To The River - Vikki Wakefield - Keeping Up With The Penguins
Buy To The River here.
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To The River begins with a convenient coincidence – a recently-divorced, newly-redundant journalist finds herself living next door to the last remaining family member of an accused murderer on the run. Rachel thinks that publishing the truth of what happened the night of the ‘Caravan Murders’, and the perpetrator’s daring escape, will revive her career and re-start her life.

Sabine, her subject, has her own reasons for finally coming out of the shadows to share her story. Their motives will collide, and the truth will be revealed – and it won’t be what anyone expects.

Intrigued? Me too, so I was super grateful to my friends at Text Publishing for sending me a copy for review.

I doubt the similarities are intentional, but To The River really reminded me of Sadie by Courtney Summers – but a more mature version of the story, told for grown-ups. It’s cleverly plotted and perfectly paced, building up to a denouement that doesn’t over-egg the pudding.

In addition to keeping the reader engaged and intrigued throughout this ‘whydunnit’ mystery, Wakefield also seems to have a singular talent for nature writing. It’s rare to find a book about a regional area – in this case, a fictional river town based on Australia’s Murray River – that truly captivates and immerses this city-slicker, but To The River is exemplary.

One last note (that I left ’til last because it’s possibly spoiler-y, but I know there are other readers out there like me who need to know before they pick up a book): the blurb mentions “a brave dog called Blue”, which made me nervous. Blue doesn’t have an easy time of things, and there is a rather sad description of his mother’s death in the early pages, but I’m happy to confirm that he does survive To The River and lives happily ever after. So, read on!

Buy To The River on Booktopia here. (affiliate link)
Read To The River on audiobook via Libro.fm here. (affiliate link)