1st in a series of 3 books about Frank Balenger
2005, Vanguard Press
388 pages, including the first chapter from Scavenger, the next in the series.
Goodreads Rating: 3.60
My Rating: 3/Liked it
Acquired: Mechanicsburg Mystery Books Store, PA
Setting: Contemporary Asbury Park, NJ, in a decrepit, deserted 7-story hotel
1st sentence/s: "Creepers. That's what they called themselves, and that would make a good story, Balenger thought, which explained why he met them in this godforsaken New Jersey motel in a ghost town of 17,000 people. Months later, he still would not be able to tolerate being in rooms with closed doors."
My comments: I stumbled into a mystery bookstore in Mechanicsburg, PA last week. The owner and a friendly gentleman who worked there recommended some new authors to me. Debbie, the owner, says that David Morrell is one of her favorites. I found this book not to be a "mystery" in the complete sense of genre - I would categorize it more as a "thriller." It was a good story; easy and a very quick read. She also suggested another three-book series by Morrell, beginning with The Brotherhood of the Rose. I'll read more from this Rambo creator.
Goodreads Review: On a cold October night, five people gather in a run-down motel on the Jersey shore and begin preparations to break into the Paragon Hotel. Built in the glory days of Asbury Park by a reclusive millionaire, the magnificent structure - which foreshadowed the beauties of art deco architecture - is now boarded up and marked for demolition.The five people are "creepers," the slang term for urban explorers: city archeologists with a passion for investigating abandoned buildings and their dying secrets. On this evening, they are joined by a reporter who wants to profile them - anonymously, as this is highly illegal activity - for a New York Times article.
Frank Balenger, a sandy-haired, broad-shouldered reporter with a decided air of mystery about him, isn't looking for just a story, however. And after the group enters the rat-infested tunnel leading to the hotel, it becomes clear that he will get much more than he bargained for. Danger, terror, and death await the creepers in a place ravaged by time and redolent of evil.