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The Strain

Written By:Chuck Hogan - 2009

  • The Strain  - Chuck Hogan cover
  • The Strain  - Chuck Hogan cover

    Harper - 2010

  • The Strain  - Chuck Hogan cover



They have always been here. Vampires.
Nesting and feeding.
In secret and in darkness. Waiting.
Now their time has come.
In one week, Manhattan will be gone.
In three months, the country. In six months—the world.

Harper - 2010

In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months... the world.

At New York's JFK Airport an arriving Boeing 777 taxiing along a runway suddenly stops dead. All the shades have been drawn, all communication channels have mysteriously gone quiet. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of a CDC rapid response team investigating biological threats, boards the darkened plane... and what he finds makes his blood run cold.

A terrifying contagion has come to the unsuspecting city, an unstoppable plague that will spread like an all-consuming wildfire—lethal, merciless, hungry... vampiric.

And in a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem an aged Holocaust survivor knows that the war he has been dreading his entire life is finally here...

The terror is in the blood...


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.


The international phenomenon—rights now sold in twenty countries

The visionary creator of the Academy Award—winning Pan's Labyrinth and a Hammett Award—winning author bring their extraordinary imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity—the first installment in a thrilling trilogy.

"The Strain is good old-fashioned gothic horror and adventure. Readers will be in bloodlust for the final two installments." —Bill Cusamano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan

"Excellent... very well paced and disturbing. I will be talking it up like crazy when it comes out." —Chris Rickert, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"All I can say is, "WOW"... you compared The Strain to Stephen King and Anne Rice—they haven't written anything this good in years. The Strain is one of the scariest, most horrific books that I have read in a long time." —Craig Elliot, Borders, Portland, Maine

"Fantastic... Del Toro and Hogan have done a bang-up job of reinventing vampire lore... The characters were wonderfully developed." —Kate Glasgow, Mitchell Books, Fort Wayne, Indiana

"Let me say that the vampires I knew and I loved as a kid are back. This is one of the best horror novels I have read in a long time." —Stephen Welch, Barnes &Noble, Charleston, South Carolina

Harper - 2010

New York Times bestseller from the creator of the Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth

"A high-tech vampire epic... terrifying... riveting action... With echoes of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and Stephen King's ‘Salem's Lot."" —San Francisco Chronicle

"A deliciously creepy story that will literally make the hairs on your neck stand up. The Strain is Bram Stoker meets Stephen King meets Michael Crichton. It just doesn't get much better than this." Nelson DeMille

"The first in a trilogy that soars with spellbinding intrigue. Truly an unforgettable tale you can't put down once you read the first page. I can't wait until the next one." —Clive Cussler

"Creepy fun." —Detroit Free Press

"Riveting... page-turning suspense." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The quintessential horror story of this decade." —Buffalo News

"A horror-infused C.S.I.... A monstrous vision." —Chicago Sun-Times

"[It] will have the hairs on your neck standing for quite a while." —Louisville Courier-Journal

"Chuck Hogan is known for his taut thrillers, Guillermo del Toro for his surreal horror films (including Pan's Labyrinth), and their new book, The Strain, brings out the best of each... Riveting from the start... So vividly drawn that you can almost smell the moldering soil that clings to the undead, feel their unnatural heat." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Forget Hellboy, Forget Pan's Labyrinth. Forget directing The Hobbit... For the moment, de Toro's all about a plague of blood-feeders taking over New York... a man vs. vampire page-turner called The Strain... A fast-paced mix of gruesome horror and straightforward investigative crime fiction." —Philadelphia Inquirer

"A topical new take on one of the oldest themes in Hollywood movie-making... Del Toro and Hogan have added [an] up-to-date twist—fear of a viral pandemic—and then cobbled it onto the Dracula myth... Cross-fertilization between myth, science, and fantasy makes The Strain a rattling piece of escapism... Something to get your teeth into." —The Times (London)

"About as great as you could ask for... I like The Strain a lot." —

"Terrifying... The creative genius who made Pan's Labyrinth one of the creepiest and most innovative movies of the last few years is taking a bite out of the vampire genre, and the result is an imaginative and genuinely frightening mash-up of Dracula and Outbreak... [The Strain] takes the vampire genre into bold new territory... A gripping page-turner that's bound to be one of the hottest novels of the year... A horror novel that's actually frightening... It will give you nightmares out of the corner of your eye when you're walking to your car at night... The Strain can stand beside the best of Stephen King or Peter Straub." —Buffalo News

"Potent cinematic imagery welded onto crime fiction pacing... Del Toro offers his unique vision within the pages of this new book... The beasts del Toro and Hogan have invented are not roaming faraway castles but rather they inhabit our airports, backyards, and kitchens. This is a monstrous vision, one where all the romantic ideas of Bela Lugosi and George Hamilton are stripped bare and what is revealed is a new vampire biology—but with links to the past." —Chicago Sun-Times

"If you prefer to be shaken, not stirred, The Strain might be the perfect thing... Horror novel fans are sure to suck down this first installment of a planned trilogy." —Santa Fe New Mexican

"Blood and apocalypse mix in a terrifying story that feels like it was ripped from today's headlines. Vividly wrought and relentlessly paced, The Strain haunts as much as it terrifies. I cannot wait to see where del Toro and Hogan take us next." —James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of Altar of Eden

"Magnificently creepy... The Strain is genuinely scary." —Melbourne Sunday Age (Australia)

"Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) teams with thriller writer Chuck Hogan (The Standoff) to create a visceral page-turner that re-imagines vampirism as a virus... Del Toro and Hogan create vivid scenes of a New York where something has gone terribly wrong... The action moves swiftly and the violence is satisfyingly gruesome." —Baltimore Sun

"The Strain is a tremendous, thrilling read. I had to keep putting the book down after every few pages because I was so creeped out by the amazingly descriptive passages. If you can work up the courage to finish the book, you'll be clamoring for the second and third installment of this trilogy in no time... A must-read." —Ray Carsillo,

"Readers who developed a crush on Edward Cullen (from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series) will be crushed to read the latest undead offering, The Strain. Its creatures of the night are not handsome, charming, or romantic. Instead they are hideous, malevolent, and hungry... A fresh approach to vampires that examines the ‘science' behind the diseased vermin... A great start to a trilogy." —Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

"This book was impossible to put down... This duo is dynamic, their vision of a world on the brink is equal parts apocalyptic and redemptive, and they have left the story wide open for two must-read sequels." —National Post (Canada)

"A truly creepy, intense thriller... Will consume readers from the first page to the last... What makes it special is plain old-fashioned storytelling... The Strain will inspire as it terrifies." —Anniston Star (TX)

"Who among the fans of Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, or Pan's Labyrinth wouldn't want to see what this gifted film director can do with a vampire novel?... Can that fantastic visual imagination make the leap to the page? The answer is... yes. There are plenty of arresting, vividly imagined moments in this page-turner... It's a fairy tale for adults... Good enough to make us break that vow to swear off vampire stories." —Newsweek

"Every few decades the vampire genre grows a tad anemic, as it were, and the lore of the Undead threatens to die on us. But then along comes a Richard Matheson or Stephen King and... license renewed. This time around the re-animators are Guillermo de Toro and Chuck Hogan with their terrifying new novel, The Strain, an unholy spawn of I Am Legend out of ‘Salem's Lot."

"Del Toro and thriller writer Hogan treat a vampire outbreak as a massive public-health crisis, with chilling results. The book boasts a plethora of arresting images and many terrific macabre touches. Del Toro and Hogan also succeed in constructing a driving plot and delivering a gripping conclusion. Great characters... and a flair for striking scenes get this trilogy off to a first-rate start." —Kirkus Review

"Genuinely chilling... It strikes enough of a balance between creating clever psychological tension and breaking out the chainsaws to make it both readable and interesting... A well written and absorbing read." —Sunday Business Post (Ireland)

"The combination of del Toro's fervid imagination and Hogan's gritty realism produced the holy grail of horror—a book as scary as it is believable." —Melbourne Herald Sun (Australia)

"Director and screenwriter Guillermo del Toro, who indulged his love for the fantastical in hit movies including Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy I and II, now is letting his imagination loose on vampires... Del Toro's vision of the re-animated dead is dark, gory, and palpably grotesque." —USA Today

"Meaty prose, full of the blood and sinew of terrific horror fiction, and nightmarish passages that will haunt you for days... These big, bad bloodsuckers will convince you they are real and that they will be marching into your town—soon. This combination of classic folk tale and modern biological nightmare will have you shivering in the night and double-checking the deadbolts." —Louisville Courier-Journal

"True to his horror roots, del Toro and co-author Chuck Hogan keep the vampires dark and nasty... [A] horror tale [with] a thriller slant along the lines of writer Robin Cook... The speed at which the drama ratchets up is intense, as are the vampires." —Lansing State Journal (MI)

"Maybe you're tired of all the good-looking vampires wooing pretty girls... Maybe you just like the kind of horror that makes you feel cold while you're sitting in the sunshine... [The Strain] brings old-time folklore together with high-tech New York, whose citizens are in denial over creeping, ugly death... One of those just-one-more-chapter books for readers." —Toronto Star

"Have your heart medicine close: The Strain may sneak up on you—and it's scary enough to kill. I loved it." —Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of A Lion Among Men and Wicked




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