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2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

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Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Crouch Thriller Explores What Happens When a Town's Mysterious Past Hasn't Really Passed

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ghost towns are plentiful in the Southwest, but Abandon—an old gold-mining settlement in Colorado—is unique.  Its citizens all disappeared on Christmas Day, 1893, never to be seen or heard from again.  What could have caused 123 people to vanish into thin air, leaving food on their tables, belongings in their closets, and money in their purses?  Were they swept up to heaven in a great rapture?  Kidnapped by aliens?  Killed by savage Indians?  If they were slaughtered, why have their bones never been found? What happened to the people of Abandon?

The question has plagued people for over 100 years.  Explorers have tried to find the ghost town before but none have ever returned.  That doesn't stop a new group from wanting to make the trek.  Headed by the owners of an adventure company, the party includes two paranormal photographers, a history professor, and his journalist daughter.  Although all of them are up for the adventure, it doesn't take long to realize they're all in way over their heads.  The past has not exactly passed in mysterious Abandon, Colorado...

For such a simple premise, the one at the heart of Abandon by Blake Crouch is so very, very intriguing.  How could I resist?  Crouch excels at creating stories that are atmospheric and unsettling and this 2015 novel is no exception.  It's creepy as well as violent, bloody, and depressing.  It also features characters who are kind of blah and unlikable.  And yet, it's a riveting read.  I couldn't stop turning pages, which is saying something because Abandon has over 500 of them!  While I can't say I loved this disturbing thriller, it did keep me engrossed and entertained.  It's far from my favorite Crouch novel, but overall, I liked it.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, blood/gore, disturbing subject matter, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Abandon from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. What a perfect book for this time of year! :)

  2. It's ghost story time! If you're into that, this sounds fun.


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