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Instinct

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New York Times bestselling author Jason M. Hough dives headfirst into the world of thrillers with this explosive new tale! Welcome to Silvertown, Washington. Population 602 (for now). Despite its small size, the small mountain town is home to more conspiracy theories than any other place in America. Officer Mary Whittaker is slowly acclimating to the daily weirdness of li New York Times bestselling author Jason M. Hough dives headfirst into the world of thrillers with this explosive new tale! Welcome to Silvertown, Washington. Population 602 (for now). Despite its small size, the small mountain town is home to more conspiracy theories than any other place in America. Officer Mary Whittaker is slowly acclimating to the daily weirdness of life here, but when the chief of police takes a leave of absence, she is left alone to confront a series of abnormal incidents—strange even by Silvertown standards. An “indoor kid” who abhors nature dies on a random midnight walkabout with no explanation. A hiker is found dead on a trail, smiling serenely after being mauled by a bear. A woman known for being a helicopter parent abandons her toddler twins without a second thought. It’s almost as if the townsfolk are losing their survival instinct, one by one... As Whittaker digs deeper into her investigation, she uncovers a larger conspiracy with more twists and turns than a mountain road, and danger around every corner. To save Silvertown, she must distinguish the truth from paranoia-fueled lies before she ends up losing her own instincts...and her life!


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New York Times bestselling author Jason M. Hough dives headfirst into the world of thrillers with this explosive new tale! Welcome to Silvertown, Washington. Population 602 (for now). Despite its small size, the small mountain town is home to more conspiracy theories than any other place in America. Officer Mary Whittaker is slowly acclimating to the daily weirdness of li New York Times bestselling author Jason M. Hough dives headfirst into the world of thrillers with this explosive new tale! Welcome to Silvertown, Washington. Population 602 (for now). Despite its small size, the small mountain town is home to more conspiracy theories than any other place in America. Officer Mary Whittaker is slowly acclimating to the daily weirdness of life here, but when the chief of police takes a leave of absence, she is left alone to confront a series of abnormal incidents—strange even by Silvertown standards. An “indoor kid” who abhors nature dies on a random midnight walkabout with no explanation. A hiker is found dead on a trail, smiling serenely after being mauled by a bear. A woman known for being a helicopter parent abandons her toddler twins without a second thought. It’s almost as if the townsfolk are losing their survival instinct, one by one... As Whittaker digs deeper into her investigation, she uncovers a larger conspiracy with more twists and turns than a mountain road, and danger around every corner. To save Silvertown, she must distinguish the truth from paranoia-fueled lies before she ends up losing her own instincts...and her life!

30 review for Instinct

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Welcome to Silvertown, Washington. Population 602 (for now). Mary Whitaker, police officer and new to Silvertown, is finding the local residents acting oddly. A tourist smiles in the face of a bear mauling him alive, a local teen and gamer that rarely ventures outdoors falls from a cliff while hiking, a helicopter mom abandons her twin toddlers to show a stranger around town. What is going on in this godforsaken place? What an intriguing premise and I thought Mary was a delightful character, Welcome to Silvertown, Washington. Population 602 (for now). Mary Whitaker, police officer and new to Silvertown, is finding the local residents acting oddly. A tourist smiles in the face of a bear mauling him alive, a local teen and gamer that rarely ventures outdoors falls from a cliff while hiking, a helicopter mom abandons her twin toddlers to show a stranger around town. What is going on in this godforsaken place? What an intriguing premise and I thought Mary was a delightful character, however, this book I found was a slow burn and a bit boring. I skimmed a great deal of the middle of the book and the last third is when all hell breaks loose and it's non-stop action. This is a case of a book not being the right one for me. Part of my problem is my own preconceived notion that this was going to be creepy and it wasn't. The entire time I was reading this I kept thinking to myself "This is not what I was expecting" and I just could not shake that feeling. It took me 5 days to get through this book if that is any indicator of my interest level. Let it be said that Mr. Hough is a talented author and I think many people are going to love this. It just wasn't for me. 3 stars! Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the digital ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Police Officer Mary Whittaker constitutes the entire police force of Silvertown, a small, isolated mountain town, while her boss takes a brief personal leave. She gradually grows suspicious of a string of strange incidents. They are out of the ordinary, even for this town that already has more than its share of weird elements - Big Foot is a tourist attraction, and the town boasts an abandoned military base, a toxic mine site and a ghost town. I liked the build up of this story as Mary put the c Police Officer Mary Whittaker constitutes the entire police force of Silvertown, a small, isolated mountain town, while her boss takes a brief personal leave. She gradually grows suspicious of a string of strange incidents. They are out of the ordinary, even for this town that already has more than its share of weird elements - Big Foot is a tourist attraction, and the town boasts an abandoned military base, a toxic mine site and a ghost town. I liked the build up of this story as Mary put the clues together. The last 20 to 25% of the book is basically an action sequence. Many people enjoy all that action, but I thought it dragged on too long. I was expecting a horror or sci fi story, and that is not what I got. This is a thriller. I also thought that the premise behind the strange events was shaky at best. Really, the goals could have been, and are being, accomplished with so much less effort. The book did hold my interest though. 3.5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Henry

    I don’t usually rate books before I read them but some a$$hole rated it with one star and that’s some bogus bs right there because the book isn’t out until April 2021 * ETA: finished the book since it’s actually out now, and my rating still stands.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Expect the unexpected in this creative, wild, and enjoyable sci fi thriller by Jason Hough. I picked up this book about a small town because it was described to me as “Twin Peaks meets Blake Crouch,” and it did not disappoint! Police Officer Mary Whittaker is the only cop in her town of just over 600 when her boss takes an extended leave, and wouldn’t you know that as soon as he departs, suddenly everyone in town, one by one, starts acting pretty strange. And violent. Did I mention that Silverto Expect the unexpected in this creative, wild, and enjoyable sci fi thriller by Jason Hough. I picked up this book about a small town because it was described to me as “Twin Peaks meets Blake Crouch,” and it did not disappoint! Police Officer Mary Whittaker is the only cop in her town of just over 600 when her boss takes an extended leave, and wouldn’t you know that as soon as he departs, suddenly everyone in town, one by one, starts acting pretty strange. And violent. Did I mention that Silvertown, Washington is also known for conspiracy theories? Mary is unsure what she’s battling at first, but she’s definitely battling something. The first half or so of the book moves a little slowly, but Hough is an entertaining writer with a knack for interesting characters, so I didn’t mind. Then all of a sudden the last third of the book is straight up gonzo, like a David Lynch movie, which, if you know me, is a high compliment. Lovers of weird conspiracy theory, secret government agent sci fi will love the last third of this book. Though that is not so much my regular bag, I LOVED it here and was incredibly entertained. Jason Hough is a great writer and this book is unlike anything else I’ve read this year. If you like sci fi, Twin Peaks, X Files, Blake Crouch kinda crazy, you really need to pick this one up. Well done and thrilling, Mr. Hough! Thanks to Gallery Books, NetGalley and the author for the ARC of this totally unique and crazy thrill ride, which thoroughly entertained me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Max

    This sounds so good! I've been trying to find some good 2021 releases, and this will definitely be on my list. This sounds so good! I've been trying to find some good 2021 releases, and this will definitely be on my list.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

    INSTINCT is in the categories of both psychological thriller and Horror. Authored by Jason Hough, who is also noted for his excellent Science Fiction, INSTINCT is set in a tiny mountain community in the Cascades of Washington State. Silvertown once boasted an active Silver mine (resulting in tons of toxic outflow into the nearby stream) but a decade ago the Police Chief uncovered corruption and shamed out the ruling family corporation. No longer a company town, Silvertown relies on tourism. Mary INSTINCT is in the categories of both psychological thriller and Horror. Authored by Jason Hough, who is also noted for his excellent Science Fiction, INSTINCT is set in a tiny mountain community in the Cascades of Washington State. Silvertown once boasted an active Silver mine (resulting in tons of toxic outflow into the nearby stream) but a decade ago the Police Chief uncovered corruption and shamed out the ruling family corporation. No longer a company town, Silvertown relies on tourism. Mary, a rural California native and former Oakland patrol officer, was hired two months ago. When Chief Greg takes a sudden leave of absence to visit his ailing mother in Virginia, Mary is literally the only law enforcement in the quiet town. But then, folks begin acting strangely, behaving wildly out of character; and even Mary discovers in rare lucid moments that she herself is changing. People are no longer acting according to their own instinct. In a community where "Conspiracy Theories" are a way of life, it's not easy to recognize; it's even more difficult to seek out the source. What a strong character is Mary! Imagine the Terminator in terms of determination to succeed, to help the townspeople, to stop what is really wrong: that's Mary.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    Edge of your seat ride! The twists and turns grabbed me and did not let go. I absolutely loved this book. The best part is that as I was reading the story, I was imagining the movie. I saw every character as a real movie actor playing the part. Simply amazing! I can’t wait to read another of Mr. Hough’s books.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Cosmi

    I'm a big Jason M. Hough fan, I've read all his books and enjoyed them all. I knew he was working on this story and that it was due out soon. So, I was overjoyed when this came up on NetGalley. I loved this book, it's a bit different of a type of story than Jason usually writes, but it's great. This is that type of book that pleases almost every sort of reader out there. It satisfies many different needs a reader has. From time to time you need that short, quick read, that is fun and hard to put I'm a big Jason M. Hough fan, I've read all his books and enjoyed them all. I knew he was working on this story and that it was due out soon. So, I was overjoyed when this came up on NetGalley. I loved this book, it's a bit different of a type of story than Jason usually writes, but it's great. This is that type of book that pleases almost every sort of reader out there. It satisfies many different needs a reader has. From time to time you need that short, quick read, that is fun and hard to put down. That's what kind of story this book is. The story is good, very good, maybe not exactly groundbreaking or great, but strong. There's action and intrigue and cliffhangers abound. This reminded me a lot of Cold Storage by David Koepp from 2019. I hope people will like this as much as I did, and there was a fun shout out to Sykes and Wendig, so that's fun.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Becky Spratford

    Review in the April 15, 2021 issue of Booklist and on the blog: https://raforall.blogspot.com/2021/04... Three Words That Describe This Book: steadily increasing pace, deeply unsettling, strong protagonist Review in the April 15, 2021 issue of Booklist and on the blog: https://raforall.blogspot.com/2021/04... Three Words That Describe This Book: steadily increasing pace, deeply unsettling, strong protagonist

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    3.5 stars Loved MC Mary Whitaker. Great idea for a story and good setting. It took me a while to really get into this book. Once I did, it grabbed me and was hard to put down, but then it started to drag on and on.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley,Jason M. Hough, Gallery Books, and Skybound Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Always one to try something a little different, I excitedly grabbed for this novel by Jason M. Hough, which mixes the intensity of a thriller with the mystery of small-town America. When a police officer in a small Washington community is thrust into a leadership role, she begins to notice tha First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley,Jason M. Hough, Gallery Books, and Skybound Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. Always one to try something a little different, I excitedly grabbed for this novel by Jason M. Hough, which mixes the intensity of a thriller with the mystery of small-town America. When a police officer in a small Washington community is thrust into a leadership role, she begins to notice that the locals are not acting as they should, or at least how she expects they would. Is there a reason or is this all something wonky about small town life? Hough keeps the reader guessing throughout and makes quite the impact in doing so. After leaving Oakland PD, Mary Whittaker is still trying to acclimate to life in Silvertown, Washington. It’s small—population 602, small—and the locals seem happy to keep to themselves, but also come up with some typical issues. Learning all she can from the local chief, Whittaker is determined to make her impression on the town and its citizenry. It won’t be easy, but it’s one challenge that Whittaker is bound and determined to overcome. When the chief takes an unexpected leave of absence, Whittaker is left to run things on her own. She takes a call out of town when a hiker is attacked by a bear, unable to understand why he did not react. After interviewing his companion, it would seem that the man who had little love of nature simply gave up and waited for fate to take its course. There are other oddities around town, like the introverted teenager who loves gaming but chose to wander out into the woods and died. Or the woman who loves her twins and yet left them at home while frolicking in town. Some call it a reaction to the new cell tower that was erected, but Whittaker thinks that there is more to it. This is one mystery for which she’ll not let the gossips create a narrative. As she tries to piece things together, Whittaker discovers what might be involved in all the shenanigans, but she is not yet ready to commit to that response. She probes a little deeper, only to see that losing one’s instinct is the least of the town’s concerns, though she might not live long enough to report it to others. A chilling piece that keeps the reader thinking until the very last page flip. I have never read anything by Jason M. Hough and I am kicking myself for that. In a piece that is full of action and intrigue, I found myself fully committed throughout the process and could not wait to see what was coming next. Hough keeps things on the mysterious side, without venturing too far out of reality. Still, there’s something a little eerie in the story and how things play out. Mary Whittaker is a strong protagonist in this piece, keeping the reader informed of both her back story and how she develops throughout. Still trying to get used to country or small town life, Whittaker must tackle policing on an entirely new level. While she struggles at times, the reader can see some wonderful development throughout, which enriches the story as well as advancing the narrative. Hough offers up some wonderful supporting characters in this piece, all of whom do their own thing to make the story all the better. While small town life is not always full of excitement, there is something about the various characters in this piece that flavour the narrative effectively and keep the story moving. Those the reader thinks they know are soon showing another side, which only adds depth to the piece and keeps the reader wanting to discover a little more. The story itself sounds typical small town, something is going on and the townsfolk are acting oddly. However, Jason M. Hough takes it a step further and delves into some interesting discussions, both on a character level and with the psychology of a person. What makes someone do something and can override those instincts or inhibitions? He tackles this with a strong narrative that progresses throughout, easily taking the reader on many a journey. Additionally, there are some wonderful ‘aha’ moments, as the reader tries to make sense of things with the numerous reveals throughout. The plot stays intense and there are no lack of twists as the piece progresses. A mix of chapter lengths has the reader begging for more, as they read well into the night. I cannot wait to see what else Hough has penned, so that I can compare and enjoy things in the future. Kudos, Mr. Hough, for a great piece that has me curious. You are definitely on my radar. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    That was a blast! Silvertown - population 665, has a reputation for being, well...different. Sasquatch lives there and the people are a little weird. So when weird stuff stars happening in town, people behaving totally out of character, nobody thinks too much of it. Think Blake Crouch, X Files and a side serve of the Coen Brothers movie Fargo. I was inspired to grab this on the basis of an intriguing review by a friend. I can’t remember who but thank you whoever you are! Officer Mary Whittaker j That was a blast! Silvertown - population 665, has a reputation for being, well...different. Sasquatch lives there and the people are a little weird. So when weird stuff stars happening in town, people behaving totally out of character, nobody thinks too much of it. Think Blake Crouch, X Files and a side serve of the Coen Brothers movie Fargo. I was inspired to grab this on the basis of an intriguing review by a friend. I can’t remember who but thank you whoever you are! Officer Mary Whittaker joined the Silvertown police department a couple of months ago. The place doesn’t really need two cops but Chief Greg Gorman is getting older and maybe it’s a good idea to train up a replacement. The town has just buried teenager Johnny Rogers who fell down a cliff while out hiking. Only Johnny doesn’t hike. He hates the outdoors, spending his time reading and playing computer games. His idea of “outside” is sitting on the back step with a book. Then the Chief takes one to two weeks leave to visit his sick mother leaving Mary in charge. And that’s when things really ramp up. Next we have the hiker, a real hiker this time, who just stands there and smiles while a bear walks up to him and mauls him. Other strange things occur. An old man, usually fastidiously careful about his safety, steps off the kerb right into the path of Mary’s police cruiser. A mother of toddler twins abandons them for hours while she entertains a stranger in town. Mary thinks all this adds up to...what exactly? But she is certain there is something fishy going on. Then something Kyle says hits home. Kyle is the bartender at the only pub in town and Mary’s lover. He notices that she’s going off alone to check out all these weird happenings when she would normally favour a team approach. Against her instincts. Aha, and that is the title of the book! But when a deranged biker breaks into her house and tries to kill her while apologising about it she realises, after defending herself, that she too is afflicted with this strange phenomenon. But what exactly is it? Determined to discover what is going on before more people die or get injured she investigates every strange occurrence she finds. To keep her mind focussed she has written on her left hand, in permanent marker “you need help.” This actually is probably what saves her. Soon Mary is caught in a deadly conspiracy, in a town already full of “conspiritards” and when she finds the Chief and Doc Ryan have been kind of brainwashed she realises it’s all down to her to save the town from...what? I’m being purposely cryptic because it was such fun unravelling this plot I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. But I do want to whet your appetite. This was - not funny exactly, but very left field and I ripped through it very quickly, I had to know. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing a copy to review. My opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Will

    2 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... Welcome to Silvertown, Washington, population 602. Actually no, scratch that. Welcome to Silvertown, Washington, population 665. I honestly have no idea who wrote the official blurb. Clearly, they didn’t read the book. Officer Mary Whittaker is the town’s latest resident, and was the 666th resident when she moved two months back. A few of the more superstitious townsfolk still avoid her on the street and cast dirty looks as they mutter behind her back. 2 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... Welcome to Silvertown, Washington, population 602. Actually no, scratch that. Welcome to Silvertown, Washington, population 665. I honestly have no idea who wrote the official blurb. Clearly, they didn’t read the book. Officer Mary Whittaker is the town’s latest resident, and was the 666th resident when she moved two months back. A few of the more superstitious townsfolk still avoid her on the street and cast dirty looks as they mutter behind her back. Most didn’t take the omen at face value. But perhaps they should’ve. As the population of Silvertown begins to decline. The story begins with a funeral. Johnny Rogers, a certified homebody falls to his death after a spontaneous midnight hike. A few weeks later, a hiker terrified of animals dies after trying to hug a bear. Then a helicopter parent ditches her toddlers to have lunch with a complete stranger. From there, things… just get weirder. It seems as if many of the townsfolk—Mary included—have lost their survival instincts. But as Whittaker continues to dig into the investigation, a conspiracy begins to take form. One that threatens not only Silvertown, but the world itself. And it’s up to Mary to stop it. Wow. So this one was… quite something. Up to the 2/3 mark, I was quite invested. Instinct contains a fairly interesting mystery, with a slow build that had me wrapt up through the first big reveal. The revelation that the townsfolk were losing their instincts due to something unknown was an interesting turn, if a bit confusing. The tense and mysterious atmosphere that permeates the text through its 75% mark is nothing short of masterful, and provided me with more than enough reason to keep going even after things got a little… weird. The main issues start around the halfway mark. Let’s begin with the first big reveal. It was too revealing. It was so obvious who was behind the conspiracy that I knew inside of the first few chapters. So when the curtain is pulled back late in the story—well, mind-blowing it was not. My second issue was with the setting. A small and isolated town in the mountains is a picture perfect backdrop for a grassroots conspiracy, but it has to actually feel like a small, mountain town in Washington. And to me it didn’t. Now the author lives in Seattle. And I’m not sure he did enough research on the setting before he dove right in. Early on, there’s a hiker that gets mauled by a bear. Now that’s definitely strange, yeah, as bears are usually more afraid of you than you are of them. And they point this out. But mostly they focus on “What was the bear even doing here?” Bears are all over the Pacific Northwest. For one to turn up on the outskirts of a small, rural, mountain town is hardly new. But this is a big clue, apparently. And gets revisited more than once. Our town has one main street. And six-hundred odd people. Which is pointed out. But then a lone car leaves the middle of town, the townsfolk lose sight of it before it reaches the end. A majority of the tale involves roughly two dozen people, with the rest of the community conspicuously absent. In the beginning Silvertown is billed as “one of those towns where everyone knows everyone”, but by the end 95% of the townsfolk remain AWOL. Speaking of the end, you know how in some stories there’s a lot of jumping from one outlandish conclusion to the next, only for our heroine to hatch an insane plan that probably shouldn’t work but somehow does, and then pass out only to wake up and have everything be magically solved for them. They’re patted on the back, good guys win, life back to normal. It’s done all the time. And I’m sick of it. It’s convenient, sure, but lame. Now, I’m not saying that Instinct does this, but if it did, it probably would’ve soured me on the whole ending. The real problem with Instinct is its consistency. Now, it was pretty consistent in the first half. The second half less so. As the plot makes the turn for home however, it really goes to pieces. Previously held rules about the conspiracy are broken. It’s going to be hard to get into this with no spoilers, but I’ll give it a shot. Let’s say we have a Coke. It can only be called a Soft drink so long as it has carbonation and sweetener. And it can only be called a Cola if it is a soft drink that has the proper flavorings. It can only be called a Coke if it is a cola that is made and distributed by the proper company (yes, I know these are generalizations—please bear with me). Now suppose all of these things were rules everyone adhered to. And that all the people of Silvertown prefer to drink Coke. Over everything. They’ll drink other cola, but only if there’s no Coke. They’ll even drink other soft drinks, so long as there’s neither any Coke or other colas around. Get it? Good, but in the latter half of Instinct, all we thought we knew about soda is thrown out the window. There’s a chase scene. Our heroine snags an RC out of the mini-fridge despite the fact that there’s a Coke right next to it. There’s an angry mob. Armed with pitchforks and ginger ale, the citizens storm the town—ignoring the gigantic truck full of Coke parked by the side of the road. There’s a celebration at the bar. Citizens raise mugs of beer in toast while their bottles of Coke go flat beside them. Get the picture? While for the first half of Instinct everyone eschews Pepsi in favor of dying of thirst while in the second half people are eyeing Mr. Pib with intense longing. And in the back half people are even occasionally drinking water. The rules are forgotten, but in the end they’re back, and no one seems to notice they’d been broken at all. TL;DR Instinct is a tense, atmospheric mystery that quietly transforms into an interesting and thought-provoking thriller that makes your head hurt as you try to wrap it around just what it is that’s going on in Silvertown. At least, the first half is, anyway. Up to the 65% mark, I was pretty well invested in it. But wow did it ever go to pieces quick. Among the issues include an unrealistic setting, a strange pacing, a conspiracy that doesn’t really work, a cheap and disappointing ending, and an instigator so diabolically and comically evil they might as well have horns. My biggest problem was with the consistency. Instinct works, until it doesn’t. Until the rules are bent to make some of the more outlandish ideas work. Until the same rules are broken, and then reinstituted again like nothing happened. I asked for a Coke—and got a dozen raw eggs. Better in some ways, but not in others.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hixson

    Instinct by Jason M. Hough is small town thriller. Where small town folks start to suddenly lose their survival instinct, like a person that never goes outside will go on a massive hike, and the guy scared of animals will face down a bear. It reminded me of Blake Crouch's Dark Matter where in the last 25 % of the book goes to a crazy place. The finale is good but it is one slow build up to that point. The character's are quirky with conspiracy theories running deep until the town is in one. Inst Instinct by Jason M. Hough is small town thriller. Where small town folks start to suddenly lose their survival instinct, like a person that never goes outside will go on a massive hike, and the guy scared of animals will face down a bear. It reminded me of Blake Crouch's Dark Matter where in the last 25 % of the book goes to a crazy place. The finale is good but it is one slow build up to that point. The character's are quirky with conspiracy theories running deep until the town is in one. Instinct is a good idea, but the execution is lacking. The end is fun but I don't know if everyone will get there with every beat of action and odd occurrence nothing happens in between; we don't spend enough time with these characters to see them acting out of place. Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books - Skybound Books for the opportunity to read Instinct. Instinct by Jason M. Hough was published on April 6th 2021. The Plot: Mary is has been an officer to the town of Silvertown, Washington for two months now. She's still getting her bearings coming from a larger town than Silvertown's population of 610. The town is reeling from the first death that wasn't old age. But the next day another death happens the towns people thank it's the new radio tour with 5G that's doing it. Mary thinks the town is crazy then she herself starts acting different. The town's people are starting to lose there survival instinct. How did they lose it and how can they get it back. What I Liked: A town of conspiracy theorist trapped in a conspiracy was fun too watch. I liked all the bar banter with Kyle. The last 25% of this book was pretty crazy and a lot of fun. I like the missile Silo party. The home invasion was a tense scene. The premise of the book is why I put in to read it is still a really good clever idea. What I Disliked: The first 3/4 of Instinct is pretty slow paced, there's burst of excitement then the narrative slows to a crawl. Interesting things happen but it was not enough to keep my interest. Recommendations: I can not recommend this book. Interesting things happen but not enough to keep my interest through out. The ending is crazy and fun, but it takes a lot to get there. I rated Instinct by Jason M. Hough 3 out of 5 stars. I think Hough has talent was highly entertained by Kyle's bar banter, it was quirky and funny and the best part of the book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Who can you trust when even your own mind has been turned against you? Mary Whittaker is going to have to find out, in the latest pulse-raising thriller from Jason Hough. Small-town America has never looked as appealing as it has done with Silvertown, Mary’s new home and police beat. Life in the former company town may not have been easy since the company packed up and left them to it, but the pleasingly off-beat citizenry have built the kind of community that can take those knocks and keep on r Who can you trust when even your own mind has been turned against you? Mary Whittaker is going to have to find out, in the latest pulse-raising thriller from Jason Hough. Small-town America has never looked as appealing as it has done with Silvertown, Mary’s new home and police beat. Life in the former company town may not have been easy since the company packed up and left them to it, but the pleasingly off-beat citizenry have built the kind of community that can take those knocks and keep on running. They’re one of the many high points of the book – everyone introduced in the book is an individual, someone with character and personality. Mary may be our protagonist, but the people who surround her charmed me completely. Jason Hough takes his time in introducing both people and town with the beginning of Instinct, and it’s time very well spent; the pacing is perfect, and it builds a foundation to give the later action very real stakes. Because, of course, quiet country life can’t stay that way for too long. A series of unusual – and downright eerie – incidents soon place the town and it’s residents in jeopardy, and it’s going to be down to Mary to get to the bottom of the mystery. Again, the tempo is absolutely spot on; what looks like an isolated incident is soon linked to another matter, and then another. The tension ratchets slowly but surely, picking up speed and intensity, until I was left absolutely glued to the page and completely unable to read fast enough to satisfy my need to know just what was going on. Without spoiling anything, I just have to mention that the central thread of this mystery is one of the most completely unsettling concepts I’ve had the pleasure of running across. The slow build-up, characters I could genuinely enjoy getting to know, and, of course, an incredibly intriguing and creepy mystery, all play their part in making this one of the most entertaining and enjoyable thrillers I’ve read in a long time. Happily, too, there’s clearly room for a continuation by the end of Instinct, though it does form a completely stand-alone novel should it need to – none of the dreaded cliffhangers here. No tricks needed; should this become a series I’ll be continuing it in a heartbeat, because it’s just that good.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    What a thrilling, dark, small town mystery. I knew it was going to be a good thriller when the blurb opening said: "Welcome to Silvertown. Population: 602 (for now)." Are you serious?! Give it to me immediately, I don't even need to know the rest. In this book, the main character, Officer Mary Whittaker, is new in town. She has to pick up some work after her boss who's on leave, but the recent events seem too weird to comprehend. In fact, the residents are pretty much behaving like zombies (think What a thrilling, dark, small town mystery. I knew it was going to be a good thriller when the blurb opening said: "Welcome to Silvertown. Population: 602 (for now)." Are you serious?! Give it to me immediately, I don't even need to know the rest. In this book, the main character, Officer Mary Whittaker, is new in town. She has to pick up some work after her boss who's on leave, but the recent events seem too weird to comprehend. In fact, the residents are pretty much behaving like zombies (think walking in front of moving vehicles, mysterious deaths...). It literally seems like everyone is the mountain town is possessed. But are they? I don't want to give away any spoilers, especially because I think going into this book blind like I did is actually a must to get the utimate shocking factor, but let's just say it's really unique story. I read it under the blankets with a cup of tea while it was pouring rain outside, which felt just so good with this mystery. I would have totally given it 5 stars, but I've read so many excellent thrillers lately that I don't think it's fair because there were some parts where I really had to suspend my disbelief. *Thank you to the Publisher for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kay Brooks

    Mary Whittaker is a recent addition to the police force in the sleepy little mountain town of Silvertown, Washington. When the Police Chief takes an unplanned leave of absence he leaves Mary, the only other officer in town, in charge. Nothing much ever happens these days, so what can go wrong? It turns out, a lot. Strange, unexpected behavior seems to have gripped the populace. People are forgetting their normal phobias and doing things they never did before. Mary is determined to find the cause Mary Whittaker is a recent addition to the police force in the sleepy little mountain town of Silvertown, Washington. When the Police Chief takes an unplanned leave of absence he leaves Mary, the only other officer in town, in charge. Nothing much ever happens these days, so what can go wrong? It turns out, a lot. Strange, unexpected behavior seems to have gripped the populace. People are forgetting their normal phobias and doing things they never did before. Mary is determined to find the cause, but she ends up putting her own life in jeopardy. The novel has a unique storyline, but telling it now would ruin your enjoyment, so I’ll let you discover it for yourself. The writing is excellent, although some actions are a bit unbelievable and distract from the story. Mary is a strong lead character who displays unimaginable bravery to the point of foolishness at times. INSTINCT is a good action-packed thriller with an innovative plot. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for my enjoyment and review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wildflower Reading

    I love stories about small towns with secrets so I was very excited about this book. A big city cop transferring to a small town and things going awry is normally right up my alley, but this book fell a little flat for me. What didn’t work for me was that the story just felt very slow. It’s told by Mary in the present tense so the reader is really in her head. This meant pages upon pages of details about her surroundings and her every thought and theories that’s she often “filing away.” There wa I love stories about small towns with secrets so I was very excited about this book. A big city cop transferring to a small town and things going awry is normally right up my alley, but this book fell a little flat for me. What didn’t work for me was that the story just felt very slow. It’s told by Mary in the present tense so the reader is really in her head. This meant pages upon pages of details about her surroundings and her every thought and theories that’s she often “filing away.” There was a lot of Mary just thinking about things versus Mary actually doing things and while I guess that’s pretty true to life, it didn’t make for a very interesting read at points. That being said, I thought the mystery itself is well done. The bizarre deaths and behaviors of the townspeople was really intriguing and I wasn’t able to guess what was going on before the end, which I always appreciate! An eBook copy of Instinct was provided by Skybound Books and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (polished_bookworm)

    Instinct follows rookie cop, Mary as she adjusts to her new role in a small town. There are murders with mysterious circumstances and a small town where news travels as fast as your morning coffee. I appreciated a strong woman protagonist. If you are a fan of a slow burn mystery and police procedural novels then this is a good read for you. I think the beginning of this book was a slow read. At times, I did find the dialogue and the details to be rather tedious rather than adding to the plot or s Instinct follows rookie cop, Mary as she adjusts to her new role in a small town. There are murders with mysterious circumstances and a small town where news travels as fast as your morning coffee. I appreciated a strong woman protagonist. If you are a fan of a slow burn mystery and police procedural novels then this is a good read for you. I think the beginning of this book was a slow read. At times, I did find the dialogue and the details to be rather tedious rather than adding to the plot or setting of the novel. With that being said, I appreciated how this book did have a focus of a small town setting to it and it definitely felt like that to me. For myself, this isn't a genre I resonated with but the book was just okay for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Mr. Hough is definitely going to be on my radar after reading Instinct. This book kept me enthralled. For me, it was reminiscent of X-Files and Twin Peaks. The small town of Silvertown, Washington is ground zero for strange occurrences. People seem to have lost their basic survival instincts and people can't explain why. Office Mary Whittaker has been left in charge of the town while the chief of police takes a sudden leave of absence. Of course that is when everything falls apart in dramatic fas Mr. Hough is definitely going to be on my radar after reading Instinct. This book kept me enthralled. For me, it was reminiscent of X-Files and Twin Peaks. The small town of Silvertown, Washington is ground zero for strange occurrences. People seem to have lost their basic survival instincts and people can't explain why. Office Mary Whittaker has been left in charge of the town while the chief of police takes a sudden leave of absence. Of course that is when everything falls apart in dramatic fashion. This was a fun and creative storyline. I really enjoyed this author's writing style and look forward to reading more of his work. Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. I voluntarily chose to review it and the opinions contained within are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Johnna Whetstone

    This was a slow burn, thrill ride! Well written, intriguing, and mysterious. The characters, especially Mary, were well developed, which made me much more invested in the story. I couldn’t give a complete 5 stars, because I did find that it was a much slower book for the majority (which is not my fav), but the last quarter really is a thrill ride and a half! Has some unique storylines, thrills, chills, and shocks! Would highly recommend to my fellow thriller lovers, especially if you like the sl This was a slow burn, thrill ride! Well written, intriguing, and mysterious. The characters, especially Mary, were well developed, which made me much more invested in the story. I couldn’t give a complete 5 stars, because I did find that it was a much slower book for the majority (which is not my fav), but the last quarter really is a thrill ride and a half! Has some unique storylines, thrills, chills, and shocks! Would highly recommend to my fellow thriller lovers, especially if you like the slow build, action packed ending type of books! Will buzz around platforms, use lower amazon reviewer number on release date!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeri

    This book was intriguing and somewhat mysterious as to what was going on with the residents of Silvertown. When Mary Whittaker has to take over for the police chief when he takes a leave of absence and she gets some really strange calls that has her wondering what is going. First, she finds a man that wrecked his motorcycle sitting in the middle of the road. He later disappears, only to break into her house later that night and tries to kill her. She also finds a hiker killed by a bear after mak This book was intriguing and somewhat mysterious as to what was going on with the residents of Silvertown. When Mary Whittaker has to take over for the police chief when he takes a leave of absence and she gets some really strange calls that has her wondering what is going. First, she finds a man that wrecked his motorcycle sitting in the middle of the road. He later disappears, only to break into her house later that night and tries to kill her. She also finds a hiker killed by a bear after making no attempt to get away from it. Everyone's instincts are off kilter and Mary has to get to the bottom of it. I was given an eARC by the publisher through NetGalley.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Everything seems nice in the small town of Silverton, until it's not. Mary Whittaker, a recent arrival from California, is the only police officer when things begin to go wonky. Odd stuff. She's got to figure out what's going on even as she doesn't know much about the town when things are normal. What's making the residents act the way they are? This is a hard one to review without spoilers but know that while the beginning might seem slow, things amp up considerably - so much so that it becomes Everything seems nice in the small town of Silverton, until it's not. Mary Whittaker, a recent arrival from California, is the only police officer when things begin to go wonky. Odd stuff. She's got to figure out what's going on even as she doesn't know much about the town when things are normal. What's making the residents act the way they are? This is a hard one to review without spoilers but know that while the beginning might seem slow, things amp up considerably - so much so that it becomes almost an action thriller. There isn't a lot of depth but it's a very entertaining read. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Would make a good movie.

  24. 4 out of 5

    BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)

    This is about a town where the residents start acting weird, then people start dying. I really enjoyed the MC, Mary. Her investigation into everything was very interesting. I thought this was a good book, but I went in it thinking it would be a thriller, so I wanted more heart-racing moments. This was more slow-burn investigative mystery. The middle was a bit slow, and I found my mind wandering at times, so it might have been a bit too much of a slow burn for me. I do think that mystery readers This is about a town where the residents start acting weird, then people start dying. I really enjoyed the MC, Mary. Her investigation into everything was very interesting. I thought this was a good book, but I went in it thinking it would be a thriller, so I wanted more heart-racing moments. This was more slow-burn investigative mystery. The middle was a bit slow, and I found my mind wandering at times, so it might have been a bit too much of a slow burn for me. I do think that mystery readers might enjoy this one! I was provided a gifted audio copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    This one was a fun, quick read but was not without it's issues. I don't think the author's decision to use a first person point of view worked as a narrative voice for this novel. The main character also comes off at times as a little too "girl trying to be one of the boys" for my liking. While not having the strongest ending and a bit of an implausible plot, I did quite enjoy the first half of the book and the ride this novel took me on. Would recommend this one if you're looking for a mystery/ This one was a fun, quick read but was not without it's issues. I don't think the author's decision to use a first person point of view worked as a narrative voice for this novel. The main character also comes off at times as a little too "girl trying to be one of the boys" for my liking. While not having the strongest ending and a bit of an implausible plot, I did quite enjoy the first half of the book and the ride this novel took me on. Would recommend this one if you're looking for a mystery/thriller in the vein of a Blake Crouch novel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    This intrigued me as I had just finished Wayward Pines by Blake Crouch and it seemed to have a lot of similarities. A small town, the people behaving strangely, resulting in several deaths, a new police officer trying to figure out what is going on. It was a good, quick read, perfect for the beach. I did find parts of the plot very implausible and the ending rather unresolved, but all in all a decent read. Thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aimee (Book It Forward)

    3.5 stars! This was a fun read. Really loved the main character, Mary. She was strong and sassy, and reading her story was exciting and felt realistic as to how she would react to the insanity she was facing. Won’t give anything g away, but I will say this was closer to a 4 star, than a 3 star rating. I may bump it up after I’ve though about it a bit more. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced copy!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Instinct was a fun thriller with a great main character – police officer Mary Whitaker was a smart and strong opponent against the forces of evil, or in this case, an evil mastermind bent on hijacking one’s sense of self. I loved the beginning of the book but would have liked a stronger story line, it meandered a bit toward the end. That all being said, I would absolutely read another book by this author, hopefully there will be another with the same characters.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Instinct by Jason M. Hough is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early April. This book has the eerie feeling of Twin Peaks, the familiarity of Northern Exposure, plus the easygoing, unaffected first-person narration of Odd Thomas from police officer Mary Whittaker and investigations around assaults, homicides, and disappearances in a small foresty town with folktale ties to Bigfoot, but, then, the twist makes it seem more like (view spoiler)[hotfuzz (hide spoiler)] . Instinct by Jason M. Hough is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early April. This book has the eerie feeling of Twin Peaks, the familiarity of Northern Exposure, plus the easygoing, unaffected first-person narration of Odd Thomas from police officer Mary Whittaker and investigations around assaults, homicides, and disappearances in a small foresty town with folktale ties to Bigfoot, but, then, the twist makes it seem more like (view spoiler)[hotfuzz (hide spoiler)] .

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    I really enjoyed Mary Whittaker and the tale of this small town under "siege" from an invisible enemy. It took me a while to narrow things down which is always a sign that the book is well written! It kept me guessing! There was lots of action and even a little romance. Very quick read and solid mystery/thriller. Thank you for the ARC! I really enjoyed Mary Whittaker and the tale of this small town under "siege" from an invisible enemy. It took me a while to narrow things down which is always a sign that the book is well written! It kept me guessing! There was lots of action and even a little romance. Very quick read and solid mystery/thriller. Thank you for the ARC!

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