three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
31-Nov-Dec-2007
user_rating: 
0

A-The IntrudersWhen Seattle resident Bill Anderson’s wife and son are found brutally murdered and Bill is nowhere to be found, attorney Gary Fisher approaches an old high school chum, former LAPD cop Jack Whalen. Fisher tells a wild story about a rich man who disinherited his family and left his fortune to strangers—one of whom was Bill. Jack, however, is preoccupied: his beloved wife Amy vanished during a business trip to Seattle. She finally reappears as if nothing has happened, but something is terribly wrong—and Jack is determined to find out what it is. A strange young girl kidnapped from a beach in Oregon may hold the key to this sequence of increasingly bizarre events.
William Morrow. 392 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 0061235024

USA Today 4.5 of 5 Stars
"The Intruders is another novel that defies classification as it mixes supernatural activity, science fiction and a murder mystery. … In addition to its intriguing characters, including ex-cop-turned-author Jack Whalen and Rachel, a mesmerizing 10-year-old girl, readers are rewarded with a well-constructed, terrifying story line that makes many other novels, of any genre, feel like Novel Writing 101." Carol Memmott

New Orleans Times-Picayune 4 of 5 Stars
"[Marshall] is a master of the thriller laced with the supernatural, writing with the rocketing pace of the conspiracy unveiled. His most recent novel displays his great strengths as a writer: a compelling plot, characters who are completely believable and unforgettable, and sharp, smart insights into the nature of modern life." Susan Larson

New York Daily News 4 of 5 Stars
"What starts out as a more or less standard man-seeks-missing-wife tale trips over to the other side, dovetailing two genres so neatly as to earn M. Night Shyamalan’s respect." Sherryl Connelly

New York Times 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Although there is nothing showy or even stylish about his prose, Mr. Marshall (whose other credits include The Straw Men) tells a nerve-racking story full of bizarre twists. … It’s not necessary to believe this book’s spooky underlying premise to be caught up in the campfire-tale power of its action." Janet Maslin

South FL Sun-Sentinel 3.5 of 5 Stars
"When the denouement comes, the resolution will have readers looking over their shoulders, feeling a bit paranoid themselves, as Marshall drives it home with a brilliant ending. … But as engrossing as the plot becomes, The Intruders is too long by about 80 pages." Oline H. Cogdill

Baltimore Sun 3 of 5 Stars
"When Marshall finally pulls back the veil and reveals the underlying foundation of The Intruders, I didn’t know whether to be impressed or put off. I was, however, taken out of what had been an outstanding story to date, and the final quarter doesn’t come close to matching the novel’s protracted scary brilliance." Sarah Weinman

Tampa Tribune 1.5 of 5 Stars
"This may not be appreciated by readers of the private-investigator genre who expect a certain sense of realism in their stories. This particular tale is unnecessarily complex, and the story gets both muddled and lost in the multiple viewpoints and details." Larry Gandle

Critical Summary

Compared by critics to Stephen King and Philip K. Dick, British novelist Michael Marshall crosses genre barriers, from crime to horror to science fiction, in the fast-paced, action-packed Intruders. As the story takes one creepy, bizarre turn after another, Marshall’s convincing characters act consistently and believably in a progressively implausible situation. A few complaints included the intricate plotting and the book’s length, but most of the critics’ objections resulted from the novel’s abrupt transformation from a run-of-the-mill murder mystery into a supernatural thriller. While The Intruders may appeal most to fans of The X-Files, readers who can suspend their disbelief will be rewarded by the originality, suspense and "unwavering storytelling" (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) of this genre-defying novel.

Also by the Author

The Straw Men (2002): A man investigating the accident that claimed the lives of both his parents finds that their deaths may be linked to a twisted serial killer and a bizarre cult called the Straw Men. Stephen King called this debut novel "brilliantly written and scary as hell."