The author of The River returns with a thriller about a young man who, escaping his own grief, is hired by an elite fishing lodge in Colorado where amid the natural beauty of sun-drenched streams and forests he uncovers a plot of shocking menace.
Peter Heller takes readers on another thrilling wilderness adventure in The Guide ... Heller is an expert at building suspense, and he’s a first-rate nature writer, lending authenticity to the wealth of wilderness details he provides ... He also uses a notable layout technique—adding space between each paragraph—that makes readers turn his thrilling pages even faster. One warning, however: Heller’s novels...are not for the faint of heart. Still, The Guide is a glorious getaway in every sense, a wild wilderness trip as well as a suspenseful journey to solve a chilling mystery.
... if you’re of a darker, more contemplative frame of mind, there’s something cathartic about Peter Heller’s latest novel, The Guide, an ever so subtly dystopian wilderness noir that speculates on the horrors of a post-pandemic society ... The enticing mystery keeps the pages turning, but not too quickly. The Guide is too beautifully written to speed through it, the descriptions of nature lush and vivid. Rarely has fishing felt so poetic, tying a lure so much like art ... Heller doesn’t much need to use the word "COVID" to evoke the virus’ specter. He peppers the text with unsettlingly subtle references to the pandemic...The dread mounts, but so too does the intrigue – and the sexual tension ... Perhaps the ending offers too tidy a resolution. To ask readers after the past year to still believe it’s possible for good to conquer evil is a tall order. But then making a cautionary tale on the widening divide between the haves and have nots in the era of COVID-19 go down so smooth is a tall order too, and Heller accomplishes that nicely.
Heller pulls off a rare balancing act once again: He gives us fast-paced action and intrigue, interspersed with closely observed, reflective nature writing...Speed up for the crime-solving, slow down for the Zen ... What holds it all together is the likeable character of Jack ... As in Maclean’s books, fishing gets its own star turn. It’s a source of solace, focus and connection. Heller uses many opportunities to capture it poetically, keeping the river at the center of this tale, too.