Publisher: Scout Press
A high stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.
Winifred Allen needs a vacation.
Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.
What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare: A freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline.
With intimately observed characters, visceral prose, and pacing as ruthless as the river itself, The River at Night is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book more accurately labeled before, talk about a thriller! I did cut a small part out of the blurb as I think it shows a minor spoiler and all you really need to know is that Wini, Pia, Sandra and Rachel plan their annual girls trip and nothing goes according to plan.
Once the action starts it is nonstop and merciless, though it does take a little time to get there. I enjoyed the initial set up as it provided me with some background on the four friends who decide to go on this crazy trip. I say crazy because there is not enough money in the world that would make me choose to spend one night, much less five in the wilderness in Maine. I’m similar to Wini in feeling like a vacation means a beach and a cocktail, NOT wild animals, a vast forest and countless hidden dangers.
There is such an ominous undercurrent running throughout the book, clearly you know things are going to go south, but even after the first catastrophe, I found myself waiting on pins and needles for the next thing to go wrong. This had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I was holding my breath one minute, then gasping out loud as Ferencik slapped me with another surprise. There were as many twists and turns as the river itself and I loved how the river was a character of its own. Between the river and the woods, this setting was crafted so well by Ferencik that I could easily picture its breathtaking beauty.
There was such a nice flow in this book, I was frantically flipping pages as I was so desperate to find out if these women would make it out of this deadly and chilling situation alive. It’s a story about survival, and friendship as they realize that their only hope of coming out of this relatively safely is by banding together. It would also be a fantastic movie, Ferencik’s writing style made the wilderness come to life so brilliantly that it was playing out like a movie for me. If you’re looking for a heart pounding read with depth, look no further.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to Scout Press for my review copy.