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Published by Pinnacle Books on June 3, 2014
Genres: Creature Feature, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Police Procedural, Suspense, Thriller
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"Shea combines ancient evil, old school horror, and modern style." --Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author
It Kills. . .
On a hot summer night in Montauk, the bodies of two local bar patrons are discovered in the dunes, torn to shreds, their identities unrecognizable. . .
It Breeds. . .
In another part of town, a woman's backyard is invaded by four terrifying creatures that defy any kind of description. What's clear is that they're hostile--and they're ravenous. . .
It Spreads. . .
With every sunset the terror rises again, infecting residents with a virus no one can cure. The CDC can't help them; FEMA can't save them. But each savage attack brings Suffolk County Police Officer Gray Dalton one step closer to the shocking source of these unholy creations. Hidden on nearby Plum Island, a U.S. research facility has been running top-secret experiments. What they created was never meant to see the light of day. Now, a vacation paradise is going straight to hell.
"Hunter Shea is the real deal.. . .intense." --Gord Rollo, author of Valley of the Scarecrow and Crimson
"Shea delves deep into the unknown. A thrill-ride of a read!" --Alexandra Holzer, author of Growing Up Haunted
THE MONTAUK MONSTER, by Hunter Shea, could easily be classified as one of his popular “creature features”, yet this novel has much more to it than the vicious monsters, themselves. Officer Gray Dalton’s usually quiet shift is suddenly shattered by an anonymous call of what might be a body on one of the beaches. While they were used to getting an occasional drowned body–or, “floater”–washing up on one of the shores, the the scenes of gore and carnage that Dalton comes upon is anything but routine.
Keeping things quiet in a vacation town is virtually impossible, but what follows in the wake of this discovery is instead, a flurry of large, vicious animal sightings and attacks.
“. . . What the hell was people’s obsession with death and dismemberment?”
In my opinion, the strongest part of this novel lay more in the implications and just how . . . possible . . . Shea makes this entire scenario seem. On the very nearby Plum Island, a government controlled research facility, a lack of communication is becoming noticed by a select few. While nobody really seems to know the current purpose of the island, it had a history dating back to Nazi times.
“. . . It’s the way of any large governmental entity . . . a perfect place to do all kinds of things on the wrong side of ethics . . . “
As usual, the characterization in this novel is top notch. In addition to officer Dalton, many other individuals come into play here, and Shea takes the time to show us each character in great detail. The fear and terror that suddenly descends upon these people is something that the reader can virtually feel just by reading their reactions. The gory and violent scenes are made so much more believable by the fact that our own scientific research has become so advanced in recent years, meaning that the ideas presented here are no longer–unthinkable . . .
“. . . we have the technology now to make these nightmares come true . . . “
While the monsters create plenty of bloodshed, single-minded destruction, and ferocity to keep horror fans glued to the pages, the ideas and hypotheses on just what the scientists were working on in the government facility add an entirely new level of terror and suspicion. Perhaps the greatest fear that we can feel is is that of what we don’t fully understand. The unknown factor is somehow worse than a threat–no matter how large–that we can picture and know the details of. Without this knowledge, paranoia runs rampant–turning our mentality into a “shoot first, ask questions later” mode.
“What the hell were they messing with?”
“Something they shouldn’t have . . . “
Shea takes the paranoia now present in this town–where they are being kept completely in the dark by those that knew first-hand exactly what the threat is–and convincingly weaves his tale of a crisis that few will ever know the truth of.
“. . . from an animal that was never meant to be . . .”
This story left me with the unshakable feeling that it was not so much about what to fear the most, but rather, who . . .
About Hunter Shea
About the Author
Hunter Shea is the author of over 20 books, with a specialization in cryptozoological horror that includes’The Jersey Devil, The Dover Demon, Loch Ness Revenge’and many others. . His novel,’The Montauk Monster, was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. A trip to the International Cryptozoology Museum will find several of his cryptid books among the fascinating displays. Living in a true haunted house inspired his Jessica Backman: Death in the Afterlife series (Forest of Shadows, Sinister Entity’and’Island of the Forbidden). In 2011, he was selected to be a part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. When he’s not writing thrillers and horror, he also spins tall tales for middle grade readers on Amazon’s highly regarded Rapids reading app. An avid podcaster, he can be seen and heard on Monster Men, one of the longest running video horror podcasts in the world, and Final Guys, focusing on weekly movie and book reviews. His nostalgic column about the magic of 80s horror,’Video Visions, is featured monthly at Cemetery Dance Online. You can find his short stories in a number of anthologies, including’Chopping Block Party, The Body Horror Book’and’Fearful Fathoms II. A lifetime New Yorker, Hunter is supported by his loving wife and two beautiful daughters. When he’s not studying up on cryptozoology, he’s an avid explorer of the unknown, having spent a night alone on the Queen Mary, searching for the Warren’s famous White Lady of the Union Cemetery and other mysterious places. You can follow his travails at’www.huntershea.com.’