cover image Scavenger


David Morrell, . . Perseus/Vanguard, $24.95 (349pp) ISBN 978-1-59315-441-7

This unwieldy thriller from bestseller Morrell (First Blood ) becomes so caught up in its headlong action that it never stops to explore the possibilities of its intriguing premise. Frank Balenger, the emotionally banged-up hero of the Stoker Award–winning Creepers (2005), finds he must play an elaborate time-travel game to save himself and his lover, blonde, blue-eyed Amanda Evert, who reminds him so much of his late wife. The nefarious Adrian Murdock, a history professor at Atlanta's Oglethorpe University and a member of the Time Capsule Society, sends the pair on a hunt through time that keeps them in constant danger as they attempt to discover the secret of a series of time capsules. While Morrell delivers race-against-the-clock thrills with his usual aplomb and does a good job educating the reader about actual time capsules, the minimal characterization makes it hard to care about Balenger and Amanda. Video gamers will be most satisfied. 15-city author tour. (Mar.)