Slash – Hunter Shea
Reviewed By Don Gillette
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Flame Tree Press (24 Oct. 2019)
Hunter Shea’s latest release from Flame Tree Press, Slash, is a heart-pounding thriller that combines elements from several genres (and several ages) most successfully and delivers an astonishingly good read that is entertaining, tight, and executed almost perfectly.
This is a complex novel; not in the sense you’ll need weeks or months to contemplate, but complex as in genre-bending and deserving of attention—not something you can casually breeze through on a weekend. It requires some thought. It requires you to keep up with what’s going on. And that’s a good thing in a novel. Don’t pick it up expecting to read a few pages and come back in a few days and remember what’s happening because that won’t work. Immerse yourself—if you do that, you’re in for a hell of a ride.
As is the case with Shea’s Creature, it is difficult to review Slash and not toss in a few spoilers, so without doing so, I’m going to promise any reader they are in for a treat when, in the final third of the book, the reveal presents itself. The Wraith is a character you won’t soon forget and the imaginative background of the creature is both fascinating and evocative.
In less-talented hands, the scenes in the abandoned resort would have become tedious, leading, as they do, from one catastrophe to another, but they are presented with such freshness and continuity that the reader is almost hoping against resolution. That’s one of the marks of a good writer—keep you wishing that “this isn’t it.”
I saw only two very minor problems.
I know it’s difficult to find a new novel that doesn’t manage to pander to society’s clamour for inclusion, and Slash is no different because that’s currently our culture. Race, religion, or sexual orientation of a character doesn’t concern me unless it’s germane to the story—and it wasn’t in this book—but we got it tossed into the mix anyway, so everybody’s happy. Yes, authors should strive to be inclusive but, at the same time, they should make this inclusion meaningful and important to the tale taking advantage of the inclusion as a teaching point, however slight. I also found it hard to keep up with a few of the characters who weren’t as fleshed out as others. As I said, minor points—they may not bother some folks in the least.
Overall, Slash is a phenomenal achievement and a supernatural thriller that should not be missed.
Five years after Ashley King survived the infamous Resort Massacre, she s found hanging in her basement by her fiancé, Todd Matthews. She left behind clues as to what really happened that night, clues that may reveal the identity of the killer the press has called The Wraith. With the help of his friends, Todd goes back to the crumbling Hayden Resort, a death-tinged ruin in the Catskills Mountains. What they find is a haunted history that s been lying in wait for a fresh set of victims. The Wraith is back, and he’s nothing that they expected.
Don Gillette has been writing since he asked for (and received) one of the original “Tom Thumb” typewriters for his 6th birthday.
He is the author of three novels, a dozen volumes of poetry, hundreds of short stories and newspaper articles, a complete collection of his political humor pages from the now-defunct weekly newspaper, The Wilson County Advocate, a book of short fiction (Old Leather), and most recently a mixed-media collaboration, Fallen Angels.
As a contributing author, his work has also appeared in several anthologies including the HWA Poetry Showcase III.
Don has B.S. and M.A. degrees in English. He spent 25 years in the Tennessee Army National Guard and served on active duty during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He retired in 1996 as a Chief Warrant Officer Four and subsequently spent 20 years as the VP of Military Operations for Reese Group, Inc.
Don is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and the Academy of American Poets.
He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Sim Yoon and is at work on a 4th novel, Dark Voices.
You can follow Don on twitter @dongillette
To find out more about Don, please visit his official website www.dongillette.com
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