Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scorpion by Michael Linaker

by Michael Linaker
New English Library 1980

Scorpions are mutated by runoff from a nuclear plant.  A news reporter and local doctor investigate strange deaths by venom, until the scorpions, some of unusual size, attack in mass.

This is one of the most over the top "when animals attack" books I've read.  Most of the carnage doesn't even come from the scorpions, but from secondary panic.  A bit dog goes mad and attacks.  Cars pile up during an evacuation.  And in the highlight, a score of housewives in a grocery store pile through a plate glass window, only to have the top half come down and shear off body parts.

It could have standed to have a bit more plot - there's a thread about a psychotic security guard that was interesting until he got killed off - and the ending was a bit rushed, but this perfectly executes what it set out to do.

Linaker penned a number of Piccadilly Westerns, which I'll definitely be reading, and a ton of Men's Adventure.  It appears he only wrote three horror novels, which is a shame, but they're all collected under the misleading title The Neil Hunter Horror Omnibus, which is why I almost missed it.


  1. I remember The Black Scorpion teenage horror flick in the 1950s. Back when giant creatures like Tarantula, Mantis, and Gila Monster were playing at the Drive-In theaters. What fun.

  2. I loved THE NEST, sounds like this needs to be next on my list!