The final pages of Justin Cronin's epic post-Apocalyptic novel The Passage made for one of the most memorable endings to a novel I can recall. I wrote at the time: "(It is) an ending so chilling I couldn't sleep for hours after reading it and just could not shake it from my head for days. There is, apparently, a sequel on its way. It cannot come soon enough for me. My need to read on is so acute it is almost a physical ache."
The ache subsided, of course, but in recent weeks a sense of huge excitement came instead, because the wait is over. On Thursday the sequel, The Twelve is published, and Material Witness is delighted once again to be part of the Blog Tour - and (here's the good part) to have both a sneak preview of the book and an exclusive interview with Justin Cronin to share.
In the video, Cronin discusses his summer reading list, and as part of that his admiration for Alan Furst, the critcally acclaimed American spy novelist: "I can't recommend him highly enough. He is my favourite writer right now."
The influence of writers such as Furst - whose novels are heavily character driven and, as Cronin says, always stylishly written is evident in The Twelve. Cronin too is a fine craftsman, his prose is elegant and his characters hold the reader. Politics, espionage and sabotage play a huge role in the unfolding of The Twelve, as Cronin moves his Passage trilogy into new territory that explores two human societies that grow up in the wake of the military-vampire catastrophe described in The Passage, and as he plots an inevitable clash between the two.
I'll review The Twelve later this week,, but in the meantime enjoy the rest of the blog tour, which moves on tomorrow to Wondrous Reads.
Also check out yesterday's stop at The Tattooed Book, in which Cronin reads from The Passage.