Five years after final girl 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 what they expected.
Hi and welcome to my review of Slash! As always, massive thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation and to Flame Tree Press for the review copy.
I have to admit, when Anne offered me a spot on this tour, I practically bit off her hand! Although a tad squeamish in real life, I love a good slasher movie! It’s a subgenre I became very fond of in my late teens, and although it’s no longer my go-to genre, I still enjoy it, albeit much more sporadically. From Friday the 13th to Scream, from Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Halloween, I’ve seen them all, watching in delight as knives were lifted, guts dropped out of bellies and blood was spattered all over the place, often leaving just one final girl standing. With my love for slasher movies, I was fairly certain I would love a slasher novel just the same, and boy, was I in for a treat!
The first third of Slash goes easy on its reader. Hunter Shea takes his time setting the mood, letting us discover what went before, and we move along at a leisurely pace. It’s like the gentle start of a rollercoaster ride, when your cart is slowly and gently pulled up, but you’re already feeling butterflies in your stomach in anticipation of what’s to come.
In this part we learn that a few years ago, Ashley King and her friends went urban exploring in the Hayden Resort. Once a popular getaway, the resort had been abandoned for more than 30 years, making it the ideal place for poking around and absorbing the past. Though urban exploring is illegal and might be dangerous, none of the friends had any idea of just how lethal the Hayden would turn out to be. That night, a killer later nicknamed the Wraith brutally murdered all the friends, but Ashley herself. With the Wraith never caught, Ashley is unable to get over that night and the loss of her friends, and it’s her eventual suicide which brings us to the beginning of Slash.
After Ashley’s death, her distraught fiancé Todd, blaming the Wraith for her death, is determined to unearth the Hayden’s secrets and challenge the killer while he’s at it. But the Hayden has a sordid secret in its past and the Wraith is no ordinary killer. As history starts to repeat itself, the question rises just how much of it will be repeated, and how many (if any) of this little band of friends will make it out alive this time.
Once the shit hits the fan, it hits the fan bigtime and there is no letting up, no coming up for air, with Hunter Shea and his Wraith keeping you firmly in their deadly grip. With a killer who refuses to stay dead (and isn’t that the best kind!), Hunter Shea absolutely nails the slasher trope and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! Fans of the genre should definitely check this one out!
One more word to the wise though: if you’re a lunchtime reader like me, I would advise you to pick up another book to read while eating… Learned that the hard way ? Something about a head making a squelching sound when stepped on made my appetite go poof!
Thanks for stopping by, be sure to check out the others stops on the tour: