SLITHERS is the second horror suspense novel from Australian author W. W. Mortensen. It is considerably shorter than his debut, EIGHT, however the guy sure knows how to tell a good story. It is fast-paced and engaging, keeping the reader turning page after page in an effort to find out where the plot is heading.
Tobe West and a few of his friends are driving along a dark, almost deserted rural road, on their way to a party hosted by Tobe’s cousin, Teesh. However, upon encountering a couple of hitchhikers the group make the decision to stop and offer their assistance. A short time later the group are involved in an unexpected accident which strands them in the middle of nowhere. As the situation goes from uncomfortable, to strange, eerie and finally grossly disturbing, the group must face the disturbing situation head on, if they want to make it home alive.
I loved all of the horror, supernatural and science fiction elements of SLITHERS, and was pleasantly surprised that the story wasn’t quite what I has expected, but hooked me nonetheless. I don’t really feel comfortable going into detail about this novel, as I want to avoid spoilers, but put simply it is a story that you are best just reading for yourself, blind without knowing what to expect.
However, it draws some similarities from one of my favourite Stephen King horror novellas, The Langoliers. Those familiar with that story, will probably enjoy SLITHERS, while for those new to either one, I couldn’t recommend them both enough.
I give SLITHERS the full 5 out of 5 stars for its unique and engrossing story, unexpected twist, and my inability to put the book down until I was finished reading the entire thing. Mortensen knows how to reel the reader in, and keep his novels interesting, without filling them with irritating fluff. He gets to the point quickly and directly, and I cannot wait to find out what new adventures his future novels have in store for us.