Review: Abandon

AbandonAbandon by Blake Crouch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this novel, Blake Crouch zeroes in an old west mining town called Abandon and tells two different stories from two different time periods, one modern and the other in the late 19th century. Alternating between the timelines through the novel, these stories begin to parallel each other, spiraling toward a terrible conclusion in the modern day ghost town. Fortunes are won and lost, lives are shattered, some rise above. It’s a beautiful thing.
Set as it is in the rugged landscape of the west, man versus the elements is a theme that runs throughout the book and it is done well. I particularly liked the desperate characterization of the sort of people who moved westward in the old days, seeking fortune and usually finding little more than sorrow and death.
I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of supernatural elements of the novel, however. Started out with some ghost hunters in it but that turned out to be little more than a plot device. Very sneaky, Mr. Crouch.
The action in this books is page-turning and the betrayal of the characters amongst themselves is rampant, so every time you think maybe somebody catches a break, the ledge goes crumbling out from underneath them. This is compelling storytelling at its best.
And the big secret of what happened to the town back in the old days? That was truly horrifying.

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