In Wilderness by Diane Thomas
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: 1st April 2015
Genre: Fiction, Suspense
Suspenseful, intensely erotic and unflinching, this spine-chilling love story will haunt you long after the last page.
After learning she has a terminal illness, Katherine abandons her successful advertising firm and seeks refuge in the solitude of a cabin in the wilderness.
But as she hikes up to the isolated cabin, Katherine senses she is being watched. Collapsed with exhaustion on the cabin floor, she hears breathing just outside her door. A heartbeat in the night. Someone is out there.
Her sudden arrival at the previously abandoned cabin has unsettled its previous inhabitant, Danny, a damaged young Vietnam veteran tormented bythe demons of his past.
When these two lost souls collide, the passion that ignites between them becomes an all-consuming wildfire that threatens to destroy them both.
This isn’t my usual genre, but it sounded so intriguing when the opportunity became available to review it. I am certainly not disappointed and couldn’t wait to see what would happen in the end. It is undoubtedly everything they publicised it to be and the idea of living in a secluded cabin all alone is quite terrifying.
Katherine (Kate) Reid is a thirty-eight year old successful advertising executive and own majority shares in the agency. She went to three different doctors hoping for a different outcome, but Kate is now resigned to the fact she’s dying. The third doctor tells her they used to tell patients a hundred or so years ago, to go west, move to the country, and take the grand tour of Europe; anything to change the scenery in the time she has left.
Is it fate that an advertisement for a rustic mountain cabin adjacent to a national forest with a sizable private wilderness at the doorstep is for sale?
Kate doesn’t tell anybody her prognosis at work and continues working for as long as she can. But when she uses that same newspaper to light a fire in her den, Kate sees the ad again and an idea forms.
January arrives and her illness has finally shown at work. Kate sells her controlling share and over the next few weeks, she organises things, sells her house and gathers supplies to live out her remaining months in the isolated cabin. She tries to pack light knowing there’s a hike into her cabin and she’ll have to carry everything in.
It’s now February and Kate loads everything into her mustang, with a final teary look at the house that held so many unfulfilled dreams, she drives down the street and onto her next adventure. When she arrives at the marker the surveyor left for her, Kate sorts everything and begins her hike. Will she make it before nightfall?
The hike is long and hard in her weakened state. She thinks something is following her, like a bear or a deer. She sees shadows hiding between trees and stops often to check over her shoulder. It’s almost twilight when Kate stops and sees her cabin at the bottom of a hill. She falls into her cabin, sets up her sleeping bag and is ready to sleep. But the night sounds in the unknown wilderness is all around her. A small wind whirls dry leaves; an owl hoots and something steps lightly on the ground.
Kate is not alone in the forest. She hears something breathing next to the corner where she’s sleeping. It is a calming sound, but terrifying at the same time. A deer?
He’s up on the mountain, high as a kite and sees some stupid city chick walking in the forest in a bright red coat. He watches and seems intrigued by this woman, but he has vowed to never touch another woman ever again. What did he do? He can smell the sickness on the woman, he can smell her dying. He doesn’t want to feel for her, he only wants to watch, but finds himself watching more and more.
What is so compelling about this woman that he can’t stay away? Will he make contact with her? Will he watch her die? How long will it be until Kate’s body breaks down? Does she really believe she’s alone in the majestic forest with flora and fauna for company?
This is a story showing how badly people want to live. Whether it’s in isolation or in a big city surrounded by people, we all want to live a full life. The horrific events that take place throughout were haunting and sad. This is a dual point of view from both Kate and the Watcher and I have to say, the Watcher is a psychotic sociopath. In Wilderness is definitely horrifying, thrilling, intense, and steamy and is such an emotional and heart aching story. It was a little long for my liking, but it is positively addictive in places.
Next up on the tour from Random House Australia, is https://1girl2manybooks.wordpress.com/ - be on the look out.
About the Author
Diane Thomas is the author of the highly acclaimed novel, The Year the Music Changed. Inspired by her own brush with death, an early draft of In Wilderness was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She has worked as a reporter, film and theater critic, magazine writer, and editor in Atlanta, north Georgia, and the Florida panhandle. She and her husband now live in New Mexico.