• Pine
  • Pine
  • Pine
  • Pine


Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 01/10/2020
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Bookseller Reviews

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Haunting and Claustrophobic
Pine is Francine Toon's debut novel, and is a mixture of gothic thriller, magical realism and crime. Told mainly from the perspective of 10 year old Lauren... READ MORE
Stephanie Llandudno
Very well written and deeply atmospheric
One of the best books I've read this year and absolutely perfectly timed for the onset of Winter. A definite cut above most genre fiction in the quality of... READ MORE
Sean Farrell
Just read this unforgettable, haunting novel, and now for the review!!
10 year old Lauren lives in an isolated village with her father Niall, her mother disappeared shortly after Lauren was born, her disappearance caused rumou... READ MORE
Jo Morpeth


Winner of the The McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2020

Shortlisted for Bloody Scotland's Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2020

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.

In the shadow of the Highland forest, Francine Toon captures the wildness of rural childhood and the intensity of small-town claustrophobia. In a place that can feel like the edge of the word, she unites the chill of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times.

  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781784164829
  • Number of pages: 336
  • Weight: 230g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 20 mm

Customer Reviews

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Pine by Francine Toon
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year (and let’s face it, for many of us that would probably have been preferable!) then chances are you... READ MORE
Excellent Gothic thriller. Couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended.
yvonne vukelich
An atmospheric thriller
This was a beautifully written book with an amazing atmospheric feel, I couldn’t put it down picking it up any chance I had.
Darren  Welsh
Good read, slow to start, too short
It has s good story plot. But it takes about 250 pages to get to the main story, with only 322 pages in the whole book. The two main characters, Nial and h... READ MORE
That's hours of my life I won't get back.
I'm sorry, I know that this is Francine Toon's debut novel and I wish her all the best but I really can't understand the reviews about this novel. The cove... READ MORE
David Chapman
A good story concept
A good story concept, but a hurried and weak ending didn't do it justice.
Carol Aldred
Pine by Francine Toon
A modern gothic thriller with an unexpected ending. The story is told from a young girl's point of veiw but also from her fathers. Why did Lauren's mother ... READ MORE
Linda Hartlib
A “Mildly” paranormal “mystery” - Not a gripping gothic, thriller
Most of what I have to say was summed up by multiple reviewers, I don’t understand where the hype is coming from. I wish I could say I enjoyed it. Nothin... READ MORE
Amy :)
Beautifully written
This is gripping and moving with unexpected twists. I could relate a lot to some parts which helped. I read it in a couple days is it was so compelling.
Sarah Andrews
An ok read
A little disappointed to be honest, the back cover blurb promised a better read, it was ok, I finished it but wouldn’t particularly recommend this
Was expecting a great fireside read but it fell short. Was a good idea and could have been a great story but was disappointed with the way it was written a... READ MORE
Caroline Hawkins
Chilly Scotland
Read this in a few days , book of the month for Waterstones , was so looking forward to reading this , not as riveting as I hoped , an ok read , the last f... READ MORE
Rome lover
Gripping and moving
Loved this book, really entertaining but also moving
Louise Stephenson
Brilliant spooky read
Loved this book living in the Highlands it was familiar loved the story and was spooked out a couple of times but really enjoyed it couldn’t put it down gr... READ MORE
Sonya Mokwa
Best book I’ve read this year
Found the pace really good and it accelerates at the end, couldn’t put it down! Enjoyed the style of writing and could relate to the characters. She create... READ MORE
Kailani Knight
Wonderfully unsettling!
I read this book during a recent October break trip to Glencoe and it could not have been more perfectly timed. The book itself was fantastic. I couldn't p... READ MORE
Amy Brumpton
Great book
Great book, found it hard to put down.
T Mulligan
Beautifully Atmospheric but slow...
I was so so excited to read this when I first heard of it towards the end of the summer. It sounded right up my street and I knew reading it at winter in f... READ MORE
My Shared Bookshelf
'Pine' by Francine Toon
Probably one of my favourite books now. It is set in the haunting Scottish Highlands (in the modern-day) and focuses on ten-year-old Lauren who lives with ... READ MORE
Holly Nichol
This was full of twists and turns, I really felt I was there in some scenes.... the head space of dad, the bedroom of daughter, the pub scenes... the woods... READ MORE
Jessie Clarkson
I am very sorry to say that I had high expectations of enjoying a scary thriller...alas I was neither scared nor thrilled. I found the story telling lacked... READ MORE
Anne Moore
Enjoyable but the ending sagged for me
I really enjoyed this book, from the beginning I was turning pages fast to find out what was going to happen next and reading it last winter gave me all th... READ MORE
Melissa Heppell
confusing one
There were times where I had to reread parts of the story because I didn't really understand what was going on. It is a book that is marketed as crime, mys... READ MORE
Bewitching, Pine is unsettling and beautifully written, it's almost like the plot haunts you giving you chills as you read. It's set in a small and seclude... READ MORE
Eeeeerily Good !
Winner of the McIlvanney prize 2020. A strong debut novel set in a secluded village, surrounded by pine forrest, in the Scottish Highlands. This is an eeri... READ MORE
Milton of Campsie  Annie
Had me hooked
Decided to take up reading again to stop me using my phone so much and this book was a great first book recommended by one of the waterstones staff. Loved ... READ MORE
Kerrie Short
chilling, eerie, intensely written - thrilling
PINE by Francine Toon. Is set in the heart of the Scottish landscape. A small village, almost adjoining a deep, foreboding forest of Pine. Lauren can h... READ MORE
david norman
Perfect Scottish setting, with eerie narrative
Perfect Scottish gothic thriller aesthetic, which builds up an eerie narrative which will make you cautious but also desperate to know what happens. Finish... READ MORE
Lucy McCoy
Amazing world
I could not put this book down, the world created felt so real and It’s become one of my favourites.
Bel Randle
A light thriller
Ten-year-old Lauren faces the challenges of growing up in a small Scottish village and everyone badly hides suspicions on her mother disappearance. Events ... READ MORE
Irene de Bartolo
But for now, she’s a vampire
Really did enjoy this book, it’s spooky and gothic. However I felt like I wanted more from it, it dragged slightly in the middle and felt like it was rushe... READ MORE
Elise Brown
Tedious and boring waste of time, certainly not "pacey".
e t shaw
Atmospheric and keeps you guessing
I really enjoyed Pine - I thought it was well-written, evocative and struck just the right balance of intrigue and genuine chills. It kept me guessing all ... READ MORE
Harriet Whitman
Brilliant book, found it hard to put down, just wanted to keep reading. Quite creepy which I really enjoyed.
Trischian Livie
Best avoided
I am at a loss to understand the rave reviews for this novel. It could be any rural setting. An obligatory ceilidh scene suggests Scotland but none of the ... READ MORE
Raewyn Riach