The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

The Hollow Ones

The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan (Blackwood Tapes #1)
English | 2020 | Thriller | ePUB | 2.2 MB

A horrific crime that defies explanation, a rookie FBI agent in uncharted territory, and an extraordinary hero for the ages: an investigation spirals out of control in this heart-pounding thriller.

Odessa Hardwicke’s life is derailed when she’s forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly, inexplicably violent while apprehending a rampaging murderer. The shooting, justified by self-defense, shakes the young FBI agent to her core. Devastated, Odessa is placed on desk leave pending a full investigation. But what most troubles Odessa isn’t the tragedy itself — it’s the shadowy presence she thought she saw fleeing the deceased agent’s body after his death.

Questioning her future with the FBI and her sanity, Hardwicke accepts a low-level assignment to clear out the belongings of a retired agent in the New York office. What she finds there will put her on the trail of a mysterious figure named Hugo Blackwood, a man of enormous means who claims to have been alive for centuries, and who is either an unhinged lunatic, or humanity’s best and only defense against unspeakable evil.

From the authors who brought you The Strain Trilogy comes a strange, terrifying, and darkly wondrous world of suspense, mystery, and literary horror. The Hollow Ones is a chilling, spell-binding tale, a hauntingly original new fable from Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and bestselling author Chuck Hogan featuring their most fascinating character yet.

Odessa set down her menu and looked around the Soup Spoon Café for a list of specials. She found it, a whiteboard near the hostess station, written in block lettering with a red marker. Something about the handwriting triggered a long-forgotten memory of her days at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

A Behavioral Sciences lecturer drew up homicide definitions with a squeaky red dry erase marker on the big board in the front of the auditorium.

The differentiation, the lecturer explained, had nothing to do with the homicides themselves—severity, method, or manner—but rather the cooling-off period in between.

The Serial Killer’s hallmark is their cycle. Weeks, months, or even years may pass between homicides.

The Mass Murderer kills in one setting, within a fixed time frame, totaling a minimum of four homicides committed in close succession with little or no downtime in between.

The Spree Killer murders in multiple settings, usually over a brief period of time, the duration lasting anywhere from one hour to several days or weeks. Related: a Rampage Killer, a single person who murders multiple persons in a single homicidal event.

The last two classifications allowed room for overlap. One case that was difficult to properly classify—and was generally considered to be the first rampage killing in the United States—had occurred just seventy-five miles south of the café in which she now sat.

On September 6, 1949, Howard Unruh, a twenty-eight-year-old World War II veteran, departed his mother’s house in Camden, New Jersey, dressed in his best suit and a striped bow tie. He had argued with his mother over breakfast, prompting her to flee to a neighbor’s home, frantically telling them she feared something terrible was about to happen.

Unruh walked into town armed with a German Luger pistol, carrying thirty 9-millimeter rounds. In a twelve-minute span he shot and killed thirteen people, wounding three more. Locations included a pharmacy, a barbershop, and a tailor. While the desire to murder was proven to be premeditated—Unruh was later found to have kept a list of enemies in a diary—his victims were a mix of preferred targets and people unfortunate enough to cross his path on that clear Tuesday morning. Victims and eyewitnesses alike described the look in Howard’s eye that morning as trance-like, dazed.

To anyone other than a law enforcement professional, the classification of the crime matters little. The only truly important fact of the matter was that, for more than sixty years, Unruh’s shooting spree stood as the worst rampage killing in New Jersey.

That is, until the night Walt Leppo ordered meat loaf.

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