Today’s stop is for Hunter Shea’s Rattus, New Yorkus. We will have info about the book and author, a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.
Happy Reading 🙂
Deep in the sewers of New York City, the rat population is growing. Dr.
Randolph Finch is determined to break the cycle. His new rodenticide,
Degenesis, doesn’t kill rats. It sterilizes them from reproducing.
But nothing adapts faster than a New York rat . . .
City exterminators and soon-to-be divorced Chris and Benita Jackson think
they know how these rats think. They know how rats breed. And they
fear that Degenesis has only made these rats stronger. More
aggressive. More intelligent. And more ravenous than ever . . .
Tonight’s Dinner Special: Us
After a noticeable surge in rat den activity, the Jacksons witness
something strange. Without warning, the rats disappear—only to
reassemble in a massive lair beneath Grand Central Station. Millions
upon millions of them. Working together. Operating as a hive mind.
Feasting on the flesh of the homeless below—and planning their
all-out attack on the unsuspecting humans above . . .
Raves for The Montauk Monster
“Old school horror.” —Jonathan Maberry
“A lot of splattery fun.”—Publishers Weekly
“Frightening, gripping.”—Night Owl Reviews
“You were here already today,” he said to Benny. The man was tall and thin everywhere except his hips. He looked nervous, but then he always looked nervous. Owning a restaurant was not for the fainthearted.
“We need to take a closer look,” she said, nodding toward the suitcase in my hand.
“Yes, but please, be discreet.”
“We take an oath of discretion,” I reassured him. He didn’t look reassured.
“Come directly to me if you need anything. My staff doesn’t need to know.”
I opened my mouth and closed it.
If his staff didn’t see the piles of rat shit everywhere, they were either blind or willfully ignorant.
“Let’s go down that one,” Benny said, pointing to the largest burrow. The edges were fuzzy, having snagged copious amounts of hair. That meant it was the road most taken for this nest.
“As you wish, Alice.”
I opened the case and assembled the camera. It looked like a snake that plumbers use to clear drains, with a fish-eye lens on the end. It hooked up to a small monitor so we could see into the den.
This time of day, the rats should have been starting to get restless, but they were more than likely still in the main nest.
“You want me to do the honors?” I asked, the camera poised over the hole. “By all means.”
I once had a rat jump out of a burrow just as I was about to drop the camera down. It landed on my chest, desperate to find the soft tissue of my face. Thankfully, Benny had swatted it away with a spade she’d been using to cover up some of the burrows. She’d managed to slice it in half like a samurai.
Warm rat entrails soaked through my shirt, but thanks to her, I was still pretty.
“Get ready,” I said.
Sometimes, when we went exploring like this, the rats would pour out of the other burrows and swarm around us in a frenzy. Our pants were tucked into our tough leather boots. Benny gripped what she called her swattin’ pole. It had once been a nine iron, the head replaced by a wood block, held on with a half mile of duct tape. What it lacked in esthetics it more than made up for in efficiency. I slowly snaked the camera into the hole. With night vision activated, we watched the black-and-white monitor.
What we saw was very similar to the video from a colonoscopy. Just traveling down a winding, dark tunnel.
A normal rat’s den contained seven or so rats. We had caught three with snap traps last week. Their dwindling numbers, especially if the Degenesis was working, couldn’t account for the growing feces.
“Expect anything,” I said.
I pushed the camera deeper, kicking up a puff of dust deep in the burrow.
A rat’s twitchy face sprang into view. I instinctively recoiled, then recovered in as manly a way as possible.
“Say cheese,” Benny said, standing over me.
“You talk about my tired old witticisms.”
The rat retreated, tunneling backwards down the hole.
I knew I had to hurry up. The other rats would be ready to scatter .
Working the cable as fast as I could, I remotely spelunked, wondering just how far down they had settled in.
In my periphery, I caught a rat leaping from a burrow to my left.
She pointed at the screen.
I let the camera cable drop as if it were a poisonous snake.
We watched as dozens and dozens of rats writhed over one another. Every inch of the nest was packed with vermin bodies.
“Pull back a little,” Benny said.
I tugged slightly on the cable so we could get a better view.
“Look at all the babies,” Benny said.
“It’s like the maternity ward in Shanghai,” I said.
We were either looking at multiple litters or the granddaddy of all litters.
“What do you think? At least twenty?”
Benny peered at the monitor. “I’d second that. And they all look like they’re from the same generation.”
“I guess there’s no point in saying how impossible that is.”
“You guess right again.”
More adult rats were scurrying out of the holes around us. From what I could see, several had stayed behind in the nest to guard the babies.
“I don’t like this at all,” I said, moving the camera some more to get a different angle. All of it was being recorded.
“They like it less,” Benny said.
The camera’s intrusion had brought about sweeping panic in the nest. I almost felt sorry for the little critters as they sought refuge around the adult guardians.
“I think we’ve seen enough,” I said, pulling the camera out. “I’ll send the file to Ratticus, see what he thinks.”
“Fine. Dr. Finch.”
“No. Put the camera down.”
I looked to Benny, whose eyes were wide and darting about. Following her gaze, the camera slipped from my suddenly milquetoast grasp.
We were surrounded by rats. A dozen pairs of marble black eyes locked onto us.
They weren’t running away.
And they were sure as shit not afraid.
movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past
his house. He’s the author of over 17 books, including The
Jersey Devil (Pinnacle 2016)), Tortures of the
Damned (Pinnacle 2015), and We Are Always
Watching (Sinister Grin). Hunter’s novels can even be found on
display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. The Montauk
Monster (Pinnacle 2014) was named one of the best reads of the
summer by Publishers Weekly. He was selected to be part of the
launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line in 2011 alongside
legendary author Ramsey Campbell. His video podcast, Monster
Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. Living
with his crazy and supportive family and two cats, he’s happy to be
close enough to New York City to see the skyline without having to
pay New York rent.
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