The River at Night

Scout: Gallery. Jan. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781501143199. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501143212. F
The past few years have not been easy for Winifred Allen. Her younger brother's death and a divorce have left her emotionally drained. She hopes the annual trip with her three best friends, Pia, Sandra, and Rachel, will be a welcome respite from her problems. Emboldened by Pia's adventurous spirit, Wini, despite her fears, agrees to whitewater rafting in the uncharted wilds of Maine. After a long car trip, the ladies meet their guide and embark on the challenging rapids. When a log capsizes their raft, there are deadly consequences. Struggling to survive, Wini and her friends are faced with terrible choices when they stumble onto a camp and the salvation they expect turns into more danger.
VERDICT In the tradition of James Dickey's Deliverance, this exciting survival tale by the author of Repeaters hooks from the first page, but it is the strong character development that really stands out. Wini is a compelling heroine, a flawed woman whose fears and regrets are fleshed out by flashbacks throughout the narrative. The friendships among the four women are well drawn and believable.

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