Page Count 256
Publication date October 2019/ Publisher Flame Tree Press
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 not what they expected.
Today is my first ever read of Hunter Shea and I’ve been hearing great things! Here’s how I got on…
At only 17% in I was considering just how many cold cases exist in the world. Reading so many murder mysteries in my youth and watching so many thrillers has given me the expectation that killers are always caught eventually. But that’s not real life is it! Why have I never questioned it before? Yep, time to stop that unsettling train of thought. Hunter had me spooked already!
The back story to Hayden holiday park is a real stomach churner, the revelations left me with 3 different theories on how this book was gonna go and I’m pleased to say I was wrong on all three guesses. A whole new level of horror developed and I was bricking it! I kept forgetting to breath. The hunters become the hunted. It’s dark, it’s dangerous and there’s nowhere to run.
I have to say, Ashley had some sound logic for her suicide. Kind of scary really that some people are thinking so clearly before hand.
I don’t usually take note of this but there was a liberal sprinkling of grammatical errors and misspelled words throughout the ARC. Nothing a reader can’t get past but enough to break my concentration and interrupt the pace of the story. I assume these will be corrected before release but for my own Slash reading experience they became a little jarring at times. Anyway I’m purposely not considered that when rating on Goodreads and Amazon.
I found the descriptions of the Wraith repetitive. Shea wrote them three separate times as if each was the first sighting despite using the same characters perceptions. Instead of clarifying or enhancing my mental image of the Wraith’s appearance each depiction only reinforced what I’d already learned. This familiarisation took away a little of the tension I felt.
I loved the setting of Slash, the Wraith was a formidable antagonist with a great premise some may have encountered before (no spoilers). I thought Todd made a believable character and his friendships were beautifully written. I can’t say I was a fan of Sharon or Jerry but I think that was Shea’s intention so they did their job!
The writing was atmospheric and I felt the impending doom and ratcheting tension from the second the group returned to Hayden until the bitter end.
I’ll definitely be returning to Shea’s work in the future.
*I received my copy of SLASH from Flame Tree Press via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.