Posts Tagged ‘Dark tone’

The Strain

February 23, 2010

Author(s): Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Title: The Strain

Genre:  Thriller

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 401

Geographical Setting: New York (current day), Romania and Germany (flashbacks)

Time Period: Current day (2009) and 1940s, during World War II

Series: Book I of The Strain Trilogy

Plot Summary: Ephraim is the head of a special infectious diseases team of the CDC in New York City.  He is suddenly called to duty due to an unknown case that leaves its victims with symptoms that are difficult to explain.  As the virus quickly spreads across New York, the residents of the city begin to act in strange, erratic ways that become too fast to contain and too inexplicable to explain.  Eph must race against time in order to contain the virus and as he further investigates, the story unfolds as he learns that menacing and unknown dark forces may be at hand.

Subject Headings: Vampires, Virus Diseases, New York City, Suspense, Infection, Physicians

Appeal: suspenseful, loss of control, intense, urban, dark forces, admirable characters, good vs. evil, claustrophobic, daunting

3 terms that best describe this book: suspenseful, page-turner and enthralling

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Author: Elie Wiesel

Title: Night (unsure future, unknown journey, Holocaust survivors)

  1. Author:  Denise Grady

Title: Deadly Invaders: Virus Outbreaks from Around the World, from Marburg Fever to Avian Flu (communicable viruses, loss of control, fight to find a cure)

  1. Author: Richard Preston

Title: Panic in Level Four: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science (loss of control, unbelievable true stories, themes of impending doom)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Author: Cherry Adair

Title: Night Fall (themes of impending doom, unknown evil, and courageous main characters)

  1. Author:  Graham Masterton

Title: Death Mask (suspenseful, who-done-it story, mystery murder plot)

  1. Author: Stephen King

Title: Salem’s Lot (vampires, the fight against evil, good-hearted characters)

Name: Jillian

Psychological Suspense

June 11, 2009


Psychological Suspense

Title: Scarpetta

Author: Cornwell, Patricia

Publication Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 500

Genre: Psychological Suspense

Geographic Setting: New York City

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Kay Scarpetta

Plot Summary: Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta leaves her practice in South Carolina to accept an assignment at Bellevue Hospital psychiatric prison ward, where her  husband works. An injured man, Oscar Bane, turns himself in to authorities claiming that he had been attacked by a stalker who had just killed someone else. He requests that only Dr. Scarpetta examine him. Is Oscar Bane a murderer, paranoid victim, or obsessed stalker fixated on Dr. Scarpetta? The only thing known for sure is that a woman had been tortured and murdered. There are bizarre twists and turns throughout the book. Dr. Scarpetta uses her technological skills to unravel the mystery and eventually reveal the  horrifying truth that threatens her entire family.

Subject Headings: Scarpetta, Kay (fictitious character) –Fiction, Medical examiners (law) –Fiction, Forensic pathologists – Fiction, Women physicians –Fiction

Appeal: Suspenseful, Multiple Plotlines, Complex plots, Scientific, Layered, Bizarre, Twists and Turns, Shocking, Horrifying,  Dark tone, Feminist, Intense.

Three terms that describe this book: Suspenseful, Scientific, Complex.

Similar Authors and Works (Fiction)

Reichs, Kathy – Bare Bones. Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist and uses her scientific training and research to solve this mystery.

Patterson, James – 1st to Die. This is the first in the Women’s Murder Club. Four women, a medical examiner, detective, reporter, and an attorney are friends who team up to solve crimes.

Cook Robin – Chromosome 6. The main character, Dr. Jack Stapleton, a forensic pathologist, and Dr. Laurie Montgomery use their medical training to solve a bizarre crime.

Similar Authors and Works (Nonfiction)

Denega, Danielle – Skulls and skeletons: true life stories of bone detectives. Forensic anthropologists who use their skills to solve mysteries are featured in this book.

Hunter, William – Solving Crimes with Physics.  Introduces and explains how forensic science associated with blood splatter, bullet ballistics, explosions, and other physical evidence can be used to understand crimes.

Nova – “The Perfect Corpse,” a DVD originally aired on television. Forensic scientists examine a headless Iron Age male corpse in Ireland. It is theorized that he had been a sacrificial victim of Celtic ritual.

Name: Donna Mihovilovich