Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon’s adult novel Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead. (Chronicle, September 2012) begins in early April, 1912, when German pathologist Theodor Weiss is summoned to Manchuria to investigate what appears to be a particularly virulent strain of plague. Weiss takes a recently infected victim to a laboratory to study the disease, which quickly progresses from flu-like symptoms to a “total loss of higher functions” and “unbridled aggression.” After Weiss realizes the German government plans to seize his findings — and a vial of the infectious fluid he calls “the Toxic” — for military use, he flees for America on the Titanic.
A German agent with his own violent agenda assaults Weiss and unleashes the virus onboard. Within hours the massive ship is infested with zombies, which the crew attempts to quarantine from the rest of the passengers. Then the Titanic collides with an iceberg, and all hell really breaks loose.
Be warned: this is no campy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies–style mash-up but a serious, gory horror story. History buffs will appreciate details about the Titanic’s construction and the appearance of historical figures like Captain E. J. Smith (portrayed as a man of honor and a badass), designer Thomas Andrews, “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, and White Star Line manager J. Bruce Ismay. But with all the bloody zombie action, zombie fans are the real intended audience here. This quick, creepy read is perfect for Halloween.