My first indication that Wayward Pines existed became apparent when the current television show of the same name launched on Hulu. Matt Dillon stars as Ethan, the main character (and he's the actor my son Dillon is named after).
There's a modern Twilight Zone twist to this story of a man waking up in a small town where no one can escape and no one is allowed to talk about their past lives.
I love books where I can't comprehend absolutely what's happening, and the entire time I'm working on understanding the underlying reality, yet when I feel I'm close, I realize that I'm not approaching the truth at all.
If a citizen can't pretend or tries to escape--a fete (or a Reckoning on the TV show) is called forth. This event allows the phones to ring in their homes, which brings out all the inhabitants to murder the offender.
In the story, everyone participates which brings to mind the book called The Lottery, where a name is selected every year, and the townspeople stone the chosen one in the town square. The Lottery has an ulterior motive of keeping the earth satisfied for the continuation of abundant crops will persevere every year.
The citizens (though not all) murdering in Wayward Pines yearn to kill for pleasure, and frequently dress in elaborate costumes for the event. The disregard for human life forms the shadows of our past--enjoying the slaughter of thousands in the colosseum, the beheadings and hanging in subsequent years.
Today, we feel above such depravity, though on reflection, the fear of how quickly humans may fall back into vast savagery if forced into certain situations brings about uneasiness.
With the revelation of the truth, I felt happiness and pity for the residents of this meager town. This isn't your mama's Mayberry, and the scary monsters outside the walls aren't Yankees.