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World War II has been over for three years, since 1945. The Allies lost.
So did the Nazis.
The only winner was a hideous plague, the Blood Death, hatched in Hitler's secret labs and sent over the Channel in a last grim rain of V-2s.
The Fuhrer's final horror brings a death neither merciful nor dignified, but swift and certain: the blood coagulates suddenly in the veins until it stops the heart and bursts the brain, transforming a living body into a screaming mass of suffering tissue yearning only for extinction.
London is a ruin, roamed by packs of feral dogs, the occasional leopard loping along Regent Street - and a few AB negative survivors who are mysteriously immune to the Blood Death.
Hoke is an American loner who lives with his dog and his Matchless G3L motorcycle on the upper floors of Buckingham Palace. Pursued by "slow dying" Blackshirts who scavenge the "AB-negs" for blood and body parts, Hoke has survived so far through cleverness, speed, and sheer brutality. But his luck is running out. Led by a home-grown British fascist named Hubble, the Blackshirts are closing in.
Then Hoke finds out that he is not alone. Other AB-negs are as determined to survive as he is - and as willing to fight. They include two women, a Lady and a factory girl; an air-raid warden; and an escaped German POW. This unlikely team must confront the Blackshirts in their den - even if it means descending to the Underground, where the stairways are heaped with bones, gasoline-soaked rats are used as self-propelled firebombs, and the only way to the future is to clamber over the decomposing corpses of the past. Welcome to '48, where the living envy the dead.
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‘Break-neck pace... a story for those who like their plots exploding with excitement and fear, set against an apocalyptic backdrop. A perfect adrenalin-packed alternative to Booker Prize pretension.’
The Blood Death held no patience, no pity. But those who died at once were the lucky ones – their horror was only transient. The really unfortunate victims took months, even years, to die, watching their bodies rot, feeling their minds corrupt... And then there were the survivors; people like me who had the blood group that kept us safe from the disease but made us targets for those who believed our blood could save them. For three years life was simple. I lived alone, spending my days on my self-appointed task, avoiding the fascist Blackshirts who wanted my blood for their dying leader. Then I met the others – and life got complicated all over again...
James Herbert's latest bestseller projects an alternative result to the Second World War and as his hero, Hoke, learns that life isn't just about surviving, the listener is swept into an action-filled adventure that sweeps to a breathtaking climax.
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Book Description Harper Prism, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0061052930
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