I’m a huge fan of Guillermo del Toro‘s films, and I enjoyed the Strain trilogy that he wrote with Chuck Hogan, and turned into a TV series. So when I saw that the two were collaborating on this new novel, The Hollow Ones, I was excited to give it a read.
The story starts by introducing us to Odessa Hardwicke, an inexperienced FBI agent. She arrives at a crime scene accompanied by her partner, veteran agent Walt Leppo. Things go crazy as they confront the man who has snapped and is killing his family.
Put on limited duty during the investigation into the incident, Hardwicke is tasked with cleaning out the office of an older agent, Earl Solomon, who introduces her to a mysterious stranger who seems to know all about that mysterious presence, and the similar mass killings that are happening around NYC and nearby New Jersey.
With those plot points in place, the book splinters into three timelines: the present with Hardwicke; the the Jim Crow South of 1962, when Earl Solomon, then a young, untested FBI agent, first meets that stranger named Blackwood, while investigating some lynchings; and England in 1592, where Blackwood (yes the same man from the other timelines) first becomes involved in this paranormal mystery and is introduced to the supernatural monsters of the title…The Hollow Ones.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a solid crime thriller with a touch of del Toro’s strange horror leanings. This is especially evident in the description of The Hollow Ones form.
I found the characters interesting and the action was solid. Occasionally I had to re-read a paragraph because there was so much description, but I’d rather have too much info than not enough.
I’m giving The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The ending leaves open the possibility of a sequel, and I enjoyed this book enough to look forward to more.
Disclaimer: I received an advance e-book copy for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other way. My opinion is honest, and as always, my own.
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