Thursday, 3 August 2017


James Herbert

In 1945, Hitler unleashed the Blood Death on Britain as his final act of vengeance.
Those who died at once were the lucky ones. The really unfortunate took years. The survivors - people like me, who had the blood group that kept us safe from the disease - were now targets for those who believed our blood could save them.
I survived for three years. I lived alone, spending my days avoiding the fascist Blackshirts who wanted my blood for their dying leader. Then I met the others - and life got complicated all over again.

I first read this book about a decade ago and was reminded of it recently when I read another Herbert book 'Haunted'.  My over-riding memory of it is that it was an utterly exhausting read that doesn't relax for a second and a quick reread showed that to be pretty much the case. Right from the off the book hares along at breakneck speed and never really lets up.

The setting is a devastated London three years after a defeated Hitler sets off his V3 rockets loaded with a virus that kills everyone except those with AB blood type.  Some die quickly, others slowly.  Among those taking their time about things are a group of 'blackshirts' who decide that draining the blood of the seeming sole survivor in London - an American airman named Hoke - and transfusing it into themselves will save their lives.  So, for 300 and something pages they chase him (and some others) around a desolate city until a final confrontation at two London landmarks brings it to an end.

It is utter nonsense and exhausting but it's also a fun, dumb read.

Buy it here - '48

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