10 January 2010

Writing on Reading: Abandoned

Fellow Colorado author Blake Crouch has taken full advantage of the history and surroundings of his real-life home state to create one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. Here's the hook:

On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote mining town will disappear, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins, and not a single bone will be found--not even the gold that was rumored to have been the pride of this town will be found either. One hundred and thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a leading history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so that they can learn what happened. This has been done once before but the people that went in did not come out. With them is a psychic, and a paranormal photographer--the town is rumored to be haunted. They've come to see a ghost town, but what they are about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive....

Intrigued? I thought so. Without being too much of a spoiler, I want to make it clear that this book would could not be classified as speculative fiction. Nonetheless, it very much held my interest from beginning to end, with strong writing and a fast-paced plot. The book is unique in that it takes place during two time periods, which I thought was a great twist on a sometimes tired thriller genre.

I confess I had not head of Mr. Crouch prior to reading this book. My wife happened to hear an interview with him on a local radio show, thought I would like the book, and gave it to me for Christmas. This goes to show that a little publicity goes a long way. Looking at his bio, it appears he's at the beginning of a an exciting writing career. I look forward to his next book, which is scheduled to come out this year.

1 comment:

lesleylsmith said...

Wow, this one sounds good, Dave. I'll have to pick it up. Or borrow it.... :)
Thanks for the info.