Review: The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold. In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing . . . So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city–a city that includes his wife and son–before it is too late.

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Review: The Roo by Alan Baxter

Something is wrong in the small outback town of Morgan Creek.

A farmer goes missing after a blue in the pub. A teenage couple fail to show up for work. When Patrick and Sheila McDonough investigate, they discover the missing persons list is growing. Before they realise what’s happening, the residents of the remote town find themselves in a fight for their lives against a foe they would never have suspected.

And the dry red earth will run with blood.

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Review: Voices in the Snow by Darcy Coates

Clare remembers the cold. She remembers abandoned cars and children’s toys littered across the road. She remembers dark shapes in the snow and a terror she can’t explain. And then…nothing.

When she wakes, aching and afraid in a stranger’s gothic home, he tells her she was in an accident. He claims he saved her. Clare wants to leave, but a vicious snowstorm has blanketed the world in white, trapping them together, and there’s nothing she can do but wait.

At least the stranger seems kind…but Clare doesn’t know if she can trust him. He promised they were alone here, but she sees and hears things that convince her something else is creeping about the surrounding woods, watching. Waiting. Between the claustrophobic storm and the inescapable sense of being hunted, Clare is on edge…and increasingly certain of one thing:

Her car crash wasn’t an accident. Something is waiting for her to step outside the fragile safety of the house… something monstrous, something unfeeling.

Something desperately hungry.

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Review: Junk by Les Bohem

Set in present-day Los Angeles, Junk explores an epic conspiracy, one at work for thousands of years that involves total takeover of the planet Earth by aliens. In the wild, souped-up vision of Les Bohem – the acclaimed, Emmy-winning writer of the Steven Spielberg miniseries, Taken – the world is at the end stage of long-range plot that involves a gigantic genetic-engineering project. The aliens who have invaded us have no planet. No spaceship is coming. Instead, a small advance force comes, breeds, and dies – thus becoming an anomaly in our DNA that can’t be explained. In Junk, seers for centuries have had visions that turned out to be messages from our alien DNA. The time for the takeover is now. The aliens are ready, and they are starting to bloom.

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Review: Sea of Greed by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

January 1968

Two submarines–one French, one Israeli–vanish in the Mediterranean within days of each other. Extensive search-and-rescue operations turn up no sign of either vessel. Thirty years later, the wreck of one is found; the other is never recovered.

Present Day

After an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico destroys three oil rigs trying to revive a dying field, Kurt, Joe and NUMA are tapped by the President of the United States to find out why many of the world’s most productive oilfields have gone dry. The trail leads them to Tessa Franco, a brilliant billionaire in the alternative energy field. Tessa’s goal is the end of the oil age; her company has spent billions developing the most powerful and efficient fuel-cell systems the world has ever seen. In the eyes of many she’s an environmental hero, but her connection to a rogue genetic engineer and central Asian money suggest something more.

The NUMA crew discovers that the oil fields are infected with a bacteria that is consuming the oil before it can be pumped out of the earth–and initial studies reveal no way to stop it. With the price of oil tripling, the world’s stock markets crashing and the health of the global economy hanging in the balance, Kurt is up against it. But finding a submarine that’s remained hidden for fifty years won’t be easy. And with uncountable money and an army of hired killers at her disposal, Tessa Franco will do everything in her power to stop him.

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Review: The Lovecraft Squad: All Hallows Horror

There has always been something wrong about All Hallows Church. Not just the building, but the very land upon it stands. Reports dating back to Roman times reveal that it has always been a bad place–blighted by strange sightings, unusual phenomena, and unexplained disappearances.

So in the 1990s, a team of para-psychiatrists is sent in to investigate the various mysteries surrounding the Church and its unsavoury legends. From the start, they begin to discover a paranormal world that defies belief. But as they dig deeper, not only do they uncover some of the secrets behind the ancient edifice designed by “Zombie King” Thomas Moreby but, hidden away beneath everything else, something so ancient and so terrifying that it is using the architect himself as a conduit to unimaginable evil.

After four days and nights, not everybody survives–and those that do will come to wish they hadn’t. Imagine The Haunting of Hill House, The Amityville Horror, The Entity and The Stone Tape rolled together into the very fabric of a single building. And then imagine if all that horror is accidentally released . . .

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Review: Bitter Sweets by G.A. McKevett

Savannah Reid, that big, sexy, Souther-born sleuth with a black belt in karate has finally established herself as a P.I. in posh San Carmelita, California. All her Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency needs now is enough business to pay the rent and put some serious sweets on the table.

No sooner does Savannah complete her first case–finding the long-lost sister of a local real estate broker–than murder enters the picture. Framed in a diabolically clever double-cross, she sets out to find the real culprit…only to discover that she’s the prime suspect among the lovers, losers and liars lurking in the shadows of the victim’s past. Each of them has a motive. Not one of them has an alibi. Now Savannah must call upon all her resources to sort out the baffling clues, clear her own name, and corner a killer whose appetite for murder is growing every day…

In Bitter Sweets, G. A. McKevett serves up a mystery where the suspense is sweet and everyone gets their just desserts. And in Savannah Reid, she give us an earthy, exuberant sleuth to believe in, root for and care about.

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