Wynn and Jack have been best friends since their first day of college, brought together by their shared love of literature and the great outdoors.
The adventure of a lifetime…
When they decide to take time off university and canoe down the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate the ultimate wilderness experience.
No fellow travellers.
No way of going back.
A hellish ride…
But as a raging wildfire starts to make its way towards them, their idyllic expedition becomes a desperate race for survival. And when a man suddenly appears, claiming his wife has vanished, the fight against nature’s destructive power becomes entangled with a much deadlier game of cat and mouse.
THE RIVER by bestselling author Peter Heller is a gripping thriller about the beauty of the great outdoors and the dangers of the wild with a page-turning story that builds up to a shocking finale and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
‘Urgent, visceral writing – I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
A beautiful, heartrending exploration of male friendship’
Clare Mackintosh, bestselling author of LET ME LIE
‘A suspenseful tale told with glorious drama and lyrical flair’
Denise Mina, NEW YORK TIMES
A great cover always draws me to a book – and I absolutely loved this immersive and enjoyable journey into this wild adventure. As soon as I opened the package and saw The River It looked so enticing and made me want to throw all my marking down and dive right in.
I’d like to thank Tracy Fenton and W & N Books for inviting me on the blog tour and introducing me to this fantastic read. As a teacher in a boarding school who goes on adventure training weeks, I was gripped by the thought of this storyline and let me tell you, Peter Heller did not disappoint…
If you read my blog, you’ll know that I love a novel that asks us to think about our own lives and put ourselves in the place of the characters that we are reading and imagine ourselves into their situation. When this is well done, it’s my favourite kind of book – but it can be notoriously difficult to pull off effectively. Often, I’ve been left disappointed by an uneven narrative where more time is spent on plot devices than pulling you into a fabulously realised setting or I’d feel unconvinced by the storyline even though I was enjoying the setting in either time or place – Well, I’m happy to report that this novel truly is the best of both worlds – it combines an amazing storyline with a really gorgeous setting and makes you feel like you’ve dropped right into the heart of the action and are ost in the Canadian wilderness yourself!
The situation that Wynn and Jack find themselves in is totally engrossing and draws you into an incredibly tense game of ‘cat and mouse’ that will keep you turning the pages – like me – until the small hours, determined to find out what happens in the end. I found myself actually quite breathless at times as Peter Heller certainly knows how to keep his reader guessing! The gorgeous cover with its intriguing tagline about them ‘surviving one man’s fury’ ensured that this novel never lasted long on my TBR pile and I found myself devouring it well ahead of my reading schedule as it was just too tempting!
The landscape they find themselves in sounds truly stunning, but the boys are not left to enjoy their stunning surroundings in peace as their lives start to unravel during the course of the novel. I felt like the Makswa river lulls them into a false sense of security and they seem ill-prepared for the trauma that is soon to unfold. Tension is managed incredibly well in this novel and there are parts where you literally are desperately turning the pages so that you know more about their fate at the hands of either the fire or the stranger that crosses their path so mysteriously as their options start to close in…
I think that part of its success is that it never really gives too much away about who this stranger is and what he might be capable of – so you find yourself obsessing about what kind of tiny ‘tells’ might be hidden in the text that might give any clues away. The story rattles along at a cracking pace as you try to second-guess his motives and how this terrifying journey might end. I like the fact that we are constantly made to think about the ways that the decisions we make can often come back to haunt us in ways that we might not expect and the way that this journey ends might not have been the way that they predicted at the outset.
You don’t have to have gone on outdoor adventures yourself to fall in love with this engrossing and tense read. I thoroughly recommend The River to anyone looking for a book that will keep you engrossed and make you second guess your instincts as you read I loved the way that I just couldn’t puzzle it out and that’s what made me recommend it to our book group as I know that lots of our members love a book like this – that keeps you turning the pages, desperate to find out your characters’ fate.
I was gutted to be on duty and not be able to finish this gripping read in a oner – but if you get the opportunity – set aside a rainy Sunday, clear your diary and give yourself a real treat.
So many great bloggers are on this tour too -so make sure you check out their reviews too
THE TOP 10 INDIE BESTSELLER
‘Like Mark Twain and Toni Morrison, Heller is a rare talent’ Elle
‘A novel that sweeps you away’ USA Today
‘A fiery tour-de-force’ Denver Post
‘I dare you to put it down once you’ve picked it up’ Criminal Element
Writer On The Shelf
Peter Heller is an award-winning adventure writer and the author of four bestselling novels, including the New York Times bestseller THE DOG STARS, a Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle and Atlantic Book of the Year. Born and raised in New York, he attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he became an outdoorsman and white-water kayaker.
He has travelled the world as an expedition kayaker, writing about challenging descents in the Pamirs, the Tien Shan mountains, the Caucuses, Central America and Peru. A keen adventurer, he has navigated some of the most dangerous rivers in the world, including the Muk Su River in the High Pamirs of Tajikistan.
He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received an MFA in fiction and poetry, and won a Michener fellowship for his epic poem ‘The Psalms of Malvine’.
The River by Peter Heller is out now and is available from Amazon UK.
Treat yourself to a copy now!