Blake Crouch

Quick Synopsis

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. 

Publisher’s Synopsis

One way in. No way out.

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a mission: locate 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 no briefcase.

As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation turns up more questions than answers: Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out?

Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan farther from the world he knew, from the man he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

The nail-bitingly suspenseful opening installment in Blake Crouch’s blockbuster Wayward Pines trilogy, Pines is at once a brilliant mystery tale and the first step into a genre-bending saga of suspense, science fiction, and horror.

Book Review

Thanks to Book of the Month, I have read Blake Crouch’s three most recent books and loved every single one. When @basicbsguide decided to feature one of his backlist titles, Pines, as a January group buddy read, I jumped at the chance. It was the perfect excuse to finally read one of Crouch’s older books.

Pines is the story of one Secret Service agent, Ethan, sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho to look for two agents who went missing on a previous mission to the town. On the way, Ethan is in a car accident and wakes to find that there is something off with both himself and the town.

Pines is a propulsive, fascinating book that I read in one sitting. Despite lounging on my couch for the entirety, there was adrenaline coursing through my veins. Once I reached the big reveal, I loved that it was nothing that I anticipated. It was a creative and original story. Similar to Crouch’s other books, Pines made me think about the future or an alternative world that science may play a large part in.

My only critique about the plot is it could have been just a tiny bit more evenly paced. Towards the beginning, I became frustrated that no answers were revealed. But I am also a terribly inpatient person, so I fault no one other than myself. The middle was a bit drawn out in my opinion. To be vague enough not to ruin any plot points, Ethan does a lot of running from others, and it just seemed to go on for a little too long. I found that some of this chase did not really do anything to add to the story.

It is hard to give a full analysis of the character development since the mysteriousness of characters is an intentional instrument of the story. I do think that our protagonist and his family could have had some more depth. I would have like to know them more. But I have an inkling that the next book in the trilogy will dive more into all characters’ backstories.

I am not your typical science fiction reader. I occasionally read speculative fiction but that is about the extent of my foray into the sci-fi genre. So I want to point out that even if you are not a fan of science fiction, I think it is easy to enjoy this book as well as Crouch’s others. Thriller fans, in particular, will delight in the riveting nature of Crouch’s books and the change in topic from their usual reads.

If you are not looking to start a new series, I think Pines can be read alone. I was satisfied with the ending and would be okay with not reading further if I was not a completist.

Overall, I really enjoyed Pines and plan to read the other two books in this trilogy. I highly recommend this book and am really looking forward to discussing it with others.


Overall Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

(Wayward Pines #1)


Science Fiction; Mystery/Thriller

Publication Date
August 21, 2012


Storygraph Rating
3.75 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.94 stars

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