Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pines by Blake Crouch

I've never seen Twin Peaks.  It aired in 1990, making me 7 years old at the time, and I certainly wouldn't have been allowed to watch it.  So I'm hearing this book is very Twin Peaks-ish, and lucky for me, it's available on Netflix instant, and I've added it to my queue.  I hope I like it as much as I did this book.

I've been a huge Blake Crouch fan  for quite some time. His books are typically brutal, and while I found Pines to be more low-key in the violence department, it amped up the creepiness to no end.  Pines is about a U.S. Secret Service agent, Ethan Burke, who wakes up in a hospital in a place called Whispering Pines.  He's having a hard time remembering remembering details of his life, especially things like his home phone number and his wife's name.  Of course it doesn't help that no one seems to be able to find his credentials or his iPhone. 

Ethan feels suitably creeped out in the hospital and opts to escape and find his belongings on his own.  But being greatly injured, confused, and without money or ID, he finds it difficult to make his way in the small town.  Also, it's not making things any easier that no one seems to have any idea who he is, or why he is in Whispering Pines.  Ethan's memory starts to return, and he realizes that he was there investigating the disappearance of two fellow Secret Service agents.  While most people in the town seem to ignore his plight, others appear to give him clues surrounding the strangeness.

Once Ethan delves into the eerie happenings of Whispering Pines, it's like falling down the rabbit hole, or driving in circles, quite literally.  Most people are his enemy, but he also sees that there are a few lurking friends.  But once he discovers what is behind the whole town...well, I don't want to give anything away ;)

Although this wasn't the stomach-churning horror style of Crouch's other novels, I really appreciated the eeriness and unique twisting plot of this book.  I'm definitely going to give it a re-read to see if there's anything I missed the first time around.  Well played, Mr. Crouch.