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Desert Places (Andrew Z. Thomas/Luther Kite #1)

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3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,206 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews
"Greetings. There is a body buried on your property, covered in your blood. The unfortunate young lady's name is Rita Jones. In her jeans pocket you'll find a slip of paper with a phone number on it. Call that number. If I have not heard from you by 8:00 P.M., the police will receive an anonymous call. I'll tell them where Rita Jones is buried on your property, how you kil ...more
Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published (first published January 12th 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
May 28, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
*****BEFORE WAYWARD PINES THERE WAS DESERT PLACES*****

”What did Keats say? It’s beauty. Not just pretty truth. We have black hearts, but they’re beautiful.”

When Andrew Z. Thomas receives a bizarre letter in his mailbox explaining that there is a dead girl buried on his property, soaked in his blood, he at first thinks it is a prank being perpetrated by one of his fans. He is a horror writer and used to receiving...unusual...letters, but this one was different. After several stages of smirking at
...more
Jackie
Oct 04, 2010 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Excellent book. Raw, taut, suspenseful, shocking, fast paced, terrifying, thrilling, unpredictable, intense and seriously disturbing. I stayed up all night reading it so I could finish. I gave myself a huge headache but it was well worth it.
I've been hoping there'd be a sequel, that's how good it was.
It's earned a rare 5 stars from me.

PS: Forgot to say, this is one of the most violent and disturbing books. If you can't handle serious violence and deeply disturbing situations, then don't read t
...more
Bill
Feb 29, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty crazy and violent tale about a novelist who receives a letter informing him that he has a body buried on his property, with his blood on it and his missing paring knife is the murder weapon.

Aaaaand we're off!

Blake Crouch can sure write a thriller. I was glued to the pages of his Pines series, and after that I was sure I'd read more of him and here I am at his first novel.
For a first novel this is impressive stuff. While most people probably wouldn't have bought into Andrew's way of doing
...more
Paul Nelson
3.5 Rating
I recently read The Pines by Blake Crouch and was that impressed I immediately bought Desert Places & Locked Doors from the Andrew Z. Thomas series.

Desert Places was his debut novel written some eight years before Pines and brings us into the world of a successful psychological thriller writer who suddenly has the tension and horror of what he writes about bought very much to reality.

Andrew Thomas has all the trappings of a success, a lakeside property, no shortage of money, friend
...more
Debra
Jun 22, 2011 Debra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Wilson
This was more of a 3.5 star book. I picked this up hearing that he is a good friend of J.A. Konrath and figured it had to be good....which it was, just not nearly as much as J.A. in my opinion. Now dont get me wrong, I can get into the dark side of books (describing murder in detail, gore, etc), however I felt like I had to go to Confession after finishing this book. I guess with a lot of books in this genre, the author comes across as knowing the back story, yet it reads like a suspenseful nove ...more
Richelle
Aug 08, 2015 Richelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one as an ebook.. which I hate reading! I use the app on my iPad.. and it has a terrible glare during the day.. and at night I find it too bright.. even with the screen brightness turned down!
I want to start out by giving Blake Crouch praise for another amazing book!
He is extremely talented! He writes with such clarity that I can vividly picture the scene I am reading.. sometimes it's a little stomach turning !! This books takes you on a wild ride! It's about an author named Andrew
...more
Edward Lorn
Jan 30, 2013 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blake Crouch could extract flop sweat from a cold stone. He delves into some of the darkest playgrounds imaginable, the type most readers peruse and find themselves questioning the author's morals. I took my sweet-ass time getting through the first 25% of this book, not because the writing or story were bad, but because I read before I go to bed. What I'm getting at is, I read to relax, but a racing pulse does not a sound sleeper make. Once I hit the end of the first section of this book, I coul ...more
Adam Wilson
May 29, 2011 Adam Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desert Places was my first Blake Crouch read and it was enough to make me want to track down and read everything else by him. I am always overjoyed to discover a new horror/thriller writer that actually has writing skills. This book was full of interests that most horror fans seem to have. One of these is how would you react if someone sent you a note saying that there is a dead body buried on your property and they can make one phone call to the police to put you away for a very long time if yo ...more
Kasia
Jun 22, 2014 Kasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say, this book will entice and grab you by the collar or whatever, it's fast and delightful and sick and furious, by 59% I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack from this story, I was actually shivering like a drunk snow man when I walked into my kitchen and told my boyfriend what I was reading this afternoon.. this was probably my 5th Crouch book and I am in love.. he took my eye balls and rubbed them viciously though many, many words that formed some intense ideas, I' ...more
Adam Light
Jul 12, 2013 Adam Light rated it it was amazing
Andrew is in for one hell of a ride. He just opened a letter that told him there is a murder victim buried in his yard and if he doesn't do as instructed he will be framed for the murder.
What this bestselling author at first believes to be a prank becomes the beginning of a nightmare he cannot escape.
The book is almost nonstop suspense and terror. I white-knuckled my way through it in a couple of sittings, jaw dropped most of the way through. A few people told me it was slow in the middle, but I
...more
Georgiann Hennelly
On a tranquil May evening in North Carolina Andrew Thomas, a semi -famous novelist. Strolls down his drive to check his mailbox. Inside he finds a note. Greetings there is a body buried on your property. The unfortunate young ladies name is Rita Jones.Your blood is all over her. In her jeans pocket you,ll find a note with a phone number you have one day to call the number. If i don,t hear from you i,ll call the police and tell them where she is buried and how you killed her and where the murder ...more
Sherry
May 26, 2012 Sherry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because this series links with another series I am reading. The final book in each series pits the killer from this series against the police officer from the jack Daniels series by J A Konrath. I was not a huge fan of this book, I did not connect with any of the characters I found all of them quite bland, being used to the witty banter between the characters in the other series this book seemed quite empty. Now I have to decide wether to continue with this series. As It wo ...more
Paul Pessolano
Oct 30, 2014 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Desert Places” by Blake Crouch, published by Thomas Dunne Books.

Category – Horror Publication Date – February 03, 2011

I had a hard time categorizing this book, its a little bit Horror and a little bit Mystery/Thriller. This book is definitely not for everybody. It will probably be best suited to those who enjoy Stephen King, J.A. Konrath, and Dean Koontz.

There is weird, weirder, and the really weird, and “Desert Places” belongs in the really weird column. It should be read by those who are not
...more
Robert
Jun 22, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Desert Places is about a writer that becomes threatened by a serial killer, end of story. Any more would be a spoiler. This book takes off like a demon on speed and does not stop. Even the ending leaves a person wondering. Yet strangely in a good way. Not like in some books where the reader is left hanging knowing another installment is coming. This time the reader must decide if all is well. Very fast paced short read.
Lee
Nov 16, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: andrew-z-thomas
Pedal to the metal, serial killer tale. Creepy, disturbing debut....and I mean this in a good way.
Glenn Conley
Jan 01, 2015 Glenn Conley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A moderately sick and twisted book. Full of twists and turns of the knife. Most of it was decent serial killer horror. It kept me guessing until the end. Never knew who was going to get tortured and killed next.

That being said, the main character, Andrew, who narrates the book, is the most boring cunt there is. Throughout the entire book, I was rooting for someone to fucking stab him in his stupid goddamn cunt. Somebody please shut this guy's whore mouth.

Seriously. Andrew is a stuck-up little g
...more
Brad
Jul 19, 2014 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christie
Okay, I admit it. I have a kinda thing for psycho-killer novels. You know, some crazy person who chews up the landscape doing unspeakable things to innocent people. The best one I’ve ever read is Intensity by Dean Koontz. I could not put that book down.

Blake Crouch’s debut novel Desert Places isn’t nearly as good as Intensity, but it’s pretty darn good. It tells the story of successful mystery writer Andrew Thomas. One day Andy gets a letter in his mailbox: There is a body buried on your propert
...more
Darcy
Feb 17, 2010 Darcy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, horror
This was a hard book for me to decide about, all in all I would give it 2.5 stars. What makes it tough for me to rate is that it is the deeply disturbing story itself.

Andy is your normal author living the good life until he receives a weird note in the mail talking about a body buried on his land, soaked in his blood, and killed with a knife from his kitchen and he needs to find the body to be able to call the phone number in the dead person's pocket with in 1 day. Thinking it is just fan mail o
...more
Robert Beveridge
Jan 20, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Blake Crouch, Desert Places (St. Martin's, 2003)

Is it me, or does the name "Blake Crouch" just scream nom de plume to you? One almost wonders if Mr. Crouch hasn't cooked up a little semi-autobiographical tale here. But that aside...

Desert Places, Blake Crouch's debut novel, shows us an author with a great grasp of character, pacing, and plot, and perhaps not enough of an editing team. The novel roars to a start when successful thriller novelist Andrew Thomas gets an anonymous piece of mail telli
...more
LJ
(A) DESERT PLACES / (B) LOCKED DOORS (Suspense-Cont) – NR/DNF
Crouch, Blake – 1st and 2nd in series
St. Martin's Press, 2004/2005 - Hardcover
(A) Thriller writer Andrew Thomas is set up as a serial killer and has no way of proving he is not. (B) It appears on of the bad guys from book (A) is still alive and again out to terrorize Andrew.
*** I group these together as I accidentally started book (B) first, couldn't get into it and thought it might be better if I read book (A) first. I was wrong. Thes
...more
June
Jan 03, 2016 June rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh....not for me! Creepy, scary, horrific thriller I couldn't finish! However I did peek to see how it ended and found there's a sequel, Locked Doors where the innocent man in book one is wanted by the FBI and tries to disappear. I will not be reading this author again. I like to sleep!!
Chris
Feb 22, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a fun page-turner. Crouch is a great story teller, adept at building suspense and creating compelling situations that make you want to keep reading. I enjoyed the premise of Desert Places and the development of the characters. My only complaint is that the ending seemed too abrupt and left me wishing for a more satisfying resolution.
Jacqueline King
I am in awe of authors who can think of this shit. This wasn't the goriest novel I have ever read (J.A. Konrath is still the king) but it came pretty close. There were scenes that made me sick, there were scenes that made me sad. But there were also some scenes that made me yawn, and that is the reason for the low rating. I found the story line didn't flow consistently, jumping forward randomly. There were a lot of twists and turns and a few shocking surprises, making this a pretty good thriller ...more
TJ
Apr 08, 2015 TJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good book with a sufficient number of twists and turns, but not enough to want me to continue with the series. I like Crouch's style and enjoyed his characters, but the plot wandered too much to keep me wanting to finish the book quickly. I have enjoyed his writing in the past, so I'm not going to give up on him, just on this series
Robjr73
Jul 12, 2015 Robjr73 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy Shit. I think those two words raced through my head the entire time I was reading this. This is what you call a Thriller. I never believe people when they say "I couldn't pull the book down" or "kept me up through the night". But this fucking book? Yeah...I could see both of those things happening. Best book I've read in 2015. (I don't think I'll be able to read the sequel until my systolic and diastolic numbers go down tho)
Eve Nolon
Dec 29, 2015 Eve Nolon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
My first Blake Crouch novel! I will definitely be reading more by him, and luckily I have the rest of the Andy Thomas novels plus a bunch of other stuff by him and collaborations with Konrath/Kilborn. I must say I didn't find it all that scary but the character development was excellent and that story hooked me right away and I kept reading until I finished it at 2AM this morning. My only complaint is that if I didn't know Luther's back story (from a short story in BIRDS OF PREY), I'd find him b ...more
Jonathan
This is a decent set up for future books, but it doesn't make it a good book in and of itself; the first few chapters between Orson & Andrew (Twin brothers), seems to borrow a bit from King's Misery; and it comes across more as shock-horror based on the gore of the actions than it does play in the field of psychological thriller. Orson never really forms as a fully embodied antagonist, at least, not to my mind; and Andrew's struggle, despite glancing over his past, never fully hits home, eit ...more
Tom Whalley
During a period where I was trying to read novels mostly by or about women, I can't explain why I picked this up. Similarly, I can't explain why I read beyond the first paragraph, when it was revealed this was my least favorite kind of book - a book about a white male writer who is tormented by success. I definitely can't explain how this wound up on my e-reader. I'm kind of glad it did.

Desert Places is the first straightforward murder-thriller I've ever read. It follows the story of Andy Thomas
...more
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Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, Dark Matter, for which he is writing the screenplay for Sony Pictures. His international-bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy was adapted into a television series for FOX, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, that was Summer 2015’s #1 show. With Chad Hodge, Crouch also created Good Behavior, the T ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Andrew Z. Thomas/Luther Kite (3 books)
  • Locked Doors (Andrew Z. Thomas/Luther Kite #2)
  • Break You (Andrew Z. Thomas/Luther Kite #3)

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“Some people find the cravenness to lose entire years of their childhood. They tuck things into their subconscious so that it only eats them away a little at a time, in small, painless bites.” 1 likes
“Rampant speculation ignited as the country fell in love with its own fear.” 0 likes
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