Friday, March 4, 2016

What waits in the woods by Kieran Scott

Callie has never been camping in her life, after all there's not a lot of opportunists to go camping in Chicago, but a move to a small town in upstate New York has meant quite a few changes.  Callie has managed the ultimate new girl coup, finding friends among the social elite of her new school and along with her boyfriend Jeremy they are all on a camping trip in the woods.  It is five days and four nights of nothing but nature - complete with bugs, blisters from new hiking boots, heavy packs, and creepy noises in the woods.  

Her "charming" friends ramp up the creep factor by telling tales of the Skinner, but Callie doesn't really need the wind up because the strange noises in the woods are enough to have her on edge all on their own.  When they loose most of their food and their means of navigating across the trails things quickly turn from bad to worse - because someone has their sights set on the group.  As the lack of food pushes them to their limits it soon becomes clear that everyone in the group is keeping secrets, secrets that could soon turn deadly.

What waits in the woods is one of those books that challenges anyone trying to review it - too much information and you ruin the little twists and turns, not enough information and you don't really sell the story.  This is one of the slickest psychological thrillers I have read in a long time, one that allows you to suspend belief and run with the story rather than get distracted by clues that are too in your face.  The use of the recovery journal, the voice of the psychopath, could have been a bad idea, but it helps to ratchet up the tension in the right moments.  

This story works because Callie is so new to the town of Mission Hills, if she was a local it never would have worked, but she is still learning about her friends and her new home.  When the camping trip goes wrong the tensions simmering under the surface start to rise and they all discover that everyone has been keeping secrets from each other, and some of those secrets cause tension within the group.  When their group of four grows things go from bad to worse, and Callie doesn't know who she should trust.  This is a twisted little read that I devoured in one sitting because I did not want to put it down for a moment - just so I could see if I guessed who the "bad guy" really was.  (I guessed right, can you?)

If you like this book then try:
  • NEED by Joelle Charbonneau
  • I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
  • The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
  • The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Acceleration by Graham McNamee
  • Remember by Eileen Cook
  • Furious Jones and the assassin's secret by Tim Kehoe
  • Nearly gone by Elle Cosimano
  • Burning blue by Paul Griffin
  • The Christopher killer by Alane Ferguson
  • The naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • The compound by S.A. Bodeen
  •  XVI by Julia Karr
  • The barcode tattoo by Suzanne Weyn
  • Proxy by Alex London

Reviewed by Brilla

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