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Pines (The Wayward Pines Trilogy 1) [Kindle Edition]

Blake Crouch
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,991 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2013 International Thriller Award Nominee

Now a Major Television Event from FOX, debuting winter 2015.

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 no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues 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 further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive. Intense and gripping, Pines is another masterful thriller from the mind of bestselling novelist Blake Crouch.

Editorial Reviews Review

Blake Crouch on How the Television Series Twin Peaks Inspired Pines

On April 8, 1990, the pilot episode of Mark Frost and David Lynch's iconic television series, Twin Peaks, aired on ABC, and for a moment, the mystery of Who Killed Laura Palmer? held America transfixed. I was twelve at the time, and I will never forget the feeling that took hold of me as I watched this quirky show about a creepy town with damn fine coffee and brilliant cherry pie, where nothing was as it seemed.

Read on to find out what it was about Twin Peaks that inspired Pines at

From Booklist

Starred Review Ethan Burke is on his way to the small town of Wayward Pines to find two fellow federal agents who have gone missing. He has a bad car accident on the edge of town, waking up in the hospital and not at all sure of what is going on. The psychiatrist on staff tells him that he has suffered a brain injury and warns him not to leave, but he takes off anyway. The town sheriff is less than helpful, and, with no ID or money, Burke can’t reach his superior or his wife, and he starts fearing for his sanity (reminiscent of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island). Matters turn ominous when Burke finds the ravaged body of one of the missing agents and realizes he needs to run for his life. Clearly, despite the idyllic beauty of Wayward Pines, something is seriously out of kilter: a helpful bartender disappears, picnicking mothers turn homicidal, and seemingly innocent children display maniacal tendencies. The suspense builds to an almost unbearable point, culminating with a twist that ratchets it up even further. Fans of Stephen King, Peter Straub and F. Paul Wilson will appreciate this genre-bending, completely riveting thrill ride, which mixes suspense, horror, science fiction and dystopian nightmare all rolled up into one unputdownable book. —Stacy Alesi

Product Details

  • File Size: 1003 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (August 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007FG9LIE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
220 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right out of "The Twilight Zone!!" July 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow! Was NOT expecting that ending! Talk about blowing your socks off! The Pines is not what you expect in any way, shape or form. A bit of horror, a bit of sci-fi, some action, lots of suspense, some mystery, a bit of intrigue all thrown together that works oh so well together.

Don't let the title of the book fool you as this is one heck of a good book and once you get past the first three pages, you are definitely hooked and you can't let go until it is finished and you will not be disappointed. An intricate storyline that doesn't confuse you or lead you astay. Just a hell of a good story with well defined characters.

I am a first time reader of Mr. Crouch's and I am really impressed by his writing. If this is any kind of indication of his type of writing then I will be buying some of his books. Don't pass this one up as it is that good!
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140 of 156 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pining Away for Home July 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A secret service agent wakes up injured in Wayward Pines, Idaho. His partner is missing, and he's on a mission to find two other agents who had previously gone missing. He's been in an auto accident, but the hospital doesn't have his wallet or phone, and neither does the sheriff. Everyone acts just a bit ... off. He can't seem to leave town, and even begins to doubt his own sanity.

I can't even tell you the proper genre of this book without it being a spoiler. Suffice to say it isn't quite a straightforward mystery or thriller. It's very well written and suspenseful, and pretty believable right up until the last chapter. Once you find out what's been going on though, it really strains credibility. Four secret service agents go missing in one small Idaho town, and nothing ever came of it? Why was such a confrontational method chosen to introduce newcomers to the town? What is the long term plan?

If the ending had tied things up more cleanly and logically, and the core premise been less odd, I would have given this 5-stars. Instead I finished what had been a pretty enjoyable reading experience just shaking my head. Call this one a near miss.
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87 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An author to add to my auto-buy list July 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I always have a mix of sorrow (for my strained budget) and joy (for a new discovery) when I try a book by an author I've never encountered and find that the writing, or subject, or plot devices, suit me to a T and now I'm forced to get other books by that author. That's what happened with "Pines". Blake Crouch has written a bunch of books and short stories, some in tandem with other authors, but I never encountered any of them before. I selected this from the Amazon Vine newsletter based on the blurb, about a Secret Service agent sent to locate two missing agents, and how he winds up in Wayward Pines, Idaho, which is apparently out of touch with the rest of the world. It's almost impossible to describe anything about the plot without giving it away, but I can state that it's an unusual take on a couple of popular sci-fi/fantasy themes. Unfortunately, there are a few serious flaws in the world creation of Mr. Crouch, but again, I can't describe them without revealing surprises best left to the reader to encounter. All I can really say is that I enjoyed this story tremendously and definitely want to read more of his books. The hero, Ethan Burke, is a level-headed guy with a loving wife and young son and a decent job in the Secret Service, after a military career that almost ended his life. Wayward Pines is a charming town filled with friendly people, but something isn't making sense. The more Ethan tries to figure things out, the more confused he gets, until the stunning climax. In this case, for Ethan, only seeing is believing. But once seen and believed, what will the future hold?
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I read in 2012 January 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read a lot of books in 2012, mostly science fiction, and this was one of the best. The story was fascinating, but I had this nagging feeling that there was no way the author was going to be able to come up with a plausible explanation for all the elements of the story. I was very pleased and a little surprised when I got to the end and found that the author DID pull it all together with an explanation for all the strange things the main character had experienced. I look forward to reading more by Blake Crouch.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Padding August 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It was funny. In the Afterward the author says he was inspired to write this book by the Twin Peaks TV show. By about the half way point I felt the book would actually have made a good TV episode. Only I think it would have made a good Twilight Zone episode. The 50s-60s half hour version. It is a good enough story that the right editor could have turned into a riveting 24 minutes of TV. The problem is not the kernel of the story which is interesting but rather the unending chases, escapes, drug injections and beatings the hero has to endure on his way through the tale. Half the book was the hero running, hiding and climbing. It all started to sound the same very quickly. I swear until I posted this I did not see the other Twilight Zone comments by the other reviewers. Amazing.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed half of the book October 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the first half of the book finding it mysterious and intriguing. However, as the book progressed it became silly and too fantastic for my taste.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
First, let me say that if you are planning to read this book from the Lending Library, DO IT. Read it. It's fun. Hey, it's free. Don't read these reviews 1st. My philosophy is that most of us will NEVER write a novel - so, who am I to offer a critique that might stop someone from reading another person's art? STOP HERE AND READ IT.

I read this book in 7 hours, which would lead you to believe that I loved it. Well, it was ok.
Yes, it is a definitely page turner - but for contrasting reasons; one good, one bad.

Good: It's a gripping story with an intriguing, trippy, mystery that you just HAVE TO have the answer to. Where are Ethan Burke's colleagues? Is he insane? What's the deal with this ominous yet idyllic town of Wayward Pines? And so on...

Bad: Toward the end, I was turning pages the same way I would use the FFWD button if watching a bad/slow movies. It's hard to say why without giving too much away, but I will say that the chase scenes seemed endless, boring and, at a certain point, unnecessary. Annoying really.

*****Semi-spoiler alert (but not really): Also, I felt like this book was a rip-off of The Truman Show / The Village. So much of the plot seemed way too familiar. Though, it did make this an easy read and it was sort of comforting in that way. I know that's a weird thing to say, but it's accurate - to me. It's a great read for a plane ride, if you know what I mean. He is not a wordsmith, but he tells a good story.

I wish the author spent more time thinking about the explanation/ending before he wrote it. At it's core the explanation is satisfying and shocking, but it doesn't quite explain everything; especially the sadistic behaviour of some characters.
I felt ever so mildly disappointed when I was finished. But not completely so.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!
Fantastic!!! Read it in 4 hours. Started reading it and didn't stop until I had read the entire book. Loved it!!!
Published 41 minutes ago by Mary E. Combs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful, terrifying, and addictive.
Published 52 minutes ago by Nicolas
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Slow start but gets better and it's a good story and good read.
Published 2 hours ago by Annette tardy
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I enjoyed this book very much. The story is exciting and well written. What I liked the most is that I wasn't able to predict what was happening. Read more
Published 3 hours ago by Joann
2.0 out of 5 stars Redundant and Boring
The story started out well but after about half-way through, it got boring. I skipped at least a third of the book since it was simply more of the same and and then read the last... Read more
Published 5 hours ago by Steven1
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Atmosphere
Inspires feeling reminiscent of the first time I read a great Steven King novel. Mystery, action, tension, it's got it all.
Published 5 hours ago by Brittany Wiggins
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This story captivated my attention from the first few pages onward. I didn't put this book down until I finished. Can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Published 7 hours ago by Spencer
4.0 out of 5 stars Futuristic Read
This Book gives you something to think. What if mankind destroyed the environmental and the world as we know it? Read more
Published 10 hours ago by Shirley E
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome!!! I will be glued to the tv when this show airs on FOX.
Published 14 hours ago by Mommyof6
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyable summer reading
Published 16 hours ago by Paula Geidner
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More About the Author

Blake Crouch is the author of over a dozen bestselling suspense novels. His Wayward Pines series is being produced as a TV show by M. Night Shyamalan and will be airing on Fox in 2014.

His short fiction has appeared in numerous short story anthologies, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and many other publications.

Blake lives in Colorado. To learn more about what he is doing, check out his website,, follow him on Twitter - @blakecrouch1 - or on Facebook at

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