Vacation by Matthew Costello

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In the near future after a global crisis causes crops to fail and species to disappear . . . something even more deadly happens. Groups of humans around the world suddenly become predators, feeding off their own kind. These "Can Heads" grow to such a threat that fences, gated compounds, and SWAT-style police protection become absolutely necessary in order to live.

After one Can Head attack leaves NYPD cop Jack Murphy wounded, Jack takes his wife and kids on a much-needed vacation. Far up north, to a camp where families can still swim and take boats out on a lake, and pretend that the world isn't going to hell.

But the Can Heads are never far away, and nothing is quite what it seems in Paterville. . . .


About Matthew Costello

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Matthew Costello's writing includes groundbreaking and innovative games, books, and television. His bestselling and award-winning computer and video games include The 7th Guest, Doom 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean. His early horror novel, Beneath Still Waters, was filmed by Lionsgate. Rage, a novel based on the recently released game that he worked on, was published this August. His children's books include The Kids of Einstein Elementary and Magic Everywhere. Matt has also written episodes and created TV formats for PBS, Disney, Syfy, and the BBC, and he consults on media around the world. Visit Matt online at
Published September 27, 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books. 320 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Vacation

Publishers Weekly

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Patrolman Jack Murphy, forced to leave a besieged New York City where he battles feral cannibals, gathers his family and heads for the hills in this tense apocalyptic thriller expanded from a short story by video game writer and novelist Costello (Doom 3: Maelstrom).

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Vacation

Gather Books

VACATION by Matthew Costello is a horror story, which, at my age, just seems silly.

Dec 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Vacation

Portland Book Review

When Jack, NYPD and dad, loses his partner in a fight with Can Heads (AKA zombies), his boss urges him to take a vacation to “Peterville Family Camp – Where Families Can Be Families.” Who wouldn’t want to spend a week swimming, boating, making smores an eating camp food?

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Vacation

Fear Net

The heart of the story is simple: Adam and Sonia are a young married couple who have hit a rough patch…Adam feels that the love has gone out of their relationship, at least on Sonia's side of things.

Nov 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Vacation

I’m tempted to say “Mammoth Book…” just because it’s got Stephen Jones name on it, and the cover design is very strong, if a little dated, but “Vacation” is a very powerful and intriguing image, and would definitely make me pick up the book for a closer look, so I’ll have to give it top spot.

Sep 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Vacation

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