The Montauk Monster by Hunter Shea
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The sleepy resort town of Montauk is terrorized by strange beasts and it's up to Gray Dalton and the rest of the Montauk PD to get to the bottom of things. But have they bitten off more than they can chew?
The more Hunter Shea books I read, the more convinced I am that we would have been best buds when we were twelve. The Montauk Monster takes the cryptid of the same name and sets it on a gory rampage through Montauk and neighboring towns.
In some ways, this feels like a dry run of Shea's The Jersey Devil. There are multiple monsters terrorizing a small town and only a small group of people are prepared for what comes next. As in the Jersey Devil, Shea introduces character after character, only to have them mauled by the Montauk Monsters or succumb to the horrifying disease they carry.
Tying the creature's origin to nearby Plum Island was a master stroke. The chimeric, disease-bearing creatures hit the beaches of Montauk and no one is safe. They take down cops, stoners, reality stars, and a lot of other people before things are finally settled. By the time things are over, DARPA, FEMA, the CDC, and other acronyms get involved and the ending is far from happy.
Throw in some witty reparte and end-of-the-world sex, and that's pretty much it. The main characters, Dalton and Meredith, are pretty much stock thriller characters aside from the age difference and Meredith's bum leg. When I say this feels like a dry run of Jersey Devil, I mean it. It hits all the same beats and isn't quite as polished as JD.
At the end of the day, this creature feature by Hunter Shea was pretty damn entertaining but not as good as his later works. Three out of five stars.
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