Length: 288 Pages
'It's both eerie and thrilling at once, and had me under its spell until the end.' Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
They 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 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 more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it’s no longer clear who she can trust.
In the shadow of the Highland forest, Francine Toon captures the wildness of rural childhood and the intensity of small-town claustrophobia. In a place that can feel like the edge of the word, she unites the chill of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times.
Length: 288 Pages
"‘PINE combines the Gothic sensibilities of Shirley Jackson with the psychologically astute suspense of Gillian Flynn. Both tautly written and deeply atmospheric, it’s a story steeped in the spooky grandeur of the Scottish highlands. At once a supernatural mystery, portrayal of small town claustrophobia and a coming-of-age novel, Francine Toon’s empathetic depiction of childhood and mourning will leave you gripped and transfixed.’"
"From the first page PINE casts a sense of slowly-rising unease that is completely compelling. It's both eerie and thrilling at once, and had me under its spell until the end."
"'If there's any doubt that the Gothic thriller is enjoying a boom, Francine Toon's debut should settle the matter. PINE, a moving study of memory and loss, is both spooky and tender; drenched in a sense of place and yet eerily timeless.'"