NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The best-selling author of The River returns with a heart-racing thriller about a young man who is hired by an elite fishing lodge in Colorado, where he uncovers a plot of shocking menace amid the natural beauty of sun-drenched streams and forests.
“Peter Heller is the poet laureate of the literary thriller." —Michael Koryta, New York Times best-selling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead
Kingfisher Lodge, nestled in a canyon on a mile and a half of the most pristine river water on the planet, is known by locals as "Billionaire's Mile" and is locked behind a heavy gate. Sandwiched between barbed wire and a meadow with a sign that reads "Don't Get Shot!" the resort boasts boutique fishing at its finest. Safe from viruses that have plagued America for years, Kingfisher offers a respite for wealthy clients. Now it also promises a second chance for Jack, a return to normalcy after a young life filled with loss. When he is assigned to guide a well-known singer, his only job is to rig her line, carry her gear, and steer her to the best trout he can find.
But then a human scream pierces the night, and Jack soon realizes that this idyllic fishing lodge may be merely a cover for a far more sinister operation. A novel as gripping as it is lyrical, as frightening as it is moving, The Guide is another masterpiece from Peter Heller.
Jack, the rustic if Ivy League educated hero of this captivating thriller from Edgar finalist Heller (The River), takes a job as a seasonal fishing guide at Colorado's posh Kingfisher Lodge in an effort to escape his traumatic past and the tedium of his father's ranch. There, he's quickly warned about the trigger-happy old man who lives on the property next door. Soon, strange things about the Kingfisher are enough to get Jack wary of the whole scene: strict rules, guests who don't fish, and lots of cameras. Out on the river with a celebrity client, singer Alison K, Jack gets a warning shot from the neighbor, prompting the pair to investigate and unravel a truly heinous crime. Heller's lush descriptions of fishing and river country are matched with a riveting, surprising mystery that captures the difference between the filthy rich and everyone else. The novel's speculative approach to the lingering effects of Covid-19 is frightening in its subtlety and one of the book's special charms. Readers looking for a credible couple and a story of redemption will love this.)
Left at the alter
Love the way Heller describes nature and the outdoors. The storyline is terrific but I wish it had more character development and background on key issues- for example; there are fleeting references to COVID but these references seem inconsequential to the story. I wanted to know more about what was behind the sinister plot and not as much about the “great escape” Jack made. I would have liked another hundred or so pages up front that informed the hard ending.
Read it Twice
The first time you will want to read it quickly, as a page-turner thriller. The second time, you will read it slower, appreciating the poetic prose.
Two different Storied
First third of the book moved like classic Heller. Then it took a turn for the worse. The poetry stopped and the typical cheap thriller took over. Not a fan but I’ll read his next one I’m sure ;)