A satisfying conclusion to an intelligent, utterly chilling horror trilogy.

THE NIGHT ETERNAL

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

ISBN: 978-0-06-155826-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

A CONSPIRACY OF BONES

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

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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It’s hard to imagine a single white-collar wage slave who won’t thrill to this latest Robin Hood fantasy of righteous...

WORTH DYING FOR

From the Jack Reacher series , Vol. 15

Whatever business Jack Reacher has in Virginia will have to wait till the world’s most distractible soldier of fortune cleans up the mess he’s stumbled into amid the cornfields of the Midwest.

After hitchhiking as far as Nebraska, Reacher minds his own business precisely long enough for the sozzled doctor sharing a hotel bar with him to get a call from a patient with a nosebleed. Forget about ignoring her, Reacher tells the startled medico. If she’s had nosebleeds recently, she may well be taking aspirin that’s thinned her blood and made it likely that she’ll keep on bleeding. Better to have Reacher drive him to Eleanor Duncan’s house so that he can see whether her husband’s been beating her. In the end, Eleanor’s nosebleed turns out to be inconsequential—it’s not even Seth Duncan who’s beaten her this time—but his perverse, aggressive, utterly characteristic stint as the good Samaritan pulls Reacher into the orbit of Seth’s father Jacob and Seth’s uncles Jasper and Jonas. Because they’re a tight-knit family, they don’t plan to take Reacher’s interference lying down. And because they’re engaged in criminal enterprise, their clients, already putting pressure on them for a mysteriously delayed delivery coming down from Canada, plan to go after this interloper themselves. In a flash, the ex-Army cop is the subject of a manhunt by the Duncans’ thugs, their Italian client’s thugs, the Italian’s Lebanese client’s thugs and the Lebanese’s Iranian clients’ thugs. With so many strong-arm types flooding the prairie, there are plenty of opportunities for violence, treachery and double-crossing—think of a Nebraska remake of A Fistful of Dollars with an international cast—and Child (61 Hours, 2010, etc.) doesn’t miss a single one. By the time he’s finally shaken the dust from his feet, Reacher will have plumbed the depths of a monstrous unsolved crime, cleaned up the county and killed a lot of mostly nameless guys who really deserved it.

It’s hard to imagine a single white-collar wage slave who won’t thrill to this latest Robin Hood fantasy of righteous vengeance.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-34431-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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