Scalp by Carver Pike
Nitsy is excited to be invited to an exclusive leadership conference with her peers from across the globe. She’s even more thrilled her partner on this trip is her cute jock classmate, Robbie.
Hal is a new park ranger who’s taken the job because policing is all he knows, and since a tragic accident took his daughter away, he’s not too fond of guns, or people for that matter. Hal only wants to sit in the darkness and sulk in his sorrows.
Andre is out hunting in the woods of West Virginia. He’s one with his rifle. Yet, something ain’t right in the woods. It’s too quiet. Oddly still. Until... Andre eyes a buck that seems out of sorts, thrashing around wildly with lifeless eyes.
When he pulls the trigger and a bullet strikes home, there’s no blood. Nothing. Something else has already drained it, and it’s ready for a new host.
With the entire town falling prey to this head-munching malice, and all the students at the Stonewall Forge Leadership Conference in danger, only a few can fight back before these parasitic head lice wipe out Clydesville, West Virginia and spread across the rest of the world.
This is my fourth Carver Pike book. The reader is drawn in right away into a parasitic lice nightmare that seems unstoppable. Great characters and settings. From hunters, to a trailer park, to a leadership training group, the lice only want one thing, control. From the smallest mouse to the largest cat, lice attach to anything with fur or hair. No one is safe. This book creeps into your brain and each page makes you scratch for more. I loved this book. Great feel, fantastic tone. Easy to read and an ending that will leave you wanting to take a shower. I hear that a lice origin story is in the works and I hope it’s true. I will be first in line to buy a copy. Thanks Carver for another great read.
I loved this book. The characters, the storytelling, the vividness, the clever use of genre tropes. Engrossing from the first page to the last.
Carver absolutely knocked Scalp out of the park! His writing is great, and the book is a fantastic story! He can paint a really great town with his words, and fleshes out characters nicely. This is amazing to me considering the page length! I felt as though I consumed so much information in an easily digestible way it was great! What a twist of a story as well! The feel of a zombie novel with parasitic head lice burrowing in people and animals brains to take over the body. Fresh, fun, and superb!
"These were his friends, and all he could do was stand there and watch them while he contemplated whether or not he needed to kill them." Ok, my head is itching even while writing this review. I'm not the kind of gal who's afraid of bugs or other critters, but the ones that skitter? The tiny ones you can't always see but can feel on you? Yeah, those are the ones that creep me out. So why, do you ask, would I choose to read a book about parasitic head lice that take over the citizens of a small town? Because I love a good horror read - that's why. And this author is just deliciously brutal in telling the reader what exactly happens to a person when they become infected, and how, in glorious gory detail, they pretty much rip their own faces off before, in jerky, uncontrolled movements, they hunt down the next host. I'm going to get anectdotal for a second. I was sitting on the couch, reading this story, itching my scalp, and I got to yet another really intense part. I chose that moment to decide it was late and I needed to get some sleep. So, I go to check the front door to make sure it was locked. It was then I noticed a box on my front porch. I swear to you, I was afraid to go out and get it. I am 54 years old, and I was afraid to get a box off my own porch. If that doesn't sell you on this book, I don't know what would. Needless to say, this is an intense read, and one of deliciously gory descriptive words. Itch, itch, itch, itch.......