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Scavenger Mass Market Paperback – Bargain Price, May 27, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This unwieldy thriller from bestseller Morrell (First Blood) becomes so caught up in its headlong action that it never stops to explore the possibilities of its intriguing premise. Frank Balenger, the emotionally banged-up hero of the Stoker Award–winning Creepers (2005), finds he must play an to save himself and his lover, blonde, blue-eyed Amanda Evert, who reminds him so much of his late wife. The nefarious Adrian Murdock, a history professor at Atlanta's Oglethorpe University and a member of the Time Capsule Society, sends the pair on a hunt through time that keeps them in constant danger as they attempt to discover the secret of a series of time capsules. While Morrell delivers race-against-the-clock thrills with his usual aplomb and does a good job educating the reader about actual time capsules, the minimal characterization makes it hard to care about Balenger and Amanda. Video gamers will be most satisfied.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Ex-cop Frank Balenger, introduced in Creepers (2005), returns for an even, well, creepier adventure. While attending a lecture about time capsules, Frank mysteriously blacks out. When he awakens, he discovers that the lecture was a ruse, and his girlfriend, Amanda, is missing. Turns out a fiendish puppet master is playing a deadly game with Frank and Amanda (and an assortment of other people), and the key to winning the game--and staying alive--is, like a time capsule, buried somewhere in the past. This is just a wonderful novel, a near-perfect balance of thriller, horror, and historical mystery. Balenger, the deeply troubled hero (his wife was murdered, and this is the second time Amanda has been kidnapped), is one of those characters you want to spend more time with, just to figure out what makes him tick, and (without divulging any of the novel's secrets) the villain is full of interesting surprises. Morrell has a reputation for smart, tightly written, genre-bending fiction, but here he exceeds himself, producing a superbly entertaining novel that will attract readers from multiple genres. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press (May 27, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1593154836
  • ASIN: B001G8WVPW
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #921,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Morrell is the author of FIRST BLOOD, the award-winning novel in which Rambo was created. He holds a Ph. D. in American literature from Penn State and was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic spy trilogy that begins with THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE, the basis for the only television mini-series to premier after a Super Bowl. The other books in the trilogy are THE FRATERNITY OF THE STONE and THE LEAGUE OF NIGHT AND FOG. An Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity nominee, Morrell is the recipient of three Bram Stoker awards and the prestigious Thriller Master award from the International Thriller Writers organization. His writing book, THE SUCCESSFUL NOVELIST, discusses what he has learned in his four decades as an author. His latest novel is the highly praised Victorian mystery/thriller, MURDER AS A FINE ART.

Customer Reviews

It was a little too much and extemely far fetched.
H. L. Wasden
Scavenger is a sequel to Creepers, and though the second book can be read as a standalone novel, it is probably better to read Creepers first.
Characters were well developed and the story line was none stop entertainment.
M. Rourk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on August 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
David Morrell is a solid writer of suspenseful thrillers. I thoroughly enjoyed "Creepers" which introduced Frank Balenger and Amanda Evert as major characters. They are back in "Scavenger", now living together and jointly trying to heal the psychic and physical wounds suffered in their adventure in the Paragon Hotel in "Creepers".

They become separated by a master manipulator, the Game Master, who wants them as players in both a "game" and a scavenger hunt for a lost time capsule, the Sepulcher of Worldly Desires. Amanda finds herself with four strangers who are collectively forced to follow clues in a search for the lost time capsule using high tech equipment as part of a scavenger hunt with a forty hour time limit and death or freedom as the reward.

Meanwhile Frank awakens at the Paragon Hotel and with the assistance of detective Ortega, begins the painful tasks of discovering what has happened and to track down Amanda. He also must follow clues that will ultimately (hopefully) lead him to Amanda and her crew in the search for the time capsule.

The Game Master is a devious manipulative evil genius who is not as fully realized a charcter as he could have been. He does pull myriad puppet strings that control the lives of Frank and Amanda and her companions as they move closer and closer to their goal. The twin searches, Frank's and Amanda's, are well played against the ticking clock. Death, gruesome discoveries, and duplicity are all additional elements of their quest. As might be assumed, nothing is necessarily what it seems to be and everything is potentially a death trap--this gives much of the needed suspense to "Scavenger" and gives both Frank and Amanda the opportunity to display their analytic talents.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on March 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
At the heart of Morrell's previous thriller, the well-crafted and highly suspenseful Creepers, stood the ancient and oh so dangerous edifice known as the Paragon Hotel, which could be characterized as a metaphoric time capsule. In contrast, Scavenger, his follow up to that Bram Stoker Award winning novel, involves a frantic search for a real one.

Clearly taken with his esoteric subject matter, Morrell thoroughly researched his topic, as evidenced from this excerpt from an interview with Crimespree Magazine: "Time capsules are fascinating. The concept is as old as history, but the first object to be called a time capsule was invented for the 1939 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. The Westinghouse Corporation filled a torpedo-shaped object with various cultural artifacts of the decade, including a copy of Gone with the Wind, and buried it with instructions that it shouldn't be opened for five thousand years. The capstone is still there in Flushing Meadows. Westinghouse got the idea from the eerily titled Crypt of Civilization, which is a drained indoor swimming pool filled with thousands of artifacts at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. It isn't scheduled to be opened for six thousand years."

In Scavenger, a group of people (including two members of the cast of Creepers) is forced into a desperate, high tech scavenger hunt by a man who calls himself the Game Master to uncover the time capsule known as the "Sepulcher of Worldly Desires," which is rumored to be buried in Wyoming. Trapped in a race against time where their very lives are at stake, the participants have to reach deep into themselves to find the resources to survive. Unfortunately for them, as they near their goal, they learn the terrible truth that "sometimes, the past is buried for a reason.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm a latecomer to the fiction of David Morrell. [...] his classic thrillers from the 70s and 80s. I have them to look forward to in the future. From what I've heard, they may be a little more substantive than what Morrell is writing today--and that's not a criticism of his current work.

I read Scavenger, Morrell's follow-up to last year's thoroughly entertaining Creepers, in about four hours the other day. The novel comes in at 333 pages (plus some interesting afterwards), but it's a light 333 pages, with short chapters and lots of white space. And again, this is not a criticism. There's something really delightful about sitting down with a thriller that you just can't put down. It's entertainment. It's fun. You can actually finish the darn thing in a timely manner! Sure there's a little part of you that may want more, but it's sooo satisfying just gobbling the thing down whole!

As I mentioned above, I enjoyed Creepers and I thoroughly enjoyed Scavenger as well. I would also recommend reading Creepers first, just because that's my nature. But truthfully, you could easily get by without having read the prequel. The stories aren't that linked--other than the fact that the notoriety Frank and Amanda received in the wake of the first novel brought them to the attention of the antagonist in the second novel. Did you ever notice how some fictional characters just seem to attract psychopaths like flies to honey?

I have to agree, there isn't a lot of character development in this novel. That's not what the novel is about. Morrell has surrounded his two protagonists with almost archetypal characters. They do their job. A lot of detail and development just serves to slow the story down. He has given his characters conflict and obstacles.
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