What do four girlfriends pushing 40, a collection of foregone dreams and need—that desire for something extraordinary and rejuvenating—become? The precursor for the horrors that unveil themselves in Erica Ferencik’s latest novel, The River at Night.
Wini, Sandra, Rachel and Pia are the type of friends that remain close in spite of physical distance and ever-changing lives. Each year, the three take a vacation together. Adventurous Pia has finally convinced her three mates to face a new challenge: rafting the Winnegosset River. The foursome head into the Maine wilderness accompanied by a 20-something guide, Rory. Tension builds as some start to question Rory’s competency, and intensifies when Pia impulsively begins an intimate relationship with Rory.
Despite the emotional chasm, cooperation is required in order to navigate the dangers of the river. Each bend and rush successfully maneuvered builds confidence. But when unexpected tragedy strikes, the remaining group must struggle to survive in the remote woods of Maine—injured and with limited supplies. Roaming for help, the group discovers potential salvation . . . but have they actually just revealed themselves to the most dangerous predator yet?
Ferencik, no stranger to creating an effective blend of dread and horror (showcased in her novel Repeaters), continually surprises with as many plot twists and turns as the titular river itself. Following the influence that the various characters’ strengths, flaws, insecurities and determination have on the ultimate resolution is a captivating experience. This is a novel that will burrow in your memory well after its conclusion.