Book Review: The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

A man is enjoying a nice little weekend with his 11-year old son. It’s one of the few moments they get to spend together since the start of a protracted divorce trial with the boy’s mother. The man is a top epidemiologist with the CDC. A super smart gentleman who runs an important lab and a rapid response team that evaluates potential biological threats.

He takes one drawn-out look at his cellphone, which is now vibrating on the coffee table like an upturned beetle. He ignores it. Probably the boy’s mother reminding him about his son’s asthma inhaler, he decides. He turns back to the combat video game he’s playing with his boy, who is kicking his ass so far. The cellphone vibrates again. He ignores it again, only this time, the thought of who might be calling starts to gnaw at his subconscious.

A plane successfully had landed at JFK International airport a few hours earlier, he learns when he returns the call, and that he needs to go to the airport at once. Nothing in his career and his medical school career has prepared him for what he is about to experience.
Seven minutes after touchdown, the plane shuts down on the runway, an occurrence Boeing engineers later referred to as “an impossibility.” More than 200 passengers on board are dead and only four have survived. There are no signs of violence, physical harm, or trauma and the plane is largely intact.

The incident sets off a chain of events in the city, including the disappearance of all the 200 bodies from various morgues. Only one man understands what is happening, but the epidemiologist’s top-tier education and smart brain will not accept this man’s explanation, at least not initially when it’s almost too late.
When I peeked into the first three pages of this book, it was as if I had been standing on the edge of a swimming pool and someone had given me a slight shove. It was a heart-pounding swim to the end of the book.

One of the two writers, Chuck Hogan, is actually a screenwriter, which explains the arresting start of the story and its vivid descriptions. The book was turned into a major television series and I am looking forward to seeing it with as much excitement as my oncoming prostrate exam.
All in all, you won’t put this one down until you’ve read every last word!

I absolutely loved it! 5 stars from me!

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