cover image The Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil

Hunter Shea. Pinnacle, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-7860-3887-9

Shea (The Montauk Monster) delivers a tense and intriguing work of escalating tension splattered with a clever, extensive cast of bystanders turned victims. Deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens lurks a monster out of legend. It’s been mostly dormant for decades, but something has roused it from its normal pattern of malicious pranks into a frenzy of escalating, gory murder. When news of the Jersey Devil’s reemergence reaches the Willet family, they know what to do. Three generations of Willets and their TV-famous cryoptozoologist buddy trek into the barrens to resolve the family’s mysterious link to the legendary monster and put an end to its rampage. An otherwise excellent, tightly delivered plot stumbles when the major reveal reinforces an uncomfortably sexist focus, potentially spoiling an otherwise wicked ride. Shea fans will appreciate the call-outs to his other work, and fans of cryptid creatures are likely to revel in this love letter to a legendary menace. Agent: Louise Fury, Bent Agency. (Sept.)