The River

The River
By: Mary Jane Beaufrand

Veronica Severance feels cut off from the world. Forced to move from the city to rural Oregon with her parents, she is haunted by loneliness and by the chilling sounds of the Santiam, the river that runs through her backyard.

Through the fog of isolation, Ronnie finds herself becoming close with Karen, a young girl who she babysits. But when she discovers Karen's body on the banks of the Santiam, the victim of a supposed accident, Ronnie feels compelled to uncover the truth.

As she becomes increasingly obsessed with solving Karen's death, Ronnie is led deeper and deeper into the woods surrounding the river and to the dark secret hidden within its midst.

The River is a darkly atmospheric story of murder, isolation, obsession and dark secrets that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

summary from book

My Rating: 3/5

The River starts off rather dramatically and with an instant hook that reels you in full of intrigue. After that however, it kind of trickles off and slows down the pace for a little while until it picks back up again towards the end. I did not really know what to expect when I picked up this book and although it was slow in the middle, my attention was always held. I had no problem finding out more about Ronnie and her life seeing as it made her whole and well rounded. That being said, I can see why some readers may be disappointed with the pacing in The River, especially the slower middle section.

The good thing about all of this is that I didn't really know what to expect the entire time. When the big reveal was made at the end I was kind of surprised just because I had no idea where the author was planning on taking her plot and characters. The summary led me to believe a lot of things that weren't included in this novel but I guess that's the chance you take when you pick up a book. The summary is there to capture your attention after all and this one is very effective in doing that. Not to mention the cover is quite captivating as well.

Even though there was a lack of suspense, I still enjoyed The River. The writing is very good and well executed and I grew to like the characters also, especially Ronnie and Tomas. I also liked that we learned a good deal about Ronnie's life, past and present. A lot of novels that have a mysterious plot at times focus more on that than the characters filling the pages. I think the author did a great job of forming Ronnie's world and filling it with believable and pleasing characters.

So, there you have it. I did like this book and I read it rather quickly which is always a good sign. Again, the only thing I find The River lacked was the suspense that the summary spoke of.


  1. I love this review...and this cover! :)

  2. I really liked your thoughts on this one. I'm really looking for books that keep me engaged the entire time I'm reading them. I just struggled through a book (only because it was a review book) and it was all I could do to finish it. Not sure if I'll be looking for this one.

  3. Great review! I'll probably not buy it, but if my library gets it I'll definitely check it out!




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