Pine | Francine Toon | Review

”With all the lights on, there is still a darkness in the house.”





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.


Firstly, I want to say thank you to Doubleday books and Dark Room Tours for sending me a copy of this book and allowing me to be part of the blog tour for Pine, I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Pine is a book that took me by surprise. I really enjoyed the writing style that Francine Toon adapts. From page one you are thrown into an eerie, suspense filled world. It takes a lot to make me feel on edge but Pine definitely did that for me. It made for a really exciting read one which you did not want to put down. You could easily devour this book in one sitting. It is a real, what is going to happen next book.

I enjoyed the characters in this book as well. I loved getting to know Lauren and couldn’t help put feel sorry for what she had been through. I really enjoyed her character and felt myself building a connection with her throughout. Niall was another character I liked. Don’t get me wrong, he frustrated me through the majority of the book but I also could not help feeling sorry for him and wanting to know more about his mysterious character.

I would like to warn readers that this book can be quite graphic in parts. It also dives into some really thought-provoking topics including grief and bullying. The bullying aspect I felt a little uncomfortable in parts, not because it was done badly but because the authors writing style is so vivid you genuinely feel for the character in question. I really felt sorry for Lauren in parts and could feel the raw emotions that she was experiencing.

My only issue, but very slight issue with the book was the ending. Whilst I enjoyed it and it did make sense to me, I also would have liked a bit more. Maybe about the character in question just so I could have built up a bit more a rapport with him. I was definitely more convinced it was another character instead. Like I said this is a minor issue, the book is really captivating and I wouldn’t let this put you off.

I recommend that you pick this book up as soon as you can. It was a really good, and captivating read. I will most certainly be keeping my eye out for this author and will read more by her in the future.

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