Release date: January 10, 2017
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Erica Ferencik's debut thriller, "The River at Night" is a cross between a man vs. nature survival story and "Deliverance" with a little female friendship drama added to the mix.
Play-it-safe Wini is reluctant to join her three best friends on an adventurous girls' weekend whitewater rafting and camping in the northern Maine wilderness, but she finally lets herself be persuaded. It may just be the worst decision she's ever made, because the trip goes horrifically, unimaginably wrong, almost from the start. Wini and her friends will have to battle the ferocious river -- and more -- just to make it out of the woods alive.
I'm pretty tired of reading about kidnapped children and abusive husbands, and I enjoyed the freshness of a thriller in which Mother Nature is the main antagonist. Wini is the polar opposite of me -- she's from Boston and not at all comfortable in the outdoors, whereas I love the mountains and hiking is one of my favorite hobbies, but I did still like some of her insights into the power and wonder of nature:
"It was beautiful and frightening to see how nature didn't give two shits about houses, buildings, and bridges, that it would shrug us off the first chance it got. I opened the window a few inches. Afternoon blew in on a fresh, clean breeze -- full of chlorophyll and wood and cold mountain water -- it shocked me fully awake and almost made me high."While the book is far from perfect, I found it to be a thoroughly entertaining page-turner with a refreshing plot. Check it out when you're in the mood for an intense thriller of a different stripe.
*I received a free advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.