Pines (2012) – Blake Crouch


As I write this, I have not watched any of the show, Wayward Pines, that takes its guidance from the novels by Blake Crouch. I thought I would read the trilogy first, see how it plays out and then make my decision.

In the acknowledhments at the end of the book, Crouch cites the show Twin Peaks as a huge influence on his life, and even in some measure on this story itself. I saw that first when I was leafing through the book in the store, and that was the deciding factor for me.

Special Agent Ethan Burke wakes in a hospital in small town Wayward Pines, Idaho. He’s been in a terrible accident, but that won’t stop him from trying to complete his assignment, find two missing agents who arrived in town and were never heard from again.

But as he digs into the mystery behind the picturesque town, things are far from what they seem to be. He’s unable to make contact with anyone outside of the town, his attempts to leave are thwarted by the local Sheriff, Pope, and people seem to be behaving in a strange way. No one believes he is who he claims to be, and he cannot track down his wallet or phone…

Things get even more frightening when Burke learns that the town is completely isolated, geographically by large mountains and cliffs, as well as giant electrified fence. Are they trying to keep everyone in the town, or are they trying to keep someone, or something, out?

What is the secret of Wayward Pines?


I quite like how Crouch writes, but I don’t know how well it will translate to the screen, especially some of the reveals that happen halfway and three quarters of the way through the book. That being said, I was rather deligthed with the reveals and like the idea of what is going on here in this little town.

There is creepiness, there is violence, there is mystery, and Burke as the story goes along, serves wonderfully as an Everyman, and the reader’s conduit into this world. He is just as confused as the reader, and wants to know what is happening here.

There are some pulse-pounding, and cold-blooded moments, I won’t write about them here, because if you’re watching the series they may not have happened yet, or perhaps you are reading the books yourself.

I think we can guarantee I’ll be picking up the other two picks that make up the trilogy before I finally watch the series. Though, I must admit, I can’t wait to see what they do it with, television-wise.

The first book just rockets along, barely pausing for breath, and only deals out a little new information at a time, until the big reveals, the rest of the time, much like Burke, I was just running on adrenaline.

It’s an interesting, and believable world that Crouch has created in Wayward Pines, and I love the grey of the reality he introduces, leaving the reader to wonder…

What would your decision be? What would you do?




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