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Descendant [Hardcover]

Graham Masterton
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 2007
A supernatural thriller from the master of suspense Californian James Falcon's compelling Romanian mother told him so many folk stories that by the time he reaches college in 1943, he is something of an expert on the strigoi, the legendary, undying vampires who infested the most isolated forests of Wallachia. Mostly as a joke, he writes a term paper on the strigoi. But the joke turns serious when US counterintelligence approach him to recruit his expertise. James hunts down strigoi murderers in war-ravaged Europe, Nazi assassins hired to run down run down the French and Belgian resistance in exchange for Transylvanian independence, although the principal one, the terrible Dorin Duca, continues to elude him. In the Cold War, he must fight once more, as Duca goes on the rampage, spreading his strigoi infection all across London, England. With Jill, a police dog handler of great beauty and resilience, James is assigned to Britain's MI6 to go on the hunt again. But even after thethreat is driven away, James will still uncover more secrets about the immortal predators ? secrets that come ever closer to home

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Product Description

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Horror veteran Masterton delivers one of his best efforts. During World War II, American James Falcon traveled across Europe, hunting vampires for the Allied forces. Now it's the late 1950s, and the cold war is hitting its stride. Falcon is called out of retirement and sent to London, where an old enemy has resurfaced. He quickly discovers that, to beat the bloodsucker, he must confront some frightening secrets from his own past. This is a hugely entertaining novel, at once completely loopy and entirely plausible (once you accept vampires, of course). Masterton's exploration of the nature of vampires (what makes them tick, so to speak) is engrossing and scary as hell, and his descriptions of the violent confrontations between good and evil are unsettlingly graphic. On the other hand, the love story, between Falcon and his partner (a beautiful dog handler), is touching and surprising. Putting down the book before you've finished is not an option. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“Hugely entertaining.  Engrossing and scary as hell!” –Booklist (Starred Review)

“Graham Masterton is the living inheritor to the realm of Edgar Allan Poe.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“One of the true masters for the horror genre.”—James Herbert, author of The Others

“Masterton remains a mesmerizing storyteller.”—Publishers Weekly

“One of the genre’s most dependable craftsmen.”—Fangoria

 “Horror’s most consistent provider of chills.”—Masters of Terror

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Vampire novels I have read Sept. 6 2008
Graham Masterton has always been a great writer for me ever since the 80s. Descendant is one of his best novels to date, in fact, the Strigoi(the vampires in the novel) is not your typical vampire. Well written, fast paced, kept me reading it to the end and I finished the book in two days. Great info on the Strigoi as well as a great backround of the late 50s with the usual gore. Highly Recomended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars entertaining but... Oct. 28 2011
I read The Manitou many many years ago and longed to read Graham Masterton's more recent work.The story was entertaining but had too many give me a break moments.I pretty much had the feeling this whole book was a rush job-but will try another Masterton novel as i must admit i was still entertained.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong entry from the veteran horrormeister Nov. 1 2006
By F. J. Harvey - Published on
James Falcon is a young and outwardly unexceptional American but he does have one area of unusual expertise -his grandmother and mother were Romanian in origin and have inculcted in him a deep knowledge of " strigoi"-Romanian undead ,close kin to the nosferatu .He is approached in 1943 by US Intelligence who have use for his knowledge -the Nazis have secured the services of the "strigoi" who are revealing to them the names of key members of several European resistance groups .After basic training he is despatched to Europe in puruit of the strigoi leader -the saturnine Duca .We first see him in full on vampire slaying mode in Antwerp, Belgium but despite success Duca eludes him

We then move to 1957 when he is again pressed into service by US intelligence -Duca was not killed but captured by the US who hoped to enlist his services on their side in the coming conflict with Russia .His plane crashed and when it was recently dicovered Duca was resurrected and is now wreaking havoc in London .Falcon is sent to Britain to co-operate with British Intelligence in tracaking down and killing Duca and his acolytes

The action is swift and bloody but he still finds time for an amorous dalliance with Jill his main contact with the British services and events move to a showdown with Duca on board the "Queen Elizabeth" as it readies for sailing to New York .There is however a bitter sweet codocil to the novel which adds depth to the novel.Duca is a suitably nasty villain and James an engaging hero with a wry sense of humour

The main emphasis is action and this is well described and compelling but there is also some quite culture clash comedy as Falcon struggles to come to terms with British life in the mid 50's -warm beer ,shepherd's pie and draconian licencing laws in pubs

Masteron is a consummate pro and this is a very readable and entertaining book .It is unreservedly recommende to all horror lovers and those enjoying a well plotted and swiftly executed tale by an experienced practitioner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Griz Aug. 18 2010
By J. Delgado - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a vampire novel by Graham Masterson. He uses Slavic folklore and World World Two scenarios as the basis for this novel. While the majority of the story takes place during the 1940's it continues on in the future. Nazis have recruited a Slavic vampire to infect and recruit more vampires to aid the Nazi war effort. US and British answer is to develop and send out hunter/killer teams to locate and terminate with extreme prejudice these groups of vampires throughout western Europe. This novel is a good read. Its got action, some romance and a surprise ending. Not to shabby.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done Ancestors Dec 31 2008
By Santeria - Published on
Masterton crafts books like a Master. Now and again he will draw out one that is reminiscent of a superbly written Agatha Christie book, except that he scares the hell out of you, and weaves a brilliant Supernatural Narrative.
This time, as he has his Character re-tell what has happened, he crafts characters in such detail, he spends time hammering out the sculptured purity of the tale. As he still does, this is a tale written in Blood, gore and sex, and yet, he manages to take it one step beyond, showing that he has brought his craft to the tip of excellence. But, always a crowd pleaser, he manages to bring out the most stunning, the most brilliant plot twists that make it a tale so very difficult, as they say, to put down; this is more of the Master Chill-Smiths Brilliance.
5.0 out of 5 stars in "Descendant" Graham Masterton scores again! Oct. 21 2013
By T. Washington - Published on
In a genre where cliche and lack of original thinking stand out like sore thumbs, Graham Masterton constantly beats the odds, first in "Manitou Blood" and then in his second foray into the world of the vampire, "Descendant".
Captain James Falcon is recruited by US counter intelligence in 1943 (mainly because he is an authority on the "strigoi" as vampires are traditionally known in Romania, the land of his maternal forebears)which for reasons best known to themselves hace allied themselves with the Nazis. (just one blooper here: Falcon claims to have been 25 in 1943 when he was first apporached by the OSS, wartime predecessor agency of the CIA- shouldn't a young man of that age have already been drafted into the army- unless he was 4F-medically unfit?).

Fast forward to 1957, long after WWII, after a plane contained the trapped Dorin Duca( the head vampire) is discovered. Falcon is contacted again and heads to the UK where he not only meets the enigmatic Jill Fox, but also engages in the ultimate showdown with Duca- plus a truly unexpected twist in the tale!

4.0 out of 5 stars A New Twist on Vampires Feb. 1 2013
By K. Jump - Published on
Veteran genre writer Graham Masterton gives the vampire a daring and unnerving makeover in Descendant, a novel which mixes the undead, espionage, and scares to great effect. Masterton's prose is steady and streamlined, and thankfully he avoids the common pitfall of stretching his story out beyond its limits--if Stephen King had written this book, it would have been at least twice as long and maybe half as engrossing. Masterton's characters are realistically developed and their fates quickly come to mean something to the reader. The plot moves quickly but not without several unexpected twists. Masterton's take on vampires owes more to folklore--albeit updated for the 20th-century setting--than to Anne Rice or Buffy, and the result is a rather more threatening breed of undead than some readers will have previously been exposed to. A lean, entertaining thriller that scores high marks all round.
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