Review

SCAVENGER
BY DAVID MORRELL

by Wayne Sears


David Morrell, a master of suspense and mystery, once again has Frank Belanger the damaged, but recovering hero of Morrell's award winning CREEPERS, and Amanda Evert the woman he loves and has risked his life to save, thrust in a nightmarish game devised by an evil game designer calling himself the "Game master". SCAVANGER is a historical mystery along with a good dose of high TECH and terror. You are drawn into the novel until you'll also feel you're in the same twisted game. The novel places the two main characters in two completely different settings, uniting them only twice as they struggle through the clues and rules of the game. Balenger and Evert are together at the beginning of SCAVENGER when Frank receives an unusual letter from the Manhattan History Club. The letter appears old and has an aged and brittle feel and closer examination shows a post mark dating it back to the nineteenth century and a two cent stamp. This intriguing envelope contains an invitation to a lecture given by an expert on time capsules. Both of our characters accept the invitation. When the presentation is over, Balenger finds himself drugged and separated from Evert, the object of taunting clues issued from an unknown and deadly source whose purpose seems either to murder Balenger or drive him crazy as he struggles to locate Evert.

Amanda too has woken up to find herself no longer at the Historical Club, but in bed in an unfamiliar house. She and four other reluctant guests have just entered into the ultimate scavenger hunt in which 40 hours have been given to win the game. If they break any of the rules which are to be revealed as these reluctant players move through the clues or try to escape the confinements of the gaming area, they will pay with deadly consequences.

This thriller is a race against the clock and as the time remaining falls, the tension mounts as we rush to the heart-stopping conclusion. Morrell switches perspectives throughout the book, first spending time with Belanger as he gathers his wits and starts his search for Amanda. Then he switches our focus to Amanda's plight as she struggles through the clues and perils of the scavenger hunt. Morell allows us the luxury of bringing the story to a climax before switching between scenes and doesn't leave us hanging until he brings us back to conclude the scene. SCAVENGER in true thriller style, keeps the outcome completely uncertain and up in the air until the last page. For those of you that have read any of the Rambo series, you expect fast paced action, which has the ability to surprise and terrify. SCAVENGER delivers.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery thrillers. The book is a fast mover. I felt I could have sat down and read to conclusion in one day, as one does get caught up in the action. I do suggest that the reader finish "Creepers" first, since the heroes Frank and Amanda are a continuation of characters from that book. The use of the technology and the historical aspect of the story rang true and seem well researched. I am looking forward to the next David Morrell offering.


ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Wayne Sears developed a love for reading in grade five and continues to have a ferocious appetite for literature. His favorite books are Mysteries, Suspense and Crime Novels.

Wayne was born in the prairie region of southern Alberta and in his early life enjoyed the outdoors with hunting and fishing. He still enjoys getting out in the countryside with his wife of twenty years, enjoying the scenery, but now shooting with a camera. Besides reading Wayne has taken up woodcarving and is enjoying take photographs of scenery and wildlife for subjects but his first love still is reading a good novel.


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