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Books 49-50 : The Pines and Cold Moon

Book 49: The Pines (Wayward Pines #1) .
Author: Blake Crouch, 2012.
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Dystopia.
Other Details: ebook. 309 pages.

The novel opens with Secret Service agent Ethan Burke coming to beside a river. He makes his way into the nearby town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. He is disoriented and passes out; then wakes in a hospital with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. He learns that he and his partner had been involved in a motor vehicle accident within minutes of their arriving in town. His partner died in the accident. Their assignment had been to locate two federal agents who had gone missing in the town one month earlier. Everyone is very friendly but something feels off and Ethan keeps getting blocked in various ways including not being able e to get through to his family or his supervisor. So what is going on? Things get progressively stranger.

Being intrigued by the trailers for the upcoming TV adaptation, I was pleased to find I had purchased the first in this trilogy as a Kindle Daily Deal some time ago. Right from the start there felt to be an obvious connection to 'Twin Peaks' and according to his Afterword that TV show watched by the author as a pre-teen was an inspiration for him to create his own strange isolated town.

The Pines takes a different direction than Twin Peaks and I was quite uncertain what the reveal would be. If indeed there was a conclusion in this first books. There was and this could have worked as a stand-alone. Still, I was intrigued as to where the author will now go so have lined up the other two in the trilogy for reading.

Book 50: Cold Moon (The Huntress/F.B.I. #3).
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff, 2015.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Police Procedural.
Other Details: ebook. 391 pages.

To avoid spoilers for the first two in the series I cannot quote from the publisher's synopsis, apart from saying that this follows on from the events in the earlier books about the hunt for the woman known as Huntress by the F.B.I. as she continues her war against sex-traffickers. These books only really work if you read in order.

This proved a satisfying conclusion to this trilogy. I loved the introduction of Santa Muerte as a protector of women and avenger over shadowing the already almost mythical figure of the Huntress. It is clear that the members of the team are increasingly ambivalent about apprehending the Huntress and yet their work as law enforcement officers means they have to even if they understand what is driving her.

The themes of human trafficking and forced prostitution are disturbing here and in the other books in the series but it is a serious subject and I felt the author handled it with sensitivity. While there seems no plans for any further books in the series, there is an opening to allow for more if the author wishes.
Tags: crime fiction, dystopia, myth and legend, police drama, sexual violence, thriller
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