An instant New York Times bestseller!
"This is an absolute, can’t-put-it-down thriller...It’s truly a wild ride that had me flying through chapter after chapter—which I think is the perfect way to kick off your year of reading." —Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Jan ’23 Pick)
Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed....
Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.
Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey.
At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin....
Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A traumatized young woman seeks answers about dark events from her past in this eerie psychological thriller. Seven years ago, teenage Maya was days away from leaving her western Massachusetts hometown for college when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of Maya and their new librarian friend, Frank. Now 25, Maya has stumbled across a video showing a complete stranger dying suddenly in a diner booth—while she’s sitting across from Frank. But let’s just say that while we were instantly smitten with the book’s wary, sympathetic heroine…she’s not the most reliable narrator. Her addiction to a powerful antianxiety medication, as well as bizarre memory gaps of her time with Frank, will do that. Is he really as menacing as she—and absolutely no one else—believes? Or is this sinister conspiracy all in Maya’s head? Debut author Ana Reyes puts quirky new spins on some of our favorite thriller tropes, making The House in the Pines feel fresh and exciting.
The summer before Maya, the heroine of Reyes's intriguing if flawed debut, entered college, 17-year-old Aubrey West, her best friend from high school in Pittsfield, Mass., dropped dead while talking to Maya's then boyfriend, Frank Bellamy. While Aubrey's death was ruled accidental, Maya was sure that Frank killed Aubrey, but she had no way of proving it. Now, eight years later, Maya is living in Boston with a new boyfriend and is trying to kick her addiction to the medication she's been secretly taking to cope with the trauma of Aubrey's death. One sleepless night, while watching a trending YouTube video, Maya sees a young woman fatally collapse while sitting across the table from Frank in a diner. Convinced that Frank has somehow murdered another victim, Maya returns home to Pittsfield to search for answers, which may just lie in the cabin in the woods where Frank used to entertain Maya and Aubrey. Well-developed characters and a nice balance between the main narrative and the backstories draw the reader in, but the action builds to an implausible and disappointing ending. Reyes shows enough talent to suggest she can do better next time. Agent: Jenni Ferrari-Adler, Union Literary.
. . .and disturbing.
A real page turner!
Right from the beginning the story is interesting and just gets better and better. Very worthwhile read.
The house in the pines
Not good. Don’t waste your money