August 04, 2020

The Hollow Ones

By Chuck Hogan & Guillermo del Toro
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The FBI and the supernatural are familiar bedfellows in pop culture. For starters, there’s Fox and Mulder in “The X-Files.” Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child gave us Agent Pendergast. Now there’s the welcome addition of FBI agent Odessa Hardwicke and occult investigator John Silence in The Hollow Ones, the new novel from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

Odessa is thrust into a bizarre mystery after she and her partner, Walt Leppo, chase down a random spree killer to a New Jersey home. But after killing the suspect in an exchange of gunfire, Leppo suddenly tries to kill the man’s 9-year-old child, and Odessa is forced to fire on and kill Leppo. In a decidedly twisted turn, Odessa “sees” something she can’t explain leaving his body.

Remanded to desk duty while the Bureau investigates her shooting of Leppo, Odessa is, somewhat conveniently, tasked with cleaning out the desk of retired agent Earl Solomon, who is dying. Solomon urges Odessa to contact John Silence, a man he’s worked with before, to assist her in the case.

Silence—who is based on one of Lovecraft disciple Algernon Blackwood’s characters by the same name—is an enigmatic and mysterious man who seemingly knows everything about Odessa and the threat she is pursuing, which he refers to as a Hollow One, a body-hopping entity addicted to the thrill of experiencing death.

The authors ferry us back and forth in time. Silence is hundreds of years old, thanks to an ancient curse, and is responsible for setting the Hollow One loose in the world. It’s a bit complicated, but suffice it to say there’s a good bit of world building behind the strange goings-on, which all leads up to a modern-day, high-stakes pursuit by Odessa and Silence to capture the entity before it can do more harm.

Hogan and del Toro previously collaborated on the Strain trilogy, a popular series turned short-lived TV show, and The Hollow Ones has TV series written all over it. At the very least, it promises to be the first in a new series of literary adventures, and that’s a good thing, as Silence is a fascinating character you’ll want to see again.

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The Hollow Ones

The Hollow Ones

By Chuck Hogan & Guillermo del Toro
Grand Central
ISBN 9781538761748

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