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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,455 Ratings  ·  113 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 1996)
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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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Deidre(Dee) ~ Official Bookworm ~
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
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
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.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very fast paced, a bit to fast paced, but still an enjoyable read.
Freya Inston
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
A post-apocolyptic idea of the conclusion of the 2nd WW with a biological weapon. Action filled, exciting and interesting take on how things could have been.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Started it, couldn't get past the first chapter, threw it in the trash. It was like bad Chuck Norris fanfic - so bad it couldn't even be enjoyed for it's awfulness.
Andrew Garvey
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
London, 1948. Three years after a demented, last-ditch act of revenge by the defeated Adolf Hitler saw him launch rockets stuffed with biological weaponry, a lone American fighter pilot named Hoke spends his time roaming the city, getting drunk and avoiding (and sometimes attacking) the near-dead fascist blackshirt army of survivors under the command of Nazi-sympathiser Sir Max Hubble.

Ambushed by Hubble's slow-moving men, Hoke and his little dog escape and run into three other healthy survivors
Oct 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book opens with a bang, an exhilarating near-capture of the protagonist, Hoke, an American pilot living in war-ruined London amongst hundreds of thousands of time-charred corpses. In this novel, in 1945 Hitler unleashed a virus that decimated all blood groups except for AB type. Hoke has AB type blood, and he’s been on the run for three years from a slow-dying group of crazies known as Blackshirts… they want his blood for their leader (a blood transfusion which they believe will save his li ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, horror, plague
The second reading of this book was as enjoyable and entertaining as the first time. From the very first page, our hero is running and hiding, dodging bullets, beating up the bad guys and rescuing fair damsels, until the James Bond like ending with lots of explosions, cliff-hangers and falling bodies.

This is an alternative history of 1948. Three years ago, Hitler realises that he has lost the war and so unleashes a virus. The Blood Death causes almost instantaneous death to most of the populatio
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: hell-on-earth
48 reminded me of the book "I am legend" by Richard Matheson. The novel was a alternative history of the 2nd world war. In James Herbert version Hitler used a V2 rocket to drop a chemical agent on England as a revenge attack. This agent sent a plague which wiped out almost the whole population, apart from a group of indivuals whose blood type has a natural resistence to the disease. Much like "The Day of the Triffids" which is also set in a post-apocalyptic London, much of the novel describe the ...more
Aug 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
The very first time I stumbled upon James Herbert,I read his novel "Nobody true" and was thrilled enough to give him chance several more times although nothing ever matched that first excitement - in fact,I noticed a certain sameness in his work so approached "48" with caution,ready to give up upon first negative character who happens to be big fat woman menacing the world. To my biggest surprise,this one turned out to be gripping read - in fact,action is happening so fast that I didn't have tim ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had never heard of this book but fell across a copy and I was intrigued by the idea of an alternate ending to World War II so I gave it a try. The book tells the story of Hoke, a WWII pilot three years after the end of the war in a world that has fallen victim to a last gasp biological weapon deployed by Nazi Germany.

The weapon attacks peoples blood coagulation and kills around 97% of the worlds population. It is in this setting that Hoke struggles to survive in post-war London. The novel only
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I really don't like admitting this but the last three James Herbert books I've read or started to read I've found mostly to be a chore when they should be enjoyable. I mean, this guy penned my favourite book of all time: Others. Along with that title, three of his other books have been real stand outs for me over the years but with 48 along with Once I found I was forcing myself to pick them up to continue reading. Although both very different, neither gripped me enough to rate them higher than ...more
M.G. Mason
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
The year is 1948 and London is devastated by disease. Prior to final defeat in 1945, Hitler release an arsenal of V2 rockets as a revenge attack against the allies. The rockets were carrying a disease, The Blood Death, which killed millions in the most gruesome way imaginable.

Our protagonist is an American pilot, an ABneg (blood type immune to the disease) being pursued by an army of Blackshirts who want to drain his blood, believing it will cure those in their ranks afflicted with The Slow Deat
Well, to start with the plot certainly is quite poor: what if the Hitler's V2 rockets that felt upon London were equipped with a biological device? All the population would have died that is, all apart from whose having a blood-type predisposing them against certain death. Hoke, an American pilot, is lucky enough to have such blood-type; less so for being thus the target of the Blackshirts, those leader doesn't and therefore is after him for an hopeful transfusion. Poor and naïve, yes! However, ...more
Dec 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Set in post-apocalyptic London in 1948, three years after the end of WWII and Hitler's final act of war releasing the Blood Death across Britain, which kills all except those who are AB positive, Herbert combines the chilling sensation of a quiet empty London with the terror of the chase with the Fascist Blackshirts in an action packed thriller that keeps you reading until the very last page. The detail and descriptions of London, it's streets and buildings add to the realism of the book and Her ...more
Lyn Mckenzie
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of this author's work and I have been for years, I love his writing and I have most of his books. This book i think is the most historical in the storyline and you get a real insight into how it was for people in London and how the bombings and the war affected them, add to that some deeply crazy people literally out for the main characters Blood and you have an amazing story that is filled with action and you aren't don't know what is going to happen next throughout this book.

Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Set in an alternative,parallel world,gives this fictional tale a twist of possibility. A story that kept me reeling as each Turn unfurled, as it ran to its conclusion. A different and refreshing look at what might have been
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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
More about James Herbert...

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