Cover Image: The Guide

The Guide

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

This is the second novel I’ve read by Peter Heller and, as usual, he delivered with beautiful nature writing mixed with an engrossing mystery. I discovered my love of nature based thrillers through The River and The Guide continued my love of the genre. Heller has a way with writing about nature that makes it feel like a third character. The pacing of this novel was perfect and left you wrapped up in the mystery until the last chapter. Lastly, you don’t have to read The River in order to read this novel, it’ll still make sense, but I highly suggest you do!
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Peter Heller's The River was one of my best reads in 2020. His art of describing nature and making you feel like you are right there, casting a reel or dipping a paddle into the current, is superb. I did not know that The Guide would have Jack, the main character from The River, as the lead again so I was pleasantly surprised to see him featured in this book, three years after the first story. If you have not read The River, you will still be able to dive right into The Guide without feeling at all lost.

Jack has taken a job at an elite fishing lodge near Crested Butte, Colorado. The clients are mostly millionaires and he looks forward to living in beautiful surroundings and doing a job he loves, while he tries to come to terms with some past life tragedies. His first client is Allison, a country singer of some renown who is herself a talented fisherman. But their first day out, the two are shot at when they get too close to the property of a "crazy" Colorado loner. After this the troubling curiosities start coming fast and thick. Jack begins to have strong suspicions that something very wrong is going on at the fishing lodge, and the nearby off-limits lodge.

This is a fast paced novel and the author makes both his main characters real and appealing. The book will keep you turning the pages long into the night. I perhaps unfairly compared this to the previous book, which as stated, I loved. While I also really enjoyed The Guide, the underlying mystery wasn't quite as strong and realistic as the one plotted in The River. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and I'm so glad I read it. This is especially recommended to anyone who loves the outdoors. It will make you want to pack your bags and get back country! This author knows how to write and it is so wonderful to read the work of someone who crafts his words so carefully.

I am rating this 5 stars, but would round  to 4.5, just because of minor issues with the plot line.

Thank you so much to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read. Thanks also to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and author Peter Heller.
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The Guide picks up roughly 3 years after The River ends. Jack is now a guide at an exclusive lodge in Colorado and is still struggling with the loss of his best friend. Tasked with guiding a famous singer, Jack can’t help but feel uneasy about this opportunity -like it’s almost too good to be true. Should Jack trust his gut or will his guilt get him or someone else hurt? 

I enjoyed this book so much more than The River. There’s enough background information that it can be read as a stand-alone. The Guide was well paced and had an engaging storyline. If you enjoy backwoods adventure mysteries this book is definitely a must read. 

Thank you @netgalley and @aaknopf for this eARC in exchange for my honest feedback.
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The remote scenic wilderness of Colorado is the perfect place for well-to-do celebrities and politicians alike to have a getaway. Some of the best fishing in the world coupled with spa treatments and five star dining, the lodge packs a high cost for seclusion and privacy. Jack lucked out getting a job to be their fishing guide. On the guests schedule, Jack assists them in fly fishing when they want and spends the rest of the time relaxing and dining. 

Questions start to come up when things just seem…off. Is the lodge hiding something, or are their strict rules truly in place for the millionaire guests protection? 

This book was nothing short of fantastic. It was a breezy read full of dialogue and I was shocked at how fast I read it. The nature writing in this one is breathtaking. You will feel like you are at a lodge escaping from the world and you will absolutely want to go fly fishing. Heller does a wonderful job of writing intelligently about fishing and the wilderness to make the experience genuine. 

This is the first book I have read that seamlessly incorporates the current pandemic into the story. This brings the story even more to present day and adds a suspenseful element as you wonder if it has a deeper meaning. 

This book was fast and thrilling. I could barely read it for trying to guess what was going on the whole time (I was wrong btw). Peter Heller will now be on my list of, read anything he ever writes. Recommend to everyone. 

Thank you Knopf for this review copy!
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I read Peter Heller’s “The Dog Stars” and loved it so when I saw this book, I couldn’t wait to read it! It was well worth the read and can now say I’m a Peter Heller fan for life. This novel, involving a fishing guide named Jack at a wealthy fishing lodge during a pandemic time…this book has mystery, was a little slow to start, but I honestly didn’t mind it because Heller’s writing is great, and I loved his way of describing the environment so you feel like you’re there! Great read!
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I absolutely LOVED The River, so I was pleased when I say Peter Heller had a follow up, of sorts, with The Guide. If you've read The River, you've already been introduced to Jack, but it's not necessary to do so first. Jack, still mired in grief, takes a job as a river guide in Colorado, but things aren't quite right. He can't put his finger on it. Loud noises, gun shots, mysterious injuries, and the extra wealthy all combine to make this a riveting mystery. Heller is one of the best at capturing the wilderness in writing, his prose is incredibly atmospheric. So even though the plot is a bit slow in the first half, it's well worth the effort - one of the best novels I've read all year.
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A get outside mystery! Rivers, hiking, intrigue, murder - The Guide has it all. I really enjoyed the first part of the book, the last third of it was definitely fast paced and exciting, All in all a well written and disturbing read.

**I received an electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review of this book.
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I am going to call this a COVID thriller. All the books I've read lately have chosen to blissfully ignore the 18-month old elephant in the room and this one just went for it. From the first paragraph mentioning "looping a cloth mask" to the bartender asking for the MC to lean over and get his temperature checked, this was the first time I've seen our current predicament in a book. At first I wasn't really sure what was going on in this book, and was feeling very similar to Jack and Allison K., the MCs. But then as things started to unfold, I couldn't stop reading. Some of the things hit hard though, because what's really stopping someone from setting something up like this fishing lodge? This was a trippy, suspenseful thriller that had me on the edge of my seat. I highly recommend this for those looking for something quick that's a little more literary in its thriller style. However, I would also steer people away if COVID is a trigger.
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I wish the book would have focused more on the mystery than the actual fishing.  Anyone who's a rabid afficionado of fishing, please forgive me, but... I'd rather have a double root canal than fish, and I don't much care for eating them, either.  Because of that, I can't really rate this book more than 3 stars.

*My sincere thanks to the author and publisher for allowing me to read this book prior to its publication.  I was not compensated in any way for my honest review.*
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I read it in a single sitting! I am not sure how I feel about it, what it’s really saying about the billionaire class AND about the way we pandemic, but I did find it riveting and I enjoyed the descriptions of nature/the west and other things totally alien to me (ie, fishing), as they made me want to go to Colorado and see some mountains/streams/forests for myself.

The publisher’s description of this novel as “a heart-racing thriller about a young man who is hired by an elite fishing lodge . . . where he uncovers a plot of shocking menace amid the natural beauty of sun-drenched streams and forests” is pretty apt! A very good late-summer read, in my opinion!
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A fishing lodge for the wealthy, set in Colorado. Beautiful country. I spent many summers fishing, though not much fly fishing, so I was curious how the author would incorporate a book about fishing, and an adventure story. It's a fast read, there is much dialogue, but these short conversations also serve to ratchet up the suspense. Two interesting leading characters, one a kick ass woman, the other a battle scarred fishing guide.

That there is more to this lodge than just fishing, soon becomes apparent. At one point I thought I knew what was going on but it was even more horrific than my original thought. No graphic blood or anything like that, just greed and heartlessness from those in a position to exploit the current Covid situation. In any crisis there are those who will do anything for money and power, and those who with the requisite money, will take advantage. No matter how distasteful, no matter the people they hurt.

Heller can sure put together a both timely and adventuresome story. The ending though is beautifully written and just about perfect.
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To say I’m a fan of Peter Heller would be an understatement. I would count both 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘰𝘨 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘴 and 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘙𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳 as two of my favorite books published in the last ten years, so you know I was excited to pick up 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐆𝐔𝐈𝐃𝐄. I got a little nervous when I heard that it’s a sequel to The River because generally I’m not a fan of sequels, but no need to worry on that front. The Guide easily stands alone even if you haven’t read The River.⁣
It follows Jack, about five years after we last saw him. In an interesting twist, it’s also year three or four of COVID and the world has gone through many mutations and more or less found ways of going on with the virus still looming. He’s been hired as a fly fishing guide at the elite Kingfisher Lodge in Colorado. That’s the job, but the real reason he’s there is to try to find a way to escape from his grief for just a little while. Being on the river has always brought him peace and that’s what he hopes to find. Jack is paired as the personal guide to a famous singer, and the two establish a friendly repartee. All of that I liked very much (and I learned A LOT about fly fishing 🎣), but then the story got a little dodgy for me with some out there plot twists. It didn’t feel like the Peter Heller I’ve come to know. For me the great character development stalled out in favor of a “thriller” path, and I felt a little cheated. Let me just leave it at 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘎𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘦 wasn’t my favorite Heller book, but his other works still make him an auto-but author for me. 
A big thank you to Knopf for the ARC.
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The Guide is a literary thriller by one of my favorite authors, in which Jack (from Heller's book The River) is a guide at an elite fishing lodge in Colorado. After suffering a great loss in The River, Jack is eager to lose himself in nature and meet the needs of the boutique resort's clients.

When he's set up as the guide for a famous musician, he baits her line, carries her gear, and sets her up for a successful fishing trip. But Jack is starting to realize that something dark and dangerous may be at work at this lodge, and that things are more complicated than they had seemed.

Heller explores a disturbingly dark side of wealth and abused privilege--with global repercussions. In The Guide, the main protagonist Jack is as linked to the natural world as are the characters in his other books, but for the villains, the outdoors serve primarily as a cover for nefarious plots and machinations meant to expand their considerable power. 

In The Guide, the character of Jack is coping with the aftermath of major tragedies in his life (which occurred in The River), reflecting on his own potential culpability, and wondering how to move forward with his life. But despite the page time we spent with him in The River--when I felt a deeper connection to the character--I didn't feel like I gained significant understanding or dug into Jack's reflections in this book. I was glad to revisit the character of Jack. Yet we didn't really need the character in this book to be Jack in order for the story to work.

I'd be happy to read about Heller's characters just walking around in the wilderness, thinking their thoughts. I just love the descriptions, the character growth, and the insight Heller provides in those moments--and that was what I most enjoyed in The Guide. 

But when things began unraveling in the story, I felt as though the tone of the book shifted abruptly into a dramatic, action-packed section that seemed straight out of a movie. I was also unclear in the very last scene of the book about the seeming surprise of a character's reaction. It's a minor point, but it didn't make sense to me and left me distracted at the end.

I love Peter Heller's books, including his thrilling, character-driven story The River, the meditative yet decisively action-oriented The Painter, and his post-apocalyptic story The Dog Stars, which was a five-star read for me.

I received an advance digital copy of this title courtesy of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and NetGalley.
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This is the first book I've read by Peter Heller and I have to say, I was blown away by his prose, his descriptions, and overall writing style. Every paragraph was beautifully described and I felt like I was transported to the mountains and streams of Colorado.

This was also the first book I've read that has included Covid, and even referenced other viruses. It was strange to be reading about something that we're still currently enduring and probably will continue to endure for years to come. 

Overall, I liked the story. It was engrossing and beautifully written. It was easy to follow, but it was also a very slow burn. It took up until the last quarter or so pages to find out what was going on. 

I certainly will check out more from Peter Heller!
3.5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Knopf Publishing for providing me with the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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Fans of Heller will not be disappointed. Another riveting, intriguing mystery taking place during a pandemic. Beautiful, vivid imagery of nature as guided fishing serves as the backdrop for this quick and entertaining tale. Recommended for newcomers to Heller as well, though might want to start with Dog Stars
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The Guide refers to Jack, a young man reeling from loss after loss in his life.  He takes a break from the ranch he runs with his father to serve as a fishing guide to the rich and famous.  He is set to work on the "Billionaire's Mile" at the Kingfisher Lodge.  The Lodge boasts some of the most beautiful, untouched water on the planet.  Set between barbed wire and neighbor with a pack of vicious dogs and a "Don't Get Shot" sign, the Lodge is a paradise isolated from the diseases plaguing the rest of the world.  Jack's first client is a well-known singer.  All Jake has to do is carry her equipment, set up her line and lead her to the best trout.  Fishing quietly, enjoying the peace and companionship, all is serene until a scream pierces the quiet and things go rapidly downhill from there.  What seemed to be an idyllic vacation spot becomes something much more sinister.  Peter Heller spins a terrifying tale full of action and suspense.  Many thanks to Net Galley for the chance to read an ARC.
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Well this one was not at all what I thought it would be. This is my first Peter Heller book and I’m interested in reading more. While The Guide was beautifully written, it also felt a little all over the place for me, almost like he tried to fit too much into this book. The content of the book as well as the addition of Covid felt really heavy at times. I was super invested until the last plot twist. For some reason, the ending was just dragged out a little too much for me. I did enjoy this one mostly due to Peter Heller’s obvious connection to the outdoors.

The Guide is a high speed thriller about a man who is hired by an elite fishing lodge in Colorado. Among the beauty of the scenery and streams he uncovers a shocking secret. When he hears a human scream in the middle of the night he realized that this fancy fishing lodge may be a cover for a much darker operation.
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The Guide surprised me. I like mysterious stories fine, and I like to figure it out before the characters, but this one kept me guessing. Jack, the titular character, is hired as a guide at a private fishing lodge for extremely wealthy people. It seems like a great idea for a job after suffering a lot of grief and trying to get back out there, but almost immediately things are creepy and off-putting at the lodge. Jack is assigned to a famous singer, and during their first day on the water, Jack notices a lot of red flags. What is the lodge hiding, and why does it seem like Jack and his patron are the only ones fishing?

First off, this book is set maybe a few years in the future, with viruses being a sort of common event. If you would rather read about a world that doesn't involve COVID and the like, you may want to hold off on reading this one for a little while. 

Throughout the book little things pop up to give clues, but you find out about everything at the same time as Jack does, which kind of kept me in-the-moment better than most mysteries. It's not a super long read, and even if you aren't a fisher, you'll be able to find some enjoyment in the story. It moves fairly fast, and once you get engaged you'll roll right through it. Also-You might think you need to read The River first, but trust me, the author does a great job of recapping anything you need to know to make this a standalone novel. I definitely want to go back and read The River now though.

Thanks to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Penguin Randomhouse, and Netgalley for an e-ARC of this book.
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Hold on to the edge of your seats for this breathtaking adventure! This book hits the gas from the beginning and doesn't let up. It's my definition of a true suspense/thriller, with just hints along the way of the dangers lurking just around the corner. Be prepared to read it in one sitting because you won't want to put it down.
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The Guide by Peter Heller is the follow up to The River. Jack is arriving at a wilderness lodge in the middle of nowhere to work as a fishing guide for the rich and elite. It doesn’t take long for him to start to wonder about exactly what might be happening at the lodge. He hears and sees things that make him question if the lodge is a safe place to be. Read and enjoy!
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