Dead Men Kill is the only zombie horror story Hubbard wrote, and the author succeeds by presenting this questionable subject in a realistic manner. He doesn't try to overexplain, but simply focuses on keeping up the story's quick pace (so we don't think about it too much). Its focus on the Haitian voodoo aspects should appeal to fans of more recent takes on the same subject, such as Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's novel Cemetery Dance. —Publishers Weekly
"A hardboiled detective, a beautiful nightclub singer, and a throng of murderous zombies share the stage in Dead Men Kill, originally published in Thrilling Detective (Jul. 1934). R.F. Daley, Jim Meskimen, Matt Scott, John Mariano, Jennifer Aspen, and Lori Jablons deliver expert performances in this production brought fully to life with such fantastic sounds as a zombie’s unrelenting call of “I have come to kill you, Gordon,” an owl’s ominous hooting, and the urgent slamming of Det. Terry Lane’s creaky sedan door. A thrill from start to finish; recommended for all." —Raya Kuziuk, Library Journal
“For all those who think zombie literature began with the great Max (WORLD WAR Z) Brooks, think again.
Before the dawn of George A. Romero, L. Ron Hubbard (yes, the father of Scientology) wrote a pulp novella called DEAD MEN KILL, which, although probably not the first living-dead opus ever written, first appeared way back in 1934 in an issue of Thrilling Detective. Hubbard’s vintage tale has been reissued by Galaxy Press as part of their Stories from the Golden Age collection in a handsome new paperback edition, one which should please both nostalgia buffs who like fast-paced, old-fashioned noir-style prose and those who simply enjoy creeping horror from the grave.
Wealthy men are being murdered by walking corpses as part of an extortion scheme, and it’s up to hardboiled dick Terry Lane to get to the bottom of it all. Throw in a femme fatale, a talky coroner, a masked villain named “Loup-garou” and the threat of premature burial, and you have all the ingredients of what the Brits would call a “ripping yarn.” The zombies in DEAD MEN KILL are of the kind first seen in classic films like WHITE ZOMBIE and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE: dead people brought back to life to serve as slaves to some evil genius. Sorry, not a Fulci-esque flesheater in sight.
What you will find in DEAD MEN KILL, however, is a breezy horror/mystery where almost every sentence ends in an exclamation point (“ ’Don’t!’ screamed Morton. ‘Don’t come near me! You’re dead, man! Get away from me!’ ”).
Readable in one sitting, DEAD MEN KILL is frightful fun from yesteryear.” –Fangoria Magazine
"Hubbard's rollicking horror yarn just happens to tap into the current craze for zombies. Heroic Det. Sgt. Terrence "Terry" Lane looks into a deeply disturbing series of murders of powerful businessmen. Dawn Drayden, a pretty Club Haitian entertainer, confirms Lane's hunch that the killers are dead men "coming back from the grave and killing their employers." The zombie mastermind is the nefarious Dr. Leroux, originally of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, aka Loup-garou (or human hyena). In the end, Drayden and Lane must face heart-pounding dangers once Dr. Leroux's secrets are revealed. This fun, campy novella reflects a contemporary revenge vibe felt by those who wouldn't mind dispatching a few zombies to punish criminally inclined businessmen." —Publishers Weekly
"...It's certainly loads of fun." —Ellery Queen
A hardboiled detective, a beautiful nightclub singer, and a throng of murderous zombies share the stage in Dead Men Kill, originally published in Thrilling Detective (Jul. 1934). R.F. Daley, Jim Meskimen, Matt Scott, John Mariano, Jennifer Aspen, and Lori Jablons deliver expert performances in this production brought fully to life with such fantastic sounds as a zombie's unrelenting call of "I have come to kill you, Gordon," an owl's ominous hooting, and the urgent slamming of Det. Terry Lane's creaky sedan door. A thrill from start to finish; recommended for all.