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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Horror writer JAMES HERBERT (1943-2013) was born in London, England. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a singer and an art director for an advertising agency. His literary career began with the novels "The Rats" (1974) and "The Fog" (1975). His books have sold more than forty-two million copies worldwide and have been translated into thirty-three languages, including Russian and Chinese. In 2010, Herbert was named a Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention and was awarded an OBE.From AudioFile:
The year is 1948 in this "what-if" world in which only a handful of humans have survived a biological weapon let loose by Nazi Germany. But there is no peace among the survivors, a few of whom are immune to the "blood death," while the rest desperately seek a cure. All of this is only background for this well-crafted exercise in breathless sensationalism. The intensity and naturalness of William Dufris's colloquial first-person narration, plus the startling virtuosity of his character voices, almost add up to a one-man radio drama. Only music and sound effects are missing. An eleven-hour adrenaline rush isn't everyone's idea of fun, but this audiobook does what it does supremely well. J.N. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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