The creator of the movie Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo Del Toro, has written a book with author Chuck Hogan that scared me while reading at home in the dark. Well, even during the day it gave me the creeps when the Medical Examiner Dr. Bennett heard knocking from the inside of the refrigerated section of the morgue. Del Toro leaves you hanging at just the right spots while flipping back and forth between characters, much like Stephen King. The novel begins with an ancient folk tale told to the children of Poland and Romania to keep them in bed at night. Master Sardu is said to roam the streets with his cane and if you hear the "pick-pick-pick", you know he's coming after you.
In post-9/11 New York, a plane lands with all passengers mysteriously dead. Ephraim Goodweather is the head of the Canary project, a team of epidemiologists sent in to deal with potential biological threats. He arrives at the airport and quickly finds himself embroiled in the largest unbelievable virus outbreak of all time: vampires. OK, vampires in New York. Sounds implausible, but Del Toro does a wonderful job of creating suspense, thrills, chills and realization of the impending doom of a major city taken over by a rapidly spreading epidemic.
Many of the legends you've heard about vampires are not true, but some are and Eph has to learn quickly because the virus is spreading at an alarming rate. Lead by an old man whose existence is wrought with the need to search out and kill this rogue vampire, Eph and his colleague and a rat exterminator track the master and attempt to staunch the spreading of newly turned vampires. I loved this book and can't wait to read the next in this series, The Fall.
Recommended by Allison Holbrook