By Matthew Reilly
Pan Macmillan Australia
The biggest criticism labeled at today’s most successful thriller writers is how long their books are. Most critics, and readers, are well aware that today’s writers are coerced by the publishers to deliver big, fat books to help justify the $8 to $10 price tag they then affix these mass market paperbacks. So, because of economic reasons, we readers have to dig through pages and pages of padding not vital to the actual plot of these action orientated pot-boilers.
Which is why discovering Australian writer Matthew Reilly was like a breath of fresh.
Reilly’s writing is totally reminiscent of the best of the old pulp scribes. His books are short, lean and simply the purest form of pulp writing on the market today. He doesn’t waste a single sentence, let alone a page, on telling us the characters’ thoughts, emotions, backgrounds or anything else for that matter that stands in the way of the action. Reading his stuff is like eating the leanest hamburger you’ve ever had. It’s not steak by any means, but it’s damn good regardless.
In HELL HOUND, a government weapons experiment on a secret island in the South Pacific has gone horribly awry. When the aircraft carrier Nimitz goes to investigate, it suddenly goes off the Pentagon’s radar, along with the six hundred marines on board. The military quickly sends in four crack recon teams made up of various units from Seals to Airborne Rangers to discover what has happened on Hell Island. The second these squads arrive, they are attacked by a horror beyond imagination and soon are battling for their lives.
The Marine team is lead by Captain named Shane Schofield, nicknamed the Scarecrow. He's the toughest badass in the world and he’s not about to go down without a fight, no matter how overwhelming the odds against him and his team. At 108 pages, this is a book you will most likely devour in one sitting. Then again, once you’ve begun, I dare you to put it down. In Australia these are called Short Novels, and if most of them are as much fun as this one, it’s a format I wish American publishers would consider adopting.
There’s no padding in HELL ISLAND. Only action, 108 pages of it. That should be cause of enough for you to find a copy. Amazon and other major book distributors handle it, and other Reilly titles. Then buckle up for a real thrill ride.