As soon as I saw the description Gothic Thriller I knew I had to get my hands on this book As an avid thriller fan who likes their books with a side of supernatural I was keen to read this one. Set in a small village in the Scottish Highlands, Francine Toon creates a mysteriously haunting and eerie tale that touches on loss, father daughter relationships, small village life, all with a supernatural edge. It s set in the present day with references to social media but reads like a ghost story from a hundred years ago with people catching and skinning rabbits, tarot card reading and casting spells It s a haunting book and Francine s vivid descriptions leap off the page so you can practically feel the mist surrounding you and smell the damp It s so atmospheric and claustrophobic. Focusing on Niall and Lauren s dif This story is set in the rural Scottish highland community Lauren and her father, Naill are driving through the wood that surrounds their village one Halloween when a woman stumbles onto the road They take her home with them ut in the morning she has disappeared Only Lauren remembers that the woman was there But where has she gone Then Ann Marie goes missing Is there a link This is an atmospheric and suspenseful read It starts off as a slow burner but the pace picked up around the middle The story is told in the greater part by ten year old Lauren Lauren s father, Naill is dependent on alcohol and he still has ot come to terms with the loss of his wife Lauren has an unhealthy interest in Tarot cards and spell making This is a creepy thriller Are Driving Home From The Search Party When They See Her The Trees Are Coarse And Tall In The Winter Light, Standing Like Men Lauren And Her Father Niall Live Alone In The Highlands, In A Small Village Surrounded By Pine Forest When A Woman Stumbles Out Onto The Road One Halloween Night, Niall Drives Her Back To Their House In His Pickup In The Morning, She S Gone In A Community Where ¿ Pine ¿ Download by ✓ Francine Toon Daughters Rebel, Men Quietly Rage, And Drinking Is A Means Of Forgetting, Mysteries Like These Are Not Out Of The Ordinary The Trapper Found Hanging With The Dead Animals For Two Weeks Locked Doors And Stone Circles The Disappearance Of Lauren S Mother A Decade Ago Lauren Looks For Answers In Her Tarot Cards, Hoping She Might One Day Be Able To read Her Father S Turbulent Mind Neighbours Know Than They Let On, But When Local Teenager Ann Marie Goes Missing It S No Longer Clear Who She Can Trust In Spare, Haunting Prose, Francine Toon Creates An Unshakeable Atmosphere Of Desolation And Dread In A Place That Feels Like The End Of The World, She Unites The Gloom Of The Modern Gothic With The Pulse Of A Thriller It Is The Perfect Novel For Our Haunted Times Will I purchase this book based on its cover Well, you know me. ☆ Pine ☆ Dark and moody, Pine felt like the perfect winter read, easily read in one sitting At times utterly terrifying, there is an air of unease to the entire novel. I could talk for hours about the Scottish Highlands setting, just this in itself was completley captivating The snapshot of life, in a small remote village, was perfection The fragile and fractious neighbour relationships are explored thoroughly, and its evident just how much small communities in remote locations rely heavily on each other. You can find my full review on my blog here. Francine Toon s eerie and unsettling debut novel Pine is set in a small and remote Highland town, where the nearest supermarket is 23 miles away, and the planned opening of an Aldi has been a topic for discussion for months It is a community where everybody knows everybody else So, it s quite ironic that there s a mystery at the heart of this story Just under ten years before the events described in the novel, a young woman named Christine disappeared without a trace Her partner Niall and their baby Lauren are still struggling to come to terms with this The villagers gossip about Niall s possible involvement in this disappearance, their suspicions fuelled by his alcohol problem and evident anger management issues Lauren, who doesn t remember her Wow This book just came out of nowhere and totally swept me away in its five star tidal wave What a journey If I had to describe Pine in one word only, it would be unsettling It didn t help that I innocently started reading it in the evening, and ended up putting in an almost all nighter to get to the end, followed by some pretty strange nightmares which you will totally understand once you read this book for yourself. Talk about creepy From its atmospheric, rural Northern Scotland setting to its characters and the supernatural events or are they that ethereally drift in and out of misty forest roads, the story had me on edge the whole time What I loved most about this book, and which deserves a whopping five stars from anyone looking for This was such a dark, atmospheric book I was immediately drawn into the eerie story through the beautiful writing and perfect setting and I think this is the ultimate book for a dark, Winter s night In Pine we follow Lauren, a young girl who lives with her Dad in the Scottish Highlands Her Mum vanished when she was tiny and she is dealing with lots of issues in her life When a local girl goes missing in the woods, suspicion is rife in the community and a huge search begins to try and find herDespite having a spooky feel to the story, I honestly felt so cosy whilst I was reading it The descriptions of the setting and the chilly weather really made this an amazing book to curl up with. I felt very connected to each of the characters and I found them to be developed perfe
10 year old Lauren lives with her dad, Niall, in a small Scottish town Her mother Christine disappeared some years ago Right from the start we are plunged into an intriguing, eerie mystery a young woman keeps appearing around Strath Horne, sometimes merely glimpsed and sometimes having extended interactions with others, yet only Lauren seems able to remember her She slips from the others minds as soon as she is out of sight, even if they re mid conversation. Part of what made Pine so beguiling to me was the opening chapter Lauren and her friend Billy are meeting up to go trick or treating or, as it s called here, guising Lauren is wearing her mother s lipstick she s just, vaguely, half consciously, beginning to understand that there are things abou I seem to be on a run of unsettling, beautifully written novels at the moment, Pine is incredibly moving, intensely unnerving and genuinely absorbing from first page to last. The edgy, offbeat prose really digs deep, it is a disjointed, haunting tale that is at turns terrifying and heart wrenching Lauren sits at the centre of a maelstrom of adult emotion, her connection to her missing mother tennous and spiritual meanwhile danger lurks in the forest surrounding her while her father falls apart and the community grows stranger and off kilter by the moment. The setting is both beautiful and relentlessly claustrophobic, the author paints pictures with words and leaves the reader unbalanced yet fully immersed, it is a peculiar talent that held me in its thrall the entirety of the read. The ending when it arrives is pitch perfect and emotionally raw Francine Toon has managed to wr
About The Author
Francine Toon grew up in Sutherland and Fife, Scotland Her poetry, written as Francine Elena, has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Best British Poetry 2013 and 2015 anthologies Salt and Poetry London, among other places Pine was longlisted for the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award She lives in London and works in publishing.