The Ruins by Scott Smith (2006)
Trapped in the Mexican jungle, a group of friends stumble upon a creeping horror unlike anything they could ever imagine. Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacation–sun-drenched days, drunken nights, making friends with fellow tourists. When the brother of one of those friends disappears, they decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. What started out as a fun day-trip slowly spirals into a nightmare when they find an ancient ruins site . . . and the terrifying presence that lurks there.
The Ruins holds a gripping and engaging experience, that will make you feel physically nauseous while it grabs you, and drags you, right into a sick and tragic nightmare along with the book characters. This is not a blood-chilling horror novel, but a gory and suspenseful survival story. The gore scenes are frequent, unconformable and incredibly detailed. Without giving away any details of the plot, the ancient creature lurking in the Mayan forest, may seem, at first, a little implausible. But as the story progresses you’ll understand that you don’t know anything about it, about its origin, it may be an undiscovered animal or even an alien life form, it is never explained, the author leaves it to the reader to draw his/her own conclusion. This is a truly compelling book with a well crafted original horror story. A film adaptation of the novel was released on April 4, 2008.