Fiction Reviews


The Blood Artists

(1998) Chuck Hogan, Avon, 5.40 / US$6.99, pbk, 367pp. ISBN 0-380-73146-0

The Plainville virus is similar to smallpox, but infinitely more deadly. Stephen Pearse and Peter Maryk think they've seen the last of it in a radioactive cave in Africa in 2012, but it resurfaces in America in 2016 when Stephen has become the head of the Bureau for Disease Control in Atlanta. And the worst part of it is that the virus appears to be acting intelligently...

Today's horror seems to draw heavily on yesterday's science fiction and, perhaps unsurprisingly, with the late 20th century's fears as regards the environment and disease, this trend is continuing. Chuck Hogan has tapped into a fertile vein, so to speak, and this coupled with his excellent writing should make him one to watch. His characters convince, and his plotting is fairly tight, but suspending disbelief is hard while his research remains so poor. Still, a good effort, and worth a read.

Tony Chester


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