4.2 30
by Blake Crouch

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On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins, and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so that they

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On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins, and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so that they can learn what happened. With them is a psychic, and a paranormal photographer—as the town is rumored to be haunted. A party that tried to explore the town years ago was never heard from again. What this crew is about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

At the start of this bloated thriller from Crouch (Desert Places), Abigail Foster, a Manhattan freelance journalist, reluctantly agrees to accompany her father, Lawrence Kendall-who abandoned her as a child-and paranormal photographers Emmett and June Tozer, to the remote remains of Abandon, Colo. The inhabitants of Abandon all vanished without a trace on Christmas Day 1893, and Abigail thinks she'll write an article on the Tozers and the ghost town's history. The present-day hikers face a number of obstacles, starting with an unexpected blizzard and including the arrival of ex-Marines intent on finding millions of dollars worth of gold supposedly stashed somewhere in Abandon. Despite the book's intriguing premise, the action soon devolves into a Rambo-style melee, with enough blood and guts to put off weak stomachs. By the time Abandon's fate is revealed in the overly drawn-out climax, few readers will care. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews
Whether it's 1893 or 2009, the town of Abandon, Colo., is a very nasty place to be. When a novel opens with a little girl blowing away a mule skinner with a revolver, readers can safely expect more dirty work to come. And they get it in spades from Crouch (Locked Doors, 2005, etc.), who sets up two alternating, equally unsavory plotlines. In 2009, historian Lawrence Kendall takes along his journalist daughter Abigail Foster on an expedition to the Colorado ghost town whose inhabitants all vanished without a trace in December 1893. In those days, we see in the second narrative, Abandon is in decline, the nearby mine tapped out, though there are still plenty of prostitutes and gunslingers around-and local bigwig Bart Packer has 91 gold bars he found next to a headless Spanish skeleton stashed away in his fancy house. That conquistador gold will cause no end of trouble, as 19th-century desperados kill Packer and hide the gold in the mine, and 21st-century Iraq veterans brutalize Lawrence's party in an effort to make the historian tell them where the gold is located. People are shot at point-blank range, knives are brandished, gruesome wounds inflicted, and it all gets fairly ridiculous after a while. One or two gotchas will make you jump: the bad guy you thought was dead who comes from behind with a dagger; the sheriff you thought would help who turns out to be one of Them. When a crazy preacher locking the entire Abandon population in the mine to starve is followed by the story of the woman whose husband cut out her tongue with a razor, or a post-traumatic, stressed-out Iraq veteran gets shot as he threatens for the umpteenth time to carve up Abigail in unspeakable ways, readers are likelyto stop flinching and start laughing. Definitely not for the squeamish-or skeptical.
From the Publisher

On Christmas Day 1893, the tiny, remote gold-mining town of Abandon, Colorado, ceased to be. No trace of the population was ever found. More than a century later, a historian, a journalist, and two paranormal investigators trek into the ghost town with varying purposes. Crouch tells his tale in alternating chapters, but the reader ultimately learns that the story of both the residents and the latter-day visitors is one of gold, greed, and murder—and a pinch of madness. Abandon is an ambitious and largely effective suspense novel. The portrayal of life in Abandon is rich with details of brutal hardship, suffering, and a gnawing sense of creepiness. The modern investigators are tried by cold, a blizzard, avalanche dangers, rotted buildings that may collapse at any moment, and the eeriness of the derelict town. But Crouch has two sets of characters, and nearly all have a backstory. Some work; some are strained. Even so, the palpable suspense just keeps building, and many thriller fans—especially those who like a touch of horror—will lose sleep to find out how it all ends. - Booklist

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5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

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Chapter One

A bigail Foster stared through the windshield at the expired parking meter. Her fingers strangled the steering wheel, knuckles blanching, hands beginning to cramp. This had all seemed like such a good idea a month ago back in New York when she'd pitched the article to Margot, her editor at Great Outdoors. Now, on the verge of seeing him for the first time in twenty-six years, she realized she'd done herself the disservice of glossing over this moment and the fact that she'd have to walk into that building and face him.

Her watch showed five minutes to seven, which meant it was five to five, mountain time. She'd sat in this parking space for twenty minutes, and he was probably about to leave, thinking she'd decided not to come.

The hostess showed her toward the back of the brewpub, which at five in the afternoon stood mostly empty. Peanut shells littered the floor, crunching beneath the heels of her black pumps, and the reek of brewing beer infused the air with a yeasty sourness. The hostess held the back door open and motioned to the only occupied table on the patio.

Abigail stepped outside, smoothed the Cavalli skirt she'd paid way too much for last year in Milan.

The doubt resurfaced. She shouldn't have come. No story was worth this.

He sat alone with his back to her at a west-facing table, with the town of Durango, Colorado, spread out before him in its high valley, specked with the icy yellows of cottonwood and aspen, enclosed by pine-wooded hills and bare shale hills and, farther back, the spruce forests and jagged peaks of the San Juans.

The sound of the patio door banging shut caught his attention. He looked over his shoulder, and at the sight of her, slid his chair back from the table and stood—tall, sturdy, wavy silver hair, dark blues, and dressed like something out of Backpacker magazine—plaid Patagonia button-up shirt tucked into a comfortable pair of jeans, Livestrong bracelet, Teva sandals.

She felt that knot constricting in her stomach again, noticed his left hand trembling. He seized the chair he'd been sitting in to steady it.

"Hi, Lawrence."

She knew he was fifty-two, but he'd aged even better than his photo on the history department's Web site indicated.

No handshake, no hug, just five seconds of what Abigail ranked as the most excruciating eye contact she'd ever held.

Easing down into a chair, she counted three empty pints on the table, wished she'd had the benefit of alcohol to steel herself for this meeting.

She rifled through her purse, found her sunglasses. It was Halloween, and though the air carried a chill, at this elevation the intensity of direct sunlight made it pleasant to sit outdoors.

"I'm glad you came," Lawrence said.

A waiter costumed as a hula dancer approached the table.

"Want a beer, Abigail?"


"They have a bunch of different—"

"I don't care. Something light."

He said to the waiter, "Bring her a Rock Hopped Pale."

"Right on."

The whistle of a steam-powered locomotive blew somewhere up the valley. Abigail saw the plume of smoke in the distance, heard the chugging palpitations of the valve gears as the train steamed south through the heart of town.

"I don't have any backpacking gear," she said.

"Scott will outfit you."

"Who's Scott?"

"Our guide."

The silence, uncomfortable as it came, crawled under her skin.

"Pretty town you have here."

She couldn't help thinking this didn't feel anything like she'd imagined it would. Having run countless versions of this moment through her head, they'd all carried more gravitas. She would scream at him. She'd hit him. They'd break down and cry together. He'd apologize. She'd accept. She wouldn't. Now she understood none of that would happen. They were just two people sharing a table, trying to limp through the awkwardness.

"I'm curious," she said. "All this time, and now you contact me."

"I've followed your journalism career, subscribe to all the magazines you regularly contribute to, and I thought this . . . expedition . . . might be good fodder for your—"

"But you haven't been interested in helping me since I was four years old."

Lawrence slugged back the rest of his dark beer, stared at the mountains, wiped the foam from his beard.

Abigail said, "That came out more angry than—"

"No, it's fine. You've got standing to be as angry as you want."

"I'm not, though."

The patio door opened and the waiter returned with Abigail's pint and another round for Lawrence.

When he'd left, she raised her glass.

"Lawrence," she said, "here's to our past. Fuck it."

He grinned. "That easy, huh?"

"We can pretend."

They clinked pints and Abigail sipped her golden beer.

"So why'd you come?" Lawrence asked. "To be honest, I never expected a response to that E-mail."

"Funny, I was just sitting out in the car, building the nerve to walk in here, and trying to answer that question for myself."

The sun ducked behind the mountains and Abigail shivered, the rocky slopes and snowfields blushing with alpenglow.

Excerpted from ABANDON by BLAKE CROUCH

Copyright © 2009 by Blake Crouch

Published in July 2009 by St. Martin's Press

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Meet the Author

Blake Crouch is the author of over a dozen bestselling suspense, mystery, and horror novels. His short fiction has appeared in numerous short story anthologies, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Cemetery Dance, and many other publications. Much of his work, including the Wayward Pines Series, has been optioned for TV and film. Blake lives in Colorado. To learn more, follow him on Twitter or Facebook, or visit his website, www.blakecrouch.com.

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Abandon 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Blake Crouch has written one captivating mystery with "Abandon". In 1893 the entire town of Abandon disappears under mysterious circumstances and then 116 years later, a team of explorers go to the town to do some research and take photos. When two of the guides are attacked in front of the rest of the group, the mystery becomes even more mysterious. Alternating between the two time periods, Crouch has the reader watch as events unfold in the past, and how the tension builds up as we discover what the real reason these people are here. I, at first, was skeptical, thinking this was a supernatural type of story but was completely and happily surprised that this was as suspenseful thriller based on greed. Great book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
By December 1893, with the mine for practical purposes useless, the town of Abandon, Colorado is dying. Still there are plenty of residents from unemployed miners to hookers wondering when to move to the next gold mine and gunslingers seeking to kill their way to a fortune. Bart Packer found ninety-one Spanish gold bars by the headless skeletal remains of what he assumed was a conquistador. However, someone kills him and hides his horde in the mine. Soon afterward, everyone vanishes without a trace. In 2009 historian Lawrence Kendall persuades his daughter whom he deserted as a child years ago reporter Abigail Foster to accompany him and married couple paranormal photographers Emmett and June Tozer to visit the ghost-town of Abandon, Colorado. He has heard of the gold, but thinks the treasure is learning what happened to the residents. A blizzard isolates the investigative party and former marines assault them with demands they find the gold for them. All the answers are in the grisly mines. Filled with gore and blood, this starts off with a terrific premise that is enhanced with the rotation between eras' subplots. However, when the marines invade, the modern subplot turns from a psychological suspense to an action thriller that pales in spite of the gore next to the horrors of the Gilded Age scenario. Still Blake Couch provides an interesting tale filled with action of a ghastly and gruesome kind. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not stop reading, awesome story
jcushman0108 More than 1 year ago
eternalised 9 months ago
A surprising read filled with twists, that jumps from 1893 into the present seamlessly. It offers excellent characters, especially Abigail Foster and her crew, who move into the town of Abandon. All characters have quirks that make them stand out, and all of them have a past they bring to the table. The book had a clautrophic vibe, and definitely gave me the chills a few times. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
LydiainJoliet More than 1 year ago
It's not often that I pick up a book and get sucked in from the first page, but it happened with Abandon. The story is about a mining town called Abandon, that in 1893 on Christmas day mysteriously has all of it's inhabitants disappear, their Christmas dinners still on the tables and no one knows why. It then fast forwards to 2009 when a group goes to the hard to reach town to investigate. I loved how the book went back and forth from 1893 to 2009, telling the stories separately and eventually linking the two. I would have given this book 5 stars, but the ending did not tie up all the lose ends for me. I tend to over analyze books and found that there were just too many unresolved questions for me at the end. It doesn't seem that this was done for a follow-up book either. Spoiler alert as to my questions... What happened to the little girl Harriet? What about the Doctor in Silverton's diary, wouldn't that lead to more people investigating the town? Why wouldn't the police go back to the town to investigate Abigail's version of what happened once the snow melted? Weren't there people looking for the others who never returned in 2009? Aside from this, it really was a good book, filled with suspense. I wasn't sure for the longest time if it would turn out to be supernatural as well as suspenseful which kept me interested. I will probably read more of Blake Crouch's books.
BasingstoneBook More than 1 year ago
The Author of Wayward Pines turns his hand to the Gold Rush in the Rockies late 19th century with a mystery set in Abandon a small gold town high in a mountain pass inaccessible for several months of the year. The book tell of a modern day exploration of the town and what happened on Christmas Day 1893 when the entire population of the town dissapeared without explanation. It is soon clear as the modern day party reach Abandon something sinister is going on. This is enhanced by the author retelling the events leading up to Christmas Day and linking back to the expedition in 2009. Totally different to Wayward Pines but the author still expertly builds up that feeling of mystery. My only criticism is the switch between stories becomes too frequent and stops on cliffhangers as if it was written for a TV series otherwise a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unique story
RNOOK More than 1 year ago
I can't believe this book was written by the same man that wrote Run and Locked Doors. Abandon was one of the wost books I've ever read. Over 800 pages and not one interesting character in the entire book plus it had the most uninteresting and worst heroines ever. Very disappointing!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book as was really good. I am usually into books with urban drama, but this easily kept my interest. I wished there was more of a backstory about what happen to the girl and the preacher. Other than that I really enjoyed the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Never wanted it to end. My imagination went wild reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many of this authors' books and always enjoy them. This one is less graphic than the others-but definately not for the faint of heart. I found the first chapter a bit slow, but the story soon becomes totally engrossing. Some of the words used (1890's) were a bit confusing, but the context usually helps to decipher them. A great story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DangerBoy More than 1 year ago
When I read the overview I wanted this to be a great book. It was OK, The story was very good but the writing was choppy, I didn't mind the fact that the book jumped from one era to another that was one of the things I looked forward to but a lot of the book just jumped around leaving me wondering what he was talking about. He also uses a lot of words that were used in the old days and the meanings not really known today, he also uses a lot of mountaineering words that normal people would not know. Abandon was Ok but Blake's writing style in this book seems hacked up. This was the first Blake Crouch book I have read and I am not sure if I will read another or not. more then likely not ...
patricia deleon More than 1 year ago
This is a fab author and writer
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Christina Housholder More than 1 year ago
I just found this author and I will be reading more of his books. I went through the whole book in less than 24 hours and found it to be a riviting story. It was a page turner, keep you on the edge of your seat book. I would recomend this book and author to anyone who likes suspence, mystery and plot lines that keep you guessing from the first page to the last page. I am starting another of his books right now!!!!
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Keeps you in suspense. I will read more by this author.
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