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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,766 ratings  ·  135 reviews
In 1945, Hitler unleashed the Blood Death on Britain as his final act of vengeance.

Those who died at once were the lucky ones. The really unfortunate took years. The survivors - people like me, who had the blood group that kept us safe from the disease - were now targets for those who believed our blood could save them.

I survived for three years. I lived alone, spending my
336 pages
Published 1999 by Presses de la Cité (first published November 4th 1996)
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,766 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this alternate 1948, London is devastated by a Nazi-created hemorrhagic plague.

We enter this new reality three years after Hitler's rockets spread the Blood Death across London. The city is a decaying mess and ruling over the dead are a band of neo-Nazi British --the Blackshirts-- who are slowly dying from the plague. They hunt the handful of those immune to the disease. Why? Sport of course, didn't I said they where a bunch of Neo-Nazi, but mostly because they crave the blood of the immune
Andrew Light
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it

This story is set, as the title suggests in the year 1948 shortly after the end of the second world war. Hitler has released the "Blood Death" which is a genetically modified disease that wiped out the majority of the population. It is also indicated that the disease spread and wiped out most of the world, the only survivors being those who belong to the rare AB negative blood group.

The story follows Hoke, a survivor of Hitler's deadly attack living in the city of London. He is trying to lay low
Cathal Kenneally
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m not sure where to start with this book. It’s post war with some post apocalyptic overtones thrown in for good measure. It’s hard to know where the book starts and finishes. The middle part is full action but it didn’t grab me
Well this book earns a solid so-so rating. What an intriguing premise. In 1945 Hitler unleashes a devastating biological suicide weapon killing a huge portion of the Human race. Taking everybody with him as Nazi Germany goes down the drain. When the story begins it's three years later and our protagonist (an American pilot) is living in London (now a gigantic mausoleum) and being chased by British Nazis who believe that his blood can save them. A few survivors are immune while others are dying m ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Slowly but surely working my way through back catalogue of the late great James Herbert. '48 was a departure for him, not so much horror as a dystopian alternate history. As the title suggests, set in the post WW2 England (London to be specific), the plot follows an American pilot who has been surviving in the war ravaged city. He comes across a group of fellow survivors and they struggle on together against the remainder of british fascists. The twist here is that although Hitler did lose the w ...more
Claire Fun
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Eh, it was alright. Macho man with issues saves some people in an almost post-apocalypse type London in 1948, after Hitler ended the war by unleashing a genocidal disease. I thought at the start I'd love it (post-apocalypse! Places I recognise!) but ended up being about the characters, which is *usually* what I want in a book, but I didn't really care for these characters. Huge pile of cliches. The dog was alright but underused ;). The main narrator was awful. Must kill. Uh. Pretty woman. Must n ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This is James Herbert on form. Its high adventure, there are elements which stretch credulity a bit and I imagine the plot would not stand up to intense scrutiny but as I have far better things to do than intensely scrutinise this tale who am I to worry?

What this does do is hold you attention and take the story to a satisfying end. It also has plot devices that I actually rather enjoyed:-

I liked the baddie in this, I liked the finite nature of him and the fact that his thinking was hopeful and w
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
First of all let me say how much I loved the setting in this book: silent and almost empty London in 1948, three years after Hitler's ultimate biological weapon extinguished almost all life on Earth, leaving buildings intact. Only a handful of people survived, and they are either sick or crazy or both. Among the ghostly remnants of civilization, a group of fascist bad guys (Blackshirts) is trying to round up all uninfected humans, including our superhero, the American pilot named Hoke, and steal ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
A very fast paced book- the action never stops from start to finish!
It can, at times, be a little hard to keep up with and the rate Herbert kills off the characters is a bit much to handle at times.
I only rated this book a 3 however as I found it startlingly similar to Domain, the final book in the Rats trilogy- both focus of a post-apocalyptic London, ravaged by a war, with few survivors trying to survive the enemy... Obviously in Domain it's the rats but in 48 it's the Blackshirts.
Still, a dec
Luke Walker
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast paced chase/alternate history story that doesn't let up pretty much from start to finish. Lots of fun.
Paul Elsy
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My most favourite book of all time, one of the first full novels I ever read. I must have finished it upwards of a dozen times now.


Julie Kellner
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've always loved this book. Each time I read it I enjoy it just a little bit more. James Herbert's story telling a true gem
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

A fairly enjoyable read with plenty of action, blood and guts, suspense and some sexy parts! But unfortunately it played out like most other post apocalyptic stories. Felt very "been there, done that". Although i did think the era it was set in helped keep the interest going whilst reading😂
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audioboek, 2017, 2018, ww2

Een mooi verhaal, dat zich afspeelt in 1948 (vandaar de titel). Vlak voor het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, laat Hitler raketten met een virus ('bloeddood'). Door dit virus verdikt het bloed van zijn slachtoffers, tot het uiteindelijk zo dik is dat de aders verstopt raken. Het resterende bloed zoekt een uitweg via allerlei lichaamsopeningen, en sommige slachtoffers sterven vrijwel direct, terwijl het voor anderen jaren duurden. Sommige mensen doen er langer over om te sterven, en
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
-Pulp modernizado y disfrazado.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. La Segunda Guerra Mundial terminó en el año 1945 y ahora, en el año 48 y en Londres, los pocos supervivientes de la plaga aguda conocida como Muerte Sanguínea, que llegó a Gran Bretaña desde Alemania acompañando a la tonelada de explosivos de las ojivas de las V2, tratan de capturar a los escasos inmunes gracias a su sangre tipo AB negativo para experimentar buscando una cura a la versión crónica, pero igualmente letal, q
May 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was drawn to this book as I'd always wanted to read a book by James Herbert and the fact this was post - apocalyptic added to the attraction.

I won't deny the book started at an intense pace and Herbert clearly has a great skill at being descriptive of the situation. However, as the book progressed the storyline slowed and his descriptive style got tedious as it proved ineffectual in advancing the overall story. I got bored and it become a chore pick g it up to read, I just didn't feel gripped
I have read a couple of his books in the past and they're ok, but never going to win any literary awards. The concept of the plot intrigued me. Alternative history where the Germans have dropped a bomb on London right at the end of WWII, causing a deadly virus to attack most people. Only those of a certain blood type can ultimately survive.

The actually story was woefully boring, just a catalogue of events of one man and occasional associates (all with the correct blood type) evading those with
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I struggled to finish this book; abandoning it twice before reaching the somewhat flat and disappointing ending. Blood and gore feature quite heavily in here, as you would expect in a James Herbert novel, but not enough of a story to keep my attention. That said, I enjoyed backdrop of a war ravaged London.
David Sherwin
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, like all of his later books, I just don't think it's that great, certainly not compared to his earlier works. I enjoyed it, but I certainly won't read it again - unlike many of his other books that I have read more than once.
The story tells of an American chap living in London at the end of WWII. Hitler and his Nazi chaps decided to bomb England with some kind of virus that wipes out the whole population except those with a certain blood-type. It doesn't really make it clear (or doe
Gavin Felgate
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is set in an alternate version of 1948, where Britain has been unleashed by a virulent disease, the "blood death", unleashed by Adolf Hitler at the end of World War II as his "final revenge".

The book's central character and narrator is Hoke, an American pilot, who is immune to the blood death, and has been living in what remains of London. Throughout the book, he and a group of other survivors fight to escape from the Nazi blackshirts, who are gradually dying from the disease and whose
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
More of a thriller than a chiller this one from Mr Herbert though it does certainly have horror elements, in many ways it's a alternative history novel with Hitler basically defeated unleashing one final gambit....a biological weapon that obliterates London....not physically in regard the capital more the populous who struggle to survive a killer virus.
One blood group is exempt from the slow and debilitating death the virus causes and these become the target for some neo Nazi blackshirts who tho
Dee ~ Proudest Nanna Of Newborn Millie ~
The unmissable new action-thriller from one of the biggest names in British fiction - the No 1 bestselling author of The Ghosts of Sleath, Haunted, The Magic Cottage and The Rats. As millions of readers around the world will testify, James Herbert's ability to shock and enthral is matchless. Now, in '48, he has surpassed his own remarkable achievements to create an electrifying new novel of pure heart-stopping action and invention that will take readers to new levels of terror and excitement. In ...more
Richard Ayre
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first return to '48 in a long time. And I have to say, I enjoyed it just as much as when I first read it. Fast-paced, exciting and shocking. Everything I expect from Herbert at his best. The premise is not exactly original, but it's in the pace and the action that Herbert comes up with the goods here. I would have loved a sequel to this one, to find out what happened to Hoke after he leaves London, but the story had me hooked from start to finish. Similar in a way to Domain, the desc ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: source-library
More of the usual from James Herbert.
It's fast, page-turning action. Disaster has befallen London and beyond. There's gore. There's fighting. There's a quasi-scientific basis. There's more gore. There's a some sex.
As usual with Herbert, I find his female characters' incompetence, frailty, and general dependence on men to be unrealistic and kind of insulting. The lead male is constantly defying the odds, having amazing luck, and generally deus ex machina-ing his way through.
Also as usual with Her
Kay Smillie
Bought and read this when it was first published but my original copy was long gone. Having availed myself of a new copy, I realised why my original went missing. Not James Herbert at his best. Great idea for a storyline but it didn't quite gel in my opinion. Never mind, I have copies of most of his other better books.

Ray Smillie
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
For me this book is one of those little gems you come across now and again.

I randomly came across it in a charity shop for one euro! bargain!

I love the whole idea behind the story and the kind of apocalyptic setting it has. It was a really enjoyable fast paced on the run story and found myself eating the pages hungrily to see what happened next.

A quick, fun read overall.
Anne Robinson
One of those books where you ignore the clichés and plot holes and just go along for the ride. Rather stereotypical characters, particularly the women. Exciting and gripping throughout with just the right amount of bloodthirsty(!) horror.
3.5 stars.

James Herbert is one of my all-time favourite authors, and even though it’s been several years since I read any of his books, I still count him as one of my faves.

48 is an excellent read.
Still one of my fave Herbert books.

Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So different from his other books

Third time I’ve read it now. Great book

Should be a film.
Robert Saunders
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting alternate history with a gripping narrative but unlikeable, asshole protagonist and too many wannabe Indiana Jones-esque action sequences.
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Recommendation 1 4 Apr 17, 2018 02:30AM  
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million