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

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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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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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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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