A hidden mailbox on an old New York street, a mysterious lawyer who is a cross between detective Sherlock Holmes and monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing and a young FBI agent going through a crisis are the main ingredients of “Los Seres Huecos ”, the first installment of a new series of books by the Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and the American novelist Chuck Hogan.
It is about the return of the creative duo that made possible the novel trilogy “The Strain”, published between 2009 and 2011 and which became a successful four-season television series, which ran from 2014 to 2017.
The story takes place in the present and, instead of introducing us to humanity’s fight against vampires, as in the previous collaboration between Del Toro and Hogan, it now delves into the world of demonic possessions and the fight to hold off the Hollow Beings, evil entities that have plagued Earth for millennia possessing the bodies of people to turn them into what criminologists define as frenzied killers.
These types of criminals are a subcategory of multiple murderers characterized by killing six or more people in consecutive acts during a short period of time while moving between various locations.
The protagonist of the book is a rookie FBI agent, Odessa Hardwicke, who, while on a mission that seems routine, ends up chasing together with his police partner, veteran Walter Leppo, one of those murderers until he is cornered in his home.
When they are about to subdue him, things spiral out of control and Odessa is forced to point her gun not at the suspect, but at her own partner.
In the midst of the crisis caused by these events, Hugo Blackwood enters her life, a lawyer with an infuriating personality with enormous deductive capacities who comes to her aid and begins to question the belief system of the skeptical agent, whom she exposes to a hidden facet of the world.
It is precisely because of the surname of that character that the subtitle of the book is “The Blackwood Tapes vol. 1 “, since an old retired FBI agent named Ed Solomon and a collection of tape recordings with the lawyer’s voice play an important role in the story, which the policeman has accumulated over decades.
Written with four hands and in the tone of a police thriller, this first installment of what is presumed to be a trilogy is fast-paced and full of cinematic scenes and images that make it an entertaining read and, at various times, even exciting.
Related to both the classic crime novels by Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler, but also to successful television series of the procedural crime genre, such as CSI or Criminal Minds, the book takes time to cover its main characters with muscle, guts and bone marrow. Especially in the case of Blackwood, who we get to know in depth in a series of chapters that explore his past and serve as an origin story for the monster hunter-detective.
Along with Odessa Hardwicke and Hugo Blackwood there are also other characters and creatures typical of Guillermo del Toro’s supernatural imaginary and that could easily be adapted for the screen, either in movies or in a new television series.
“Los Seres Huecos”, a book that was published in English on August 4, will arrive in Mexico in its Spanish version on Friday, November 20.
Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote “The Trilogy of Darkness” together, which was also adapted for TV.
Nocturnal (The Strain, 2009)
Dark (The Fall, 2010)
Eterna (The Night Eternal, 2011)
* “The Strain” was released in 2014 and ended in 2017.
* It consisted of 46 chapters divided into four seasons.
* It had as protagonists Corey Stoll, David Bradley and Mía Maestro and special performances by Mexicans Adriana Barraza and Joaquín Cosío.
* Its first season won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series.
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