REVIEW: The River At Night - Erica Ferencik


Where do I even begin? The River At Night by Erica Ferencik needs to go to the top of your thriller TBR pile. Now.

Domestic thrillers are everywhere at the moment and there's nothing wrong with that (they're often brilliant as we all know) but what makes The River At Night so special is it's outdoor, adventurous setting of rapid waters. Win Allen is persuaded into a crazy weekend away with her best friends Pia, Rachel and Sandra. Out in Maine's wilderness, the three of them will be white-water rafting with the help of a youthful (and unexperienced) stranger named Rory.

Short and snappy at under 300 pages, The River At Night kept me entranced the whole way through. Particularly once I reached the halfway point, I just wanted to accelerate through the rest of it.

I loved how Win's domestic troubles, her divorce and the death of her brother, followed her into the wild. Although it seems like a subplot, for me the dynamic of her mindset as she was forced to re-evaluate her life was the most interesting aspect of the story. The way it disguised itself in action and gripped me in terrifying, life-threatening chapters was just a bonus.

The friendship group was well-balanced, with distinctive and believable characters. While you can see how the four women have stayed friends over the years, you can also understand how they drive one another mental at times. At first, I couldn't find a way to like Pia but by the end that all changed and Rachel became my least favourite - but that's just the nature of their surroundings bouncing off their personalities. Each women reacts differently to their journey of survival and I found myself questioning - what would I do? What would be my plan? You'd like to think that you'd be the strong one, holding everyone else up and bringing everyone back to safety. But it's probably more likely that I'd want to collapse in on myself and just lie on the floor crying...

Along the way, the women meet some mysterious others by the river. I won't spoil anything here but these characters have vastly interesting back-stories and I feel like this could have been explored more, particularly at the end. I found myself frustrated and wanting to know exactly what happened to them because their drama tailed off. Other than that however, the ending was satisfying for me. I felt like it rounded off quickly and nicely, matching the pace of the rest of the book.

If you want to read a thriller that crosses the boundaries of adventure then I couldn't recommend The River At Night more (get your copy here). It's one that I know is going to stay with me for a while.

Love, Jess


  1. For some reason this book slipped past my radar. This is the second review I have read convincing me that I need this book!

    1. Definitely read it, it's a beautiful escape :)


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