“All hope abandon, ye who enter here!” – Dante Alighieri
“He, who had done more than any human being to draw her out of the caves of her secret, folded life, now threw her down into deeper recesses of fear and doubt. The fall was greater than she had ever known, because she had ventured so far into emotion and had abandoned herself to it.” ― Anaïs Nin
A day and a half. A few hours, cold and weary. Lost. Afraid.
“In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost.” ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno
Hell truly is dark. And it opens up in the mountains above Durango Colorado, in a ghost town forgotten for one hundred seven years. Abandon. Abandon all hope, for Abandon is the home of death. The home of the darkness which fills the human soul.
Abandon was once a thriving gold mining town, filled with people, light and laughter. “The whores, the opium, the fun”, but hey, it was the gold rush, and everything goes. But then, the gold vein faded out, people wandered away. And by the time Christmas day of 1893 arrived, and only a small number of people remain.
Jocelyn Maddox, the barkeep and black widow, waiting for the snows to pass in the spring when she will be transported to Arizona to hang for her crimes. Ezekiel and Gloria Curtice, the local lawman and his wife. A preacher, a deputy, a few families. Abandon is dying. Dying.
Now, six people return to Abandon. Scott Sawyer and Jerrod Spicer, mountain guides. Emmett and June Tozer, paranormal photographers. Lawrence Kendall, university professor and specialist on everything Abandon. And Abigail Foster, New Yorker, outdoor magazine journalist, and estranged daughter of Lawrence. They have climbed to 13,000 feet, then dropped 2,000 to the ghost town of Abandon. And then, they too begin to die.
Moving through the abandoned Abandon, you can almost see the town itself, in all its disintegration. Gasping in the thin, high-altitude air. The scent of firs and snow, the cordite scent of landslides. Dry rot and age. And then? Fear. Blood. Desperation. Death.
Blake Crouch is a master of edge-of-your-seat suspense. Horror on a human scale. Breathtaking terror so thick in the air the reader gasps, feeling the cold upon the skin, the terror deep in the heart and mind.
“Through me you go into a city of weeping; through me you go into eternal pain; through me you go amongst the lost people” ― Dante Alighieri, The Inferno
Enter at your own risk.
I received Abandon from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.