Thriller: Creepers, by David Morrell

Creepers

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

There’s a long-abandoned mental hospital a few miles from my home, and I’ve always had a hankering to go in there some time with a flashlight and camera. Some people – “urban explorers” aka “creepers” – do just that, no matter that it’s trespassing, dangerous, and illegal. Looking for some vicarious wish fulfillment, I eagerly picked up Creepers (2005), a novel about a band of amateurs who “infiltrate” a decaying hotel at Asbury Park, NJ. But several of these amateurs have ulterior motives, which emerge as the story progresses. Nearly all of the action takes place in the dark, on rickety staircases and in creepy deserted guest rooms. While there are no ghosts, there are other eerie things, such as mutated animals and dessicated corpses. And it turns out that our creepers are not alone.

Morrell had produced an incredibly rich setting for this book; you can practically smell the mildew and rats and fungus. But he must have invested all of his skills on that feature, because the characters are cardboard, the thunder storm lasts about six hours, and the action is predictable. Perhaps it would be scary for a twelve year old. Probably it would make a good movie. I slogged my way through each chapter, and have zero interest in reading the sequel. Nor do I care very much any more about “infiltrating” that asylum a few miles from my home.

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