Winifred and her friends Pia, Rachel and Sandra have known each other since they were really young (and sometimes got really drunk). Now they’re all grown ups, with teenage kids, ex-husbands and full-time jobs. But every now and then, they go on vacations together, or rather on (often dangerous) adventures. This time they’re aiming at a full week of exploring the wilderness of Main. They start off with a white water rafting tour, that doesn’t end up anywhere near what the girls planned … After that, it’s all about surviving, in the deep forest. Alone. Or are they really?
I got recommended The River at Night by a friend, and started the book without any particular expectations. Every now and then I like my average thriller, but by this book, I was pleasantly surprised. You see, this is a deeply unsettling thriller, without it being gory. I was just really scared (in an exciting and page turning way) throughout this whole read. It also totally got that Stephen King-claustrophobic thing that I love going on.
I found the book to be well written and interesting both when it came to the scary “something is watching us”-parts and concerning the “we have been friends forever and this is our life stories”-passages. And that is, in my opinion, quiet unusual when it comes to thrillers. It certainly helped to build up the story in an interesting way, since I wanted to know more both about the characters back stories, and about how everything was going to end.
The only remark I have is that I wish the author had dragged out the beginning of the story for a bit longer. ‘Cause those moments before everything escalates, is almost always the most creepy part of uncanny stories like this.
Dr. Bea approves
If you liked this book, you will probably also enjoy In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. It’s packed with intrusive forest environments, life long friendships, and conflicts boiling just under the surface.