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The King of Plagues: A Joe Ledger Novel Paperback – March 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Ledger (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312382502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312382506
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Maberry's audacious third novel featuring Department of Military Science agent Joe Ledger (after The Dragon Factory), Joe must stop a cult bent on overthrowing the world order. Though Ledger is unofficially retired, a terrorist attack that levels the Royal London Hospital killing thousands compels him to return to action. The London tragedy proves to be just the opening move in a meticulously planned plot. When a viral research facility in Scotland is compromised, the Bombay Stock Exchange is bombed, and Ledger himself is almost killed by assassins, he and his DMS cohorts quickly realize that they're up against a terrorist group with virtually unlimited resources—about which they know little except its name, the Seven Kings. Powered by a cast of over-the-top characters, breakneck pacing, nonstop action, and a subtle sense of humor, this is an utterly readable blend of adventure fiction, suspense thriller, and horror. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Following The Dragon Factory (2010), Maberry cranks up the intensity level once again with his new Joe Ledger thriller. A London hospital explodes, killing thousands. This act of terrorism is only the beginning as the group behind the explosion turns to bioweapons in an effort to unleash a modern version of the biblical Ten Plagues of Egypt. Ledger, beaten and distraught over a heartbreaking loss, has quit the antiterrorism business but reluctantly must jump back into the game, charged with nothing less than saving the world. As events unfold, allies prove to be traitors, and traitors become allies. To throw off the authorities, the terrorist group begins utilizing civilians to handle the dirty work. The publisher bills the novel as horror, but the story, horrifying as it is, definitely belongs in the thriller camp. It�s also Maberry�s best book to date. The ending guarantees a sequel that will be anxiously awaited by series fans. --Jeff Ayers

More About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; now in development for film; named in Booklist's Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; nominee for several state Teen Book Awards; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (September 11, 2012; and FIRE & ASH (2013). His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin's Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; THE DRAGON FACTORY, 2010; HE KING OF PLAGUES, 2011; ASSASSIN'S CODE, 2011; EXTINCTION MACHINE, 2013; CODE ZER0, 2014, and JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES, 2011 from Blackstone Audio.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel; DEAD MAN'S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 and its forthcoming sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. And the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation.

He is also editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW.

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary, ZOMBIES: A Living History. He will also be featured in That $#(!'ll Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture, a forthcoming documentary on horror movies directed by Robert Tinnell.

His many nonfiction works include VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006); THE CRYPTOPEDIA (Citadel, 2007 -winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer); ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and finalist for a Stoker Award; 2008); THEY BITE! (2009 co-authored by David F. Kramer); WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (2010; Bram Stoker finalist; co-authored by Janice Gable Bashman); THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD (2001, written under the pen name of Shane MacDougall); ULTIMATE JUJUTSU (Strider Nolan, 2001); ULTIMATE SPARRING (Strider Nolan, 2000); JUDO AND YOU (Kendall Hunt 1991); and many others.

He writes a variety of projects for Marvel Comics involving CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK PANTHER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE, DEADPOOL, THE X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER. MARVEL UNIVERSE vs WOLVERINE and the upcoming MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE AVENGERS. All of Jonathan's comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.

Recent short stories include "A Footnote in the Black Budget" (MADNESS OF CTHULHU, 2013), "Pegleg and Paddy Save the World" (HISTORY IS DEAD, Permuted Press 2007), "Doctor Nine" (KILLERS, Swimming Kangaroo Press, 2008; and reprinted in THE STORIES (in) BETWEEN Edited by Greg Schauer, Jeanne B. Benzel, and W.H. Horner. Fantasist Enterprises, 2009), "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Greenbrier Ghost" (LEGENDS OF THE MOUNTAIN STATE 2, Bloodletting Books, 2008), "Clean Sweeps" (AND SO IT BEGINS, Dark Quest Books, 2008), "Family Business" (THE NEW DEAD, St. Martin's Press, 2010), "Like Part of the Family" (NEW BLOOD edited by Patrick Thomas and Diane Raetz, Padwolf Press, 2010), "Zero Tolerance" (THE LIVING DEAD 2, Night Shade Books), "Flint and Steel" (GI JOE: COBRA WARS, 2011), "Saint John" (THE MONSTER'S CORNER, 2011, St. Martin's), "Spellcaster 2.0" (An Apple for the Creature, Ace Books, 2012), "Jack and Jill" (21st Century Dead, St. Martin's Griffin,2012), "The Death Song of Dwar Guntha" (Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom, 2012, Simon & Schuster), "The Wind Through the Fence" (an original e-story available for all e-readers), "Property Condemned" (scheduled for the premier issue of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE), "Chokepoint" (included in THE UNINVITED, Vol 2), and many others. His essay, "Take Me To Your Leader" is included in the nonfiction book, TRIUMPH OF THE WALKING DEAD: Robert Kirkman's Zombie Epic on Page and Screen edited by James Lowder (BenBella Books/Smart Pop, 2011).

In 2012 Blackstone Audio released two collections of Jonathan's short stories: Tales from the Fire Zone and Hungry Tales.

All of Jonathan's novels are available on audio, including the audio-only collection, JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES (Blackstone), which includes the short stories "Countdown", "Zero Tolerance", "Deep Dark", "Material Witness" and "Dog Days". Another Joe Ledger short, "Mad Science", will appear in the audio anthology LIAR LIAR from The Liars Club.

Jonathan is the co-creator (with Laura Schrock) of ON THE SLAB, an entertainment news show in development by Stage 9 for ABC Disney / Stage 9. He was also a 'blog correspondent' on Sony's zombie-themed web show 'WOKE UP DEAD'; and was a recurring character on Laura Schrock's 'IT'S TODD'S SHOW'.

Jonathan's Big Scary Blog (www.jonathanmaberry.com) focuses on the publishing industry. Jonathan's interviews include Sandra Brown, Gayle Lynds, Alafair Burke, Charlaine Harris, James Rollins, Harlan Coben, Jeff Abbott, John Saul, Jonathan Kellerman, Barry Eisler, CJ Box, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Tom Piccarilli, Dale Brown, Kevin J. Anderson, Joe Lansdale, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, Carrie Ryan, and many other best-selling authors.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest of honor and workshop leader at genre cons, libraries, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including KeyCon, ThrillerFest, Zombie Fest, Heather Graham's The Writers for New Orleans, Central Coast Writers Conference, NeCon, NY Comic Con, Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Sisters in Crime, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, Romance Writers of America, American Library Association, The Write Stuff, Hypericon, AnthoCon, KillerCon, NAIBA, LunaCon, and many others.

Jonathan has sold more than 1,200 feature articles and 3,000 columns; as well as greeting cards, song lyrics, poetry, technical manuals, call-floor scripts, and two plays, including Tales from the Fire Zone. He is developing a psychological thriller novel based on that play.

Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA, as well as a jurist for the Edgar and Stoker Awards.

Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County (2005-06) and co-owner of the Writers Corner USA (2006-2009). Jonathan regularly visits local middle schools, high schools and colleges to talk about books, reading, publishing and the writing life. He is a board member of the River Union Stage, a professional equity theater based in Stockton, New Jersey.

Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Stephen Susco, Chuck Wendig, Sara Shepard, William Lashner, and Laura Schrock. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books. The late NY Times bestseller L. A. Banks was a founding member of the Liars Club.

On the last Sunday of every month Jonathan hosts the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill. The event is held at the Barnes & Noble in Willow Grove Pennsylvania. The Liars Club has begun launching additional Writers Coffeehouses throughout the region.

Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Act Like a Writer, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others. Many of his students have gone on to obtain representation and/or publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics.

In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field.

Jonathan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie. His stepson, Sam West-Mensch, serves a general manager of Jonathan's writing business.

Visit his website/blog and sign up for his free newsletter at www.jonathanmaberry.com
www.facebook.com/jonathanmaberry, www.twitter.com/jonathanmaberry

Customer Reviews

Over all a good read and looking forward to the next.
Aleesha Hammer
The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end and it was one of those books I didn't want to put down!
OutlawPoet
He also does a good job of mixing action and moving the plot along.
Drew (@drewsant)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nickolas X. P. Sharps VINE VOICE on March 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
So let me first introduce Jonathan Maberry's series of Joe Ledger novels. Think Resident Evil without the horrible dialogue. Think the hit Fox drama 24 with Bond villains. Think Monster Hunter International but less supernatural and more scientific. I really love the Joe Ledger novels (for the most part) and unless you hate America you will too. The first novel in the series, Patient Zero, is one of my all time favorite zombie stories. The sequel, The Dragon Factory, didn't quite live up to the quality of the first but it was still a solid thriller. Now here is my review for The King of Plagues. It's a little late and I'm currently reading the fourth book in the series, Assassin's Code, but you know what they say. Better late than never.

So Joe Ledger is drifting around Europe recovering from a personal tragedy when a terrorist attack takes out the oldest hospital in London. Thousands perish and just like that Joe finds himself out of retirement and back into the counter-terrorism business. This time Joe and the Department of Military Sciences face an enemy with unimaginably vast reach and lofty ambitions. The Seven Kings of the New World Trust are well funded, well prepared, and ready to bring chaos to the world in the name of profit. Can Echo Team stop the Seven Kings before a weaponized version of the Ten Plagues of Egypt are unleashed?

Where to begin? Well this is a Joe Ledger novel so perhaps best to start with the big man himself. Joe Ledger is a great character (mostly). I love reading from Joe's first person perspective which is also interspaced throughout the book with the third person perspectives of ancillary characters.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James on March 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
IMHO, I think that "The King of Plagues" is the best of Maberry's Joe Ledger series.

As usual the Dept of Military Science finds themselves in the middle of a deadly terrorist threat having to play catch up with an enemy that is months ahead of them. Their enemies primary weapons are: fear, coercion and misdirection.

Joe Ledger seems to be a more complete human being in this book. The toll that combat and loss have taken make him seem a little more mature and introspective. Sure- the smart ass mouth is still there but he's thinking more and popping off less. The character is growing and becoming more interesting. The addition of Ghost- a trained German Shepherd- gives Joe a constant and loyal partner.

In "the King of Plagues" you will meet new friends and adversaries and sometimes wonder which is which. Some are actually both at the same time. I won't offer up any spoilers but we will see some familiar faces in the enemy camp and discover that one of those to be much more interesting than previously thought. The legendary Aunt Sallie finally appears, after being discussed in both previous books, and turns out to be hell on wheels.

I also enjoyed the idea of "the Seven Kings" as a secret society that manipulates events from the shadows. The way that they hijacked myth and legend to inspire fear and awe was brilliant. Every hero needs a worthy adversary to test their metal and in the Seven Kings, Ledger meets his match.

From beginning to end it is a non-stop full throttle thrill ride that doesn't slow down until the last period.

Begin this book on a Friday because you will be useless until you have finished it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Author Bill Peschel on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Give Jonathan Maberry credit: In a thriller world where you can't think too big, he comes up with the biggest conspiracies, the evilest villains and the hardest, pulse-pounding action readers who think they've seen it all.

The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry book cover In "The King of Plagues," the third book in the series that began with "Patient Zero" and "The Dragon Factory," former Baltimore detective Joe Ledger is called back into the Department of Military Sciences -- imagine the SEALs with bleeding-edge technology -- when someone blows up the Royal London Hospital, an attack on the scale of 9/11.

Grieving from the death of his lover in "Factory," Ledger is also beset with doubts about his ability to continue fighting a war against various terror groups that seemingly will never end. But there's not much time for reflection, even in a book that's a supersized 400+ pages by thriller standards.

Maberry keeps multiple narratives and time streams jumping like a kid with ADD. Ledger investigates the bombing, then we're back seven months before the attack, watching various nefarious plots getting into gear. We're brought up to speed on the fate of Sebastian Gault, the villain who barely escaped with his life from the end of "Factory," then we're at a state prison in Pennsylvania, introduced to Nicodemus, the prisoner who could be Hannibal Lector's younger cousin in his ability to spook everyone with his oracle-like pronouncements.

It's hard to talk about the book without delivering spoilers, so I'll just say this: Maberry seems to have given a lot of thought to how conspiracy groups operate. While their plots and villain are blown up to serve the tropes of the genre, they seem grounded in their very human desires for wealth and power.
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