Book Review, Mystery, Psychological, Survival, Suspense, Thriller

Wicked River by Jenny Milchman


Newlyweds Nat and Doug expected a romantic adventure when they decided on a canoe trip for their honeymoon, but they’re not alone in the woods.

Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated canoeing honeymoon seems ideal—a chance to start their lives together with an adventure. But just as Natalie and Doug begin to explore the dark interiors of their own hearts, and the deceit that has led to their love, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.

Six million acres makes it easy for the wicked to hide. And even easier for someone to go missing for good.

As they struggle with the worst the wilderness has to offer, a man watches them, wielding the forest like a weapon to get exactly what he wants. And once they are near his domain, he will do everything in his power to make sure that they never escape the of terror in the woods.


Getting lost in the Adirondacks with a predator after you? It’s a psychological thriller and my worst nightmare. I’m a novice at camping and I’ve never been a fan of roughing it, so the author caught my attention with canoeing and camping on a honeymoon. Add an unstable mountain man, and you get a frightening lesson on how to outrun a killer.

Doug and Natalie are off to a rough start when something happens with Doug’s groomsmen and a couple of goons that show up at the wedding. From there the secrets get worse and more foreboding. Natalie has left everything up to Doug until everything is revealed and she finally stands up for herself. For someone who seems pretty naive at first and doesn’t know how to read a map, Natalie comes into her own by using common sense and cunning to save their lives. I can’t say the same for Doug who is the reason they are lost in the woods and being hunted. However, I give Doug credit for sacrificing his safety to protect Natalie. After all, they have no food or water and they are being chased by a disturbed predator who seems to know exactly what they are thinking. The psychopath has a purpose for the couple and if they don’t abide by his rules, it doesn’t look good. While Natalie and Doug are fighting for their lives, Natalie’s devoted niece Mia is worried about why her aunt hasn’t returned home from her honeymoon and why the same two men at the wedding accosted her outside Aunt Natalie’s apartment. Sharing her concerns with her parents, they report the newlyweds missing and decide to go looking for them. Despite the unbelievable part with Mia, I found the rest of the book exciting and suspenseful as the reader slowly discovers the stalker’s motives. The ending is climactic with a satisfying outcome.

If you love an intriguing plot with creepy bad guys living in the middle of nowhere, give this book a shot. It’s sure to give you a chill or two.


Wicked River

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Jenny Milchman’s fiction has won the Mary Higgins Clark and Silver Falchion awards, been nominated for PEN/Faulkner, Macavity and Anthony awards, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist, received praise from the New York Times, New York Journal of Books, San Francisco Review of Books, among many other publications, been featured as POPSUGAR and Pure Wow Picks, included on Strand Magazine and Suspense Magazine’s Best Of lists, and chosen four times for the Indie Next list. Jenny is the co-chair of International Thriller Writers’ Debut Program and a member of the Sisters in Crime Speakers Bureau. She speaks nationally on the importance of the face-to-face in a virtual world and never giving up on your dream.

Follow Jenny on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on Medium.