In the wild interior of the Yucatán, far from the lazy beaches of Cancún, two young couples and some new-found friends venture to the site of an ancient Mayan temple, in pursuit of another in their group. What started out as a day trip spirals into a nightmare when they reach the ruins . . . and discover the terrifying presence that lurks there.
… there's a more timeless fable at work here, one that prompts thoughts of Heart of Darkness . Courageous in its pessimism and its embrace of horror, Smith's powerful tale, like Conrad's masterpiece, cautions against such reassuring conceits as civilization, conscience, morality, superiority -- and yes, good and evil. Hidden somewhere in the vines of The Ruins , like those of the Congo, beats the heart of an impenetrable darkness.