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Updated: May 9, 2012 16:55 IST

Gripping tale

RUFUS JOHN
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The strain by Chuck Hogan.
The strain by Chuck Hogan.

The first in a trilogy, this one is a page turner.

From the acclaimed director of the Oscar-winning fantasy (“Pan's Labyrinth”), Guillermo Del Toro comes The Strain (Book 1 of The Strain Trilogy). Co-authored by Chuck Hogan, this is a gripping tale of horror and suspense.

Abraham Setrakian grew up on his grandmother's tales of Jusef Sardu, a malevolent entity. When the World War drives them out of their homeland and Setrakian is caught in the labour camps, he realises that the Sardu legend is not a myth. The story then moves to a modern setting. At JFK airport, a menace of apocalyptic proportions is brewing on Flight 753. The airport authority, expecting a terrorist attack, rallies to face any eventuality. However, what follows is both unexpected and bizarre.

In the meantime, a solar eclipse sets in motion a chain of events that unleashes an ancient evil upon the city. It's up to Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, his colleague Nora and old Abraham, who realises that Sardu is back for blood, to investigate the ‘ outbreak'. Throw into the fray, a billionaire and a thief and what you've got is an engaging thriller with mythological undertones.

As the first book in a trilogy, the pace varies but keeps the reader glued. Be warned, The Strain is not for young readers as it has more than a fair share of violence and gore. The mix of ancient mysticism and 21st century technology works well in terms of plot development. This one is definitely worth a read.

Title: The Strain

Author: Chuck Hogan

Publisher: Harper Collins

Price: Rs. 250

Rufus is an IT professional.

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