cover image The Hollow Ones: The Blackwood Tapes, Book 1

The Hollow Ones: The Blackwood Tapes, Book 1

Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Grand Central, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5387-6174-8

This horrifying series launch from Del Toro and Hogan (the Strain trilogy) introduces occult investigator John Blackwood, who maintains a mailbox in Manhattan’s financial district, the repository for desperate requests for help. When FBI agent Odessa Hardwicke and her partner, Walt Leppo, visit the Montclair, N.J., home of a graft inquiry target, disgraced politician Cary Peters, the pair find him in the midst of a murderous rampage in which he fatally stabs his estranged wife and two sons. Walt manages to take a knife from Peters, but then the FBI agent inexplicably attacks Peters’s surviving child, a nine-year-old girl, stabbing her in the shoulder before Odessa shoots him dead. Afterward, she thinks she sees some presence leave Walt’s corpse. The traumatized Odessa, after being placed on restricted duty, takes a retired agent’s suggestion to write Blackwood for help understanding what she thought she saw. Blackwood responds, revealing that Walt was possessed by a violent supernatural entity known as a Hollow One, and the two set out to catch it before it can kill again. The authors keep the tension high throughout. Fans of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Pendergast books will be enthralled. [em]Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Aug.) [/em]