I picked this one up based on an Amazon recommendation and didn't know what to expect. From the title and cover picture, I thought it would be a supernatural type novel. Far from it. Morrell has created a different type of thriller that has the relentless terror effect of a good Dean Koontz novel!
Creepers are actually archeologists who go through remains of more modern sites and try to piece together what may have transpired at the site. They are usually "trespassing" on these sites so they have to slink in unnoticed and try not to disturb anything at the site.
In this story, the creepers are a three college students led by their professor and a guy named Ballenger who is apparently along to document what they find. Their "proposed" goal is to explore the Paragon Hotel in Asbury Park, NJ which is scheduled for demolition in a week. The hotel was built just before the turn of the 19th century by an eccentric guy named Carlisle who lived in the hotel as a recluse and later committed suicide after closing the hotel in 1968.
In order to avoid detection, the group goes in through underground tunnels near the beach that seem to be crawling with weird creatures such as mutant rats and a strange albino cat. Once inside the hotel they start discovering strange things that were left behind and eerie things start happening almost immediately. The group also starts to realize that Ballenger is not the person he claimed to be since he seems to have talents associated with someone who lives like a "survivalist" and is able to pick locks.
Once they are going through the hotel, the author has made this book virtually impossible to put down as you are sucked in to learn the truth about the hotel mysteries and to wonder how the group will get out of the hotel alive. A first rate thriller!
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David Morrell’s Creepers adopts a creative spin on a breaking-and-entering premise for his latest thriller. A New York Times reporter, Frank Balenger, joins a group of "Creepers," also known as infiltrators, urban explorers or city speleologists—men and women who outfit themselves with caving gear to break into and explore buildings that have long been closed up and abandoned. Though what they're doing is technically illegal, participants pride themselves on never stealing or destroying anything they find at these sites. They take only photographs and aim to leave everything untouched. Balenger joins a group of four: the leader, Professor Robert Conklin, high school teacher Vincent Vanelli and graduate students Rick and Cora Magill. This gang infiltrates the Paragon Hotel, an abandoned, seven-story, pyramidal Asbury Park, N.J., structure built in 1901 by eccentric, hemophiliac Morgan Carlisle. Balenger and the professor have a special agenda, but the others are there simply for the thrills. Things quickly begin to unravel in life-or-death situations once the trespassers sneak into the building—they aren't the only ones creeping around the dilapidated hotel. Veteran thriller writer Morrell embraces themes from several genres and blends them into a nightmarish spine-chiller. There's the survive-the-night-in-a-haunted-house plot starring a Norman Bates villain; there's a Treasure of the Sierra Madre cast that would rather die than give up the loot; ...