Review: Wicked River by Jenny Milchman

Title: Wicked River by Jenny Milchman
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: 466 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Six million acres of Adirondack forest separate Natalie and Doug Larson from civilization. For the newlyweds, an isolated backcountry 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, as well as the depths of their love for each other, it becomes clear that they are not alone in the woods.

Because 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. He wants something from them more terrifying than death. And once they are near his domain, he will do everything in his power to make sure they never walk out again.


Wicked River by Jenny Milchman is an action-packed, suspenseful adventure.

After the wedding of their dreams, Natalie and Doug Larson set out on their honeymoon trip in Adirondack Park. While most people choose a relaxing vacation spot, Doug convinced Natalie that a canoe trip in the isolated wilderness is the perfect beginning for their married life. Natalie immediately has reservations about agreeing to his suggestion, but she gamely follows along. She also allows Doug to avoid answering her questions about a strange argument between his groomsmen and two strangers which took place prior to their wedding ceremony. However, Natalie soon comes to regret both of her decisions when  their idyllic honeymoon goes terribly wrong.

Despite their three year relationship, Natalie has a brief case of wedding jitters right before they exchange their vows. Shrugging off her doubts, she is excited about starting their life together although she wishes she had not agreed to their wilderness honeymoon. Doug manages to smooth over her reservations and once they begin their journey, Natalie is pleasantly surprised by her change of heart. Despite a few unusual occurrences,  their trip is going well until Doug loses a valuable piece of equipment.  His suggestion to change course is out of character, but Natalie is so relieved she does not question his decision. It is only when things begin to go so terribly wrong that Natalie realizes she needs to trust her instincts.

While initially Doug comes across as a loving new husband, there are warnings that all is not quite right with him. He shrewdly sidesteps Natalie’s questions and he effortlessly overrides the few objections she raises. Doug’s answers to her questions are evasive and Natalie is easily satisfied with his partial answers.

Wicked River is a mostly fast-paced novel although there are a few spots where the storyline drags just a bit. Natalie is a likable and sympathetic protagonist but she is much stronger than she gives herself credit for. Doug is not exactly hero material and readers might not agree with the novel’s ending. With plenty of action to propel the storyline, Jenny Milchman brings the novel to an exciting and somewhat dramatic conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Jenny Milchman, Rated B, Review, Sourcebooks Landmark, Suspense, Wicked River

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