A “raw, relentless, and heart-poundingly real” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) thriller set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, The River at Night charts the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident.
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. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.
With intimately observed characters and visceral prose, The River at Night “will leave you gasping, your heart racing, eyes peering over your shoulder to see what follows from behind” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author). This is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The River at Night is like a modern-day, gender-flipped reimagining of James Dickey’s harrowing Deliverance. Erica Ferencik’s thriller is definitely brutal, but it’s also a surprisingly lyrical meditation on female friendship, personal empowerment, and physical survival in an unforgiving world. The story follows four longtime friends who set out on a five-day whitewater rafting adventure in the Maine wilderness. What starts as an escape from emotional battles at home quickly turns into something much more sinister. This increasingly fast-paced novel—in which neither nature nor humans can be trusted—kept us awake well past bedtime.
The decision of four female friends pushing 40 to spend their vacation white-water rafting in a remote corner of Maine jump-starts this adrenaline rush of a novel from Ferencik (Repeaters). Winifred "Wini" Allen isn't keen on the idea, but she goes along to be with Pia Zanderlee, who arranged the trip, and two other close friends. Wini also needs to get away her brother has recently died, her husband has left her, and she despises her job as a graphic designer for a Boston-based food magazine. Pia has hired a hunky 20-year-old Maine college student, Rory Ekhart, to be their guide. The river outing has barely begun when tragedy strikes and the group is left without their raft and most supplies. But battling nature pales when they realize that they aren't the only people in the area. Set over five days, this adventure tests the women's friendship while also depicting their resilience. Fans of John Dickey's Deliverance will enjoy this current take on the wilderness survival tale.
Worthy successor to James Dickey
I don’t know if the author intended The River At Night to be an homage to Deliverance, but if so, then she has succeeded wildly. Very tense story. Totally vivid characters, one of which is the river itself, both salvation and killer. One of the best thrillers this year.
I couldn't put it down. Suspenseful and full of surprises. Best of all I didn't see the end coming.
I was thoroughly disappointed in this book. It was soooo slow and seemed very predictable. I couldn't wait to finish it.