I’ve decided that part of my blog will have weekly sections. As you can see, from the above graphic, Through My Eyes, will be a review section where I talk about my take on everything from tabletop roleplaying games, video games, books, movies, television shows and even local or not so local places to eat.
This week I have selected the book “Pines” by Blake Crouch. I stumbled upon this little gem in the Kindle Lender’s Library. If you have Amazon Prime and you’re not using the lender’s library, you are
missing out. Each month you can look through the books that other Amazon Prime members have purchased and just have sitting around dormant on their devices, and borrow one. I figured, hey, it’s a free book, I might as well go for something that I would normally throw down my hard earned $6.99 for, right? In doing so, I found this book.
I’m going to admit something very embarrassing here: it first caught my eye because the nice, minimalist cover had a sticker on it emblazoned with “Major Television Event on FOX, coming soon”. I know, I know don’t judge a book by it’s’ cover. Yeah, sorry, too late for that one. It got me interested enough to read the blurb: “Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and now briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off.”
Ok, that’s enough for me, you got me, Mr. Crouch, hook, line and sinker. So, I borrowed it from… whoever. Took it with me on my last duty day on the ship and read it as I had time. According to my kindle it’s roughly 309 pages long, so not a hefty read, but enough to get my teeth into and savor for a day. The other thing that got my attention was the sources of Blake Crouch’s inspiration for this little set of books. Do you remember a little T.V. show called: Twin Peaks? Or maybe The X-Files? Yep, Blake Crouch’s writing style and ideas appear to be a result of awesome, mind-bending, eccentric plots like the ones we relished in the 1980’s & ‘90’s.
The book itself is written in a nicely paced style that kept me reading. When a book seems too pretentious and full of itself, I normally toss it to the side. Pines did not come across in this way. The other attribute to Crouch’s writing style, the conflict kept building. Here and there, he gives the reader a bit of break, slipping into the past, or ruminating on the main character’s thoughts, but after a short breather, we the readers are thrust back into the carnival-world of Wayward Pines and left thinking… WTF is going on here?
Pines is one of those stories that will keep you guessing, and just when you think you have it nailed down, that you understand it and are on an even playing field with the narrator, a new piece of information, event or character pops up that sends on a slippery slope into confusion again; a good confusion. I pride myself on being able to spot the end of a story right from the beginning. It is very rare that a storyteller can slip one past me. The last person who did that? M. Night Shyamalan with The Six Sense and The Village.
If you are looking for something to engage you, transport you into a freakishly twisted, confusing story of danger, intrigue and mystery, Pines is for you. Pick it up at your favorite bookstore or just snag it on Amazon. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Or perhaps the dreams it will give you will make you regret it. Either way, it is one helluva read. Cheers!
Click to find out more about Blake Crouch
Get a copy at Amazon!