Parliament House, and Dr Avalon works on a weapon to finally destroy the undead. But no plans can survive the impact of a nuclear bomb.
From a lawless natural gas refinery in Queensland to the once golden coast of New South Wales. Behind the barricaded streets of Canberra and in the bunker beneath Parliament House, there is still hope for Australia, the Pacific, the world, as long as the lights remain on.
Anglesey became a refuge for survivors from across the world, but living in the shadow of a decrepit nuclear power station was always a precarious existence. There is only one destination for their final exodus from Britain, but Belfast won’t become their new home.
There are fewer undead on the island of Ireland, but their numbers still count in the millions. With farming impossible, with the weather worsening, with ammunition exhausted, desperation turns to despair. All seems bleak, but the survivors don’t know how truly desperate their situation is.
During the chaos that ensued after the calamitous election, they misjudged the evidence. Their true enemy is still among them, and that enemy is about to act.
Set nine months after the outbreak, in Britain and the island of Ireland, when humanity is at a crossroads. Either all will survive, or our species will die.
The battle might be lost, but the war isn’t over.
Once it was home to half a billion people. A year after the nuclear war, Europe is a radioactive, storm-ravaged wasteland through which a hundred million undead inexorably march. In their wake, they leave nothing but ruins. Ahead of them flee those few who managed to survive this long. Chasing them are the dregs of humanity. Once known as the Rosewood Cartel, they kill, loot, and destroy as indiscriminately as the living dead.
Hope might be lost, but it could still be found, as can a future for the last remnant of humanity. Those who built a sanctuary on Anglesey, in Dundalk, in Creil are the help that came to others. In this, their darkest hour, but with a new dawn so close, they will not give up.
Set in the Faroe Islands, France, Denmark, and elsewhere, the battle has begun, but the war hasn’t yet been lost. Please note, this book contains characters and events that first appeared in Outback Outbreak.