A debut thriller about the subtlety of memory and manipulation in which a young woman must find her way back to a New England cabin armed with only hazy, haunting memories and a half-written book by the father in Guatemala she never knew, to finally uncover the truth that could save her.
Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been hanging around with all summer.
Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that’s allowed her to cope with what happened all those years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged back into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires postindustrial hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey. And before too long, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin.
“Reyes’ debut is a gripping, intelligent thriller that chilled me to the bone. With its intricate plotting, gorgeous prose, and complex, richly drawn characters, THE HOUSE IN THE PINES is that rare book that you live inside from the first page to the last. I didn’t want it to end—and I can’t wait for readers to discover my new favorite author.” –Andrea Bartz, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Never Here, The Herd, and The Lost Night
“I’ve never read a mystery novel with a plot as intriguing and surprising as THE HOUSE IN THE PINES. The novel’s characters were as fascinating as the situations they found themselves in. I couldn’t put it down.” –Catie Disabato, author of U Up? and The Ghost Network
“THE HOUSE IN THE PINES is a compelling thriller built on a foundation of a nuanced literary sensibility. Reyes weaves together several books’ worth of story—lost novels, unsolved murders, rocky relationships, and substance abuse, to name a few—into one gripping and nimble page-turner with an assuredness that makes it look easy. Don’t miss this memorable debut from a talented new voice.” —Emily Nemens, author of The Cactus League
“Ana Reyes’ debut is chilling, atmospheric, and addictive—a perfect thriller. I didn’t want it to end.”
—Anna Dorn, author of Exalted
Ana Reyes recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE HOUSE IN THE PINES.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I love mysteries of all sorts. I’m drawn to the thriller, suspense, and horror genres because of the mysterious questions they raise–the more unanswerable the better!
Was there anything new you discovered or that surprised you as you wrote this book?
The idea of home, though always important to the story, emerged as a theme in ways I hadn’t expected. I came to see the titular house in the pines as representative of a longing to return, not just to a place but to a time when I felt completely at ease, surrounded by love and warmth. Writing this book helped me to understand home as a place I carry within.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
I read a lot of Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine growing up. I loved their twisty plots, complicated friendships, and deliciously conniving villains. The first story I ever wrote was essentially fan fiction. Now that I’m older, writers who’ve influenced my work include Shirley Jackson, Karen Armstrong, Andrea Bartz, Italo Calvino, and Aimee Bender, all for different reasons. I also studied under Jim Krusoe, who I consider a mentor.
Ana Reyes has an MFA from Louisiana State University. Her work has appeared in Bodega, Pear Noir!, The New Delta Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and teaches creative writing to older adults at Santa Monica College. THE HOUSE IN THE PINES is her first novel.
To learn more about the author, please visit her website.