A satisfying conclusion to an intelligent, utterly chilling horror trilogy.
The final book in director del Toro and thriller writer Hogan's (The Killing Moon, 2007, etc.) epic vampire trilogy.
Since the end of the previous book, the Master, an ancient being and source of a blood-borne parasitic infestation with vampire-like symptoms, has exerted near total control over the world. His vampire minions and a few human collaborators have set up concentration camps dedicated solely to harvesting blood for vampire consumption, while the rest of humanity scratches out a meager existence, watching re-runs on television and waiting in terror for their turn to be hauled to the camps. Hope for humanity is at a low ebb. Nuclear explosions have left the planet in a state of near-perpetual night. Abraham Setrakian, the old-world vampire hunter who has been trailing the Master for decades, is dead, and Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the epidemiologist who first understood the nature of the new threat, now spends most of his time in a pill-induced haze, pining for his lost son, who, though still human, is under the Master's thrall. There are still pockets of resistance, though. Gangbanger turned fearless vampire hunter Augustin "Gus" Elizade has set up base in the now-unused Columbia University campus, and exterminator Vasiliy Fet is working to translate an ancient, silver-bound book that Setrakian seemed to think contained the knowledge necessary to destroy the Master for good. When Dr. Nora Martinez, Goodweather's former colleague and lover who is now attached to Fet, is taken to a blood camp, Goodweather, Fet and Elizalde, along with the mysterious half-vampire Mr. Quinlan, must come together to free her, and then to find a way to end the Master's reign once and for all. While one of the principal charms of the series so far has been its unique, near-plausible scientific treatment of vampirism, the third book introduces elements of the supernatural, which is somewhat disappointing. Still, the prose crackles, the plot barrels forward with increasing momentum and the authors' knack for thoughtful horror and striking imagery remains intact.A satisfying conclusion to an intelligent, utterly chilling horror trilogy.
Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011
Page Count: 384
Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011
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by Kathy Reichs ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 2020
Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.
Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.
A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.
Pub Date: March 17, 2020
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020
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by Lee Child ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 17, 1997
Welcome to Margrave, Georgia—but don't get too attached to the townsfolk, who are either in on a giant conspiracy, or hurtling toward violent deaths, or both. There's not much of a welcome for Jack Reacher, a casualty of the Army's peace dividend, who's drifted into town idly looking for traces of a long-dead black jazzman. Not only do the local cops arrest him for murder, but the chief of police turns eyewitness to place him on the scene, even though Reacher was getting on a bus in Tampa at the time. Two surprises follow: The murdered man wasn't the only victim, and he was Reacher's brother Joe, whom he hadn't seen in seven years. So Reacher, who so far hasn't had anything personally against the crooks who set him up for a weekend in the state pen at Warburton, clicks into overdrive. Banking on the help of the only two people in Margrave he can trust—a Harvard-educated chief of detectives who hasn't been on the job long enough to be on the take, and a smart, scrappy officer who's taken him to her bed—he sets out methodically in his brother's footsteps, trying to figure out why his cellmate in Warburton, a panicky banker whose cell-phone number turned up in Joe's shoe, confessed to a murder he obviously didn't commit; trying to figure out why all the out-of- towners on Joe's list of recent contacts were as dead as he was; and trying to stop the local carnage, or at least direct it in more positive ways. Though the testosterone flows as freely as printer's ink, Reacher is an unobtrusively sharp detective in his quieter moments—not that there are many of them to judge by. Despite the crude, tough-naif narration, debut novelist Child serves up a big, rangy plot, menace as palpable as a ticking bomb, and enough battered corpses to make an undertaker grin.
Pub Date: March 17, 1997
Page Count: 368
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1997
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