Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Peter Heller
Knopf, August 2021
272 pages
ISBN: 0525657762

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Peter Heller manages to create worlds with only a few words, writing descriptive phrases that are surprising in their ability to paint a picture. At the beginning of THE GUIDE, before the action kicks in, the reader is most drawn in by those images. But Heller is not only able to paint with words, but also brings a deep relationship to life in the context of a compelling and fast-paced plot. In the midst of all of this, he also manages to make fly fishing exciting even to the completely uninitiated.

Entering this book, we are first introduced to the gorgeous Colorado wilderness, then to the joy of fishing, on to the beginnings of a relationship between Jack (the guide) and Alison (the client), and finally to the suspenseful pandemic-based thriller of a plot.

This book is a follow-up to THE RIVER, although it is not at all necessary to have read the previous book to appreciate this one. Heller provides the background necessary to understand Jack’s frame of mind without having it get in the way of this new and very different plot line. Jack has decided to get away from the farm work on his family's ranch by taking a job as a flyfishing guide at a deep woods Colorado resort.

The time setting is three years after the first appearance of COVID-19, and the pandemic plays a role in the plot. Jack finds a kindred soul in the client he is assigned to guide, and the two of them sense an underlying menace at the resort. As they dig into what is happening (other than fishing) at Kingfisher Lodge, they become closer to each other even as it begins to appear that they might not leave the lodge alive. There are some very unsettling things going on at the lodge and the home of a reclusive and violent man nearby that become increasingly creepy and frightening the more Jack and Alison investigate.

THE GUIDE is gorgeously written, with character development that makes Jack and Alison feel like real people we’ve known for a long time, and a plot that doesn't give up. This is the first time Heller has written connected books, and I am very hopeful that THE RIVER and THE GUIDE are the beginning of a planned series.

There is no one else who writes as beautifully about the western wilderness, as transparently about flyfishing, as deeply about relationships, and as powerfully about complex plots, all at the same time. Whether Heller's next book continues Jack's story or moves in a different direction, I am anxiously awaiting it!

§ Sharon Mensing, retired educational leader, lives, reads, and enjoys the outdoors in Arizona.

Reviewed by Sharon Mensing, July 2021

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]