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With this allegorical comic thriller, Ryan Brown brings the soaring spirit of the iconic Old West into the twenty-first century, ushered in by none other than the most celebrated cowboy ever to strap on spurs: John Wayne.  Cryogenically frozen at his death, The Duke is back topside.  He’s reanimated by Sam Bonham, a hard-living, hard-drinking man on the run for a murder he has no memory of committing.  He is searching for away out.  He finds it in John Wayne.

Sam and his rawboned mentor are unleashed on a modern-day frontier town ruled by ruthless gunslingers.  The townsfolk need a hero.  Sam and The Duke swagger in…but the trouble is, they’re next in line for the noose. Torn between freedom and duty, Sam must confront what it means to cowboy up.  They stage is set for a showdown, and for Sam the stakes are higher than life or death.  Above all else, he must set the record straight with a wife and boy back home.

Somewhere between John Ford’s mythic Wild West and Rod Serling’s twisted imagination, Ryan Brown stakes his claim with this hardboiled and wholly original neo-Western thriller.



Ryan Brown, a fresh new voice in thriller fiction with a supernatural edge, delivers a riveting novel featuring zombies bent on revenge in a football-obsessed Texas town.

For the first time in Killington High School history, the Jackrabbits football team is one win away from the district championship game, where they will take on their most vicious rival, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. But on game day, bad-boy star quarterback, Cole Logan, is brutally attacked by three masked men. With the stakes so high, Cole is determined to play despite his injuries, but his coach refuses to allow it. That night on the way to the game the Jackrabbits’ bus crashes, killing all of Cole’s teammates. When he learns the steroid-crazed Badgers are responsible, he is bent on payback, and turns to a mysterious fan skilled in black magic to resurrect the team. But even in the spirit world there are hitches. The Jackrabbits are brought back to life, but unless they win the final game against their murderous rival, the team is destined for hell. In a desperate race against time, Cole must lead his zombie team to victory…or risk their eternal damnation and violent consequences for everyone in town.

With a fast-paced plot that twists, turns and shocks, vibrant characters who pack an emotional punch, and plenty of dark humor, PLAY DEAD is a compulsively readable thriller that reflects the national obsession with football and the growing fascination with the undead.





When a successful architect is stranded overnight on a ski chairlift, he is tormented by an evil force far more threatening than the incoming blizzard.

This short story was featured in FIRST THRILLS (Tor/Forge June, 2010), an anthology, edited by Lee Child.



In a rundown bayou shack, a teenage girl must save a helpless young blind boy from the demons of his imagination…which come knocking at the door.

This Young Adult thriller was featured in FEAR: 13 STORIES OF SUSPENSE AND HORROR, edited by R.L. Stein.

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