Cover Image: The Guide

The Guide

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Member Reviews

I see why people refer to Peter Heller as the literary thriller emeritus, but I didn't think much of this book. It did make me want to seek out Heller's other books, because if he wrote one where I relate a little more to the plot I think I would straight-up love it. I can't wait to read more of this author.
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Action adventure thriller. Romance. A cowboy type who reads poetry and saves the day. 
I'm now obsessed with Jack, Peter Heller's leading man who is hired as a fishing guide at a luxury resort. Assigned to a young, famous singer, he tries to "just do his job" but he's far too observant. There's something sinister happening here, and Jack knows he won't be able to rest until he stops the hurting. 
I need more books like this. Heart racing, fast paced action.
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The first thing that really stood out in this book was the amazing writing style of the author.  He had a way of writing such descriptive scenes that it made me feel like I was there.  The protagonist was so well developed that I loved him and was so attached and protective of him.  There was a lot to unpack and I will highly recommend.
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The first quarter of the book, I did not like. I skimmed. It was too descriptive and I felt I was reading a nature/fishing guide instead of a thriller. Glad I stuck with it, however. The further in I read, the more the story and its’ characters evolved and pulled me in. 

Something is not right at the fishing lodge and newly hired guide Jack knew it. Guests disappear and return looking haggard. The more Jack pokes around, the more danger he is in after discovering shady business practices. The pace of this slow burn mystery ratchets up and becomes well-deserving of 4 stars.
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Not my particular cup of tea, and also my first Peter Heller book. I think readers in my library that are fans of his will enjoy this more than I did.
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Heller masterfully evokes the joy of fishing in the wilderness of Colorado. And he adds a story of today's evils which lurk. 2 interesting and likeable leads, namely, Jack and Allison. Hopefully, he will find another plot to put them in. Want to know more about Allison and how Jack deals with his demons.
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It's no secret that I'm a fan of Peter Heller's books. His skill at descriptive writing and the depth of characterizations while using minimum text are a combination you don't often find.

The Guide reunites readers with Jack, from Heller's last book, The River (read it). While grieving over the tragic loss of his best friend, he takes a job as a fishing guide at an exclusive fishing lodge on one of the most pristine rivers in the world. As Jack and a celebrity guest, Alison, start fishing the river they learn quickly that not everything is as it seems. What unfolds is a dark and sinister story in a beautiful setting that is told with such subtle tension and pace that the reader finds themselves at the end of the book wishing the story would continue.

While Jack is the return of a character from a previous book, this is not a sequel.

Publication date: 8/24/2021 - Thank you to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for the ARC of this book. My opinion is my own.
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Jack can catch fish, but he just can’t catch a break. He’s a true Renaissance man; he’s educated, a deep thinker, has many talents, loves nature, and a people person.  He is still reeling from the death of his friend Wynn three years ago so, when he’s offered a job as a guide at Kingfisher Lodge, an exclusive fishing resort in Colorado, he thinks this will be the perfect thing to get himself back on track.  He’s relishing the idea of just doing the things he loves, fly-fishing, reflecting, and enjoying nature in this post-pandemic tale.

Almost immediately he begins to suspect something isn’t quite right with this place.  He’s warned not to stray off lodge property while fishing with the famous singer he’s assigned to guide.  The manager points out a cantankerous old neighbor who shoots on site, barbed wire, and vicious dogs that attack those that trespass.  This is not the idyllic place it portrays itself to be.  

Jack and his client, Allison hit it off right away and both agree something fishy is going on at the resort and not just in the streams.  Jack quickly realizes there are cameras everyone on the property and even finds one in his cabin.  The cameras, plus a creepy manager and strange fellow guide, make Jake and Allison realizing they need to find a way out of there pronto.  However, forces unknown are not going to let them go.  The tension and suspense ratchet up quickly and I was on the edge until the end.  This was a quick read for me as I couldn’t put the book down.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  Do yourself a favor and buy this book when it comes out on August 24th.  I gave it four stars!
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Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of The Guide. I LOVED The River, so much that I named my dog after the main character Wynn. So it is safe to assume that this was one of my most anticipated books of 2021. Per usual with a Peter Heller book I flew through it so fast! His writing was just as purposely, necessary, and engaging as his previous books. Jack’s decision to be a fishing guide felt really authentic to his character as did his actions in this book. I do wish we would have seen some more growth from Jack in terms of his grief journey. The build up in this novel was similar to his previous work and I loved that, but the ending felt rushed and less believable than his previous conclusions. Overall I still loved this book and I’ll always read anything Peter Heller releases!
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Heller’s best yet! Very atmospheric, the Colorado mountains live in his descriptions. His characters have emotional depth and an honesty that is refreshing. And the story—suspenseful, timely, shocking. No flaws here, just a beautifully written novel.

Thanks to NetGalley and Alfred A. Knopf publishing for the ARC to read and review.
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Jack arrives at the exclusive and secluded Kingfisher Lodge as a fishing guide looking to salve the pain of past traumas.  While Jack has the benefit of an Ivy League education, he is also used to hard work, self-sufficiency and living with the both the beauty and the dangers of nature.  

Kingfisher Lodge seems idyllic, especially its stretch of river called Billionaire’s Mile, but Jack is surprised to be warned that the Lodge’s neighbor will shoot at anyone who puts a toe over his property line abutting the Lodge.  Why would the Lodge’s billionaire clientele put up with that?  But when Jack takes out his first client, a famous singer named Alison, they find out for themselves that the warning is true.  They both become suspicious that things are not what they appear to be at the Lodge—and the neighboring property.  They quickly decide to add investigation to their daily fishing outings.

This is a thriller for sure, but it’s more than that.  If you’ve read any of Peter Heller’s other novels, you won’t be surprised that it’s also a lyrical story of one man’s relationship to loss and nature, nor that the story has a dystopian flavor, as the novel is set a few years in the near future, when the world is dealing with wave after wave of COVID mutations.
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I love books that incorporate nature as significant element of the story. At this, Peter Heller is one of the best. This novel reacquaints us with Jack (for those who read The River) on his first day on the job as a fly fishing guide at an exclusive fishing lodge on the Taylor River near Crested Butte, Colorado. Knowing this area intimately I was beyond excited and I have to say that his descriptions of the area are spot on throughout. Heller has a way of writing that few compare. I always equate his style to that of Cormac McCarthy. I love them both but it is a style that many may not be used to. More literary than you will find on your typical best sellers list.

Jack's first client is a famous singer who he thinks he may have heard on the radio once. He is far from star-struck but appreciates that she is a passionate fly fisher which bonds them. Day after day they go fishing, stopping only to come into the bar/dining area for meals. But they can't help noticing that things are not what they seem. As they repeatedly witness things that are a little off about the other guests, staff, and surrounding area they can not ignore that this is not just the fishing lodge for the rich and famous that they thought it to be.

I've seen discussions around of how writers would address the COVID pandemic. Either ignore it all together or include it as an aside to the main story. Heller considered these options and said, "Oh yeah? Hold my beer..." Without giving away the the story let's just say when it's revealed what's going on I do not doubt that my jaw was hanging open.

This is a short novel that is more mystery than his previous works. Highly enjoyable. The ending about had me in fits until the epilogue gave me reason to smile.

Many thanks to #NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for allowing me to review an advanced copy of #TheRiver in exchange for an honest review.
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The Guide begins with Jack beginning his new job at Kingfisher Lodge - a very upscale trout fishing resort near Crested Butte in Colorado. Almost immediately his intuition is sparked by some unsettling discoveries - hidden cameras, razor wire on top of fences (that face the wrong way) and screams in the night. Jack, who is a character from "The River" (you don't have to read it first, but I highly recommend it) is assigned a famous singer "Allison K" (did anyone else picture Allison Krauss immediately or is it just me?) and begins to enjoy his guide role, but become increasingly unsettled by more and more mysterious discoveries - something is definitely "not right" at Kingfisher Lodge and the surrounding property. When Jack makes a discovery of a video taken by the previous guide - all bets are off. Jack is determined to solve the mystery, and come to terms with his personal struggle with grief. A great summer thriller with many Covid themes woven into the storyline. Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy.
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This is another "I read it up north" read and it's the perfect place to take in this gorgeous novel.  Beautiful nature writing, with a thoroughly atmospheric setting, the plot on this one moves at a quicker pace than The River does.  The characters here are wholly developed as well.

You should know that this is a pandemic-adjacent novel, in that the book refers to the virus, masking, etc. as a key component of the plot.  It's not scary, per se, but it is a bit of a "what if this happens now that we've lived through a pandemic?" type of story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
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More of a 3.5 star I think? This was a slow burn, short, Literary mystery set in a pandemic like time, much like what we are facing now. It held my interest through the whole book, but I’m definitely glad it wasn’t long 😂 there were some times where I wanted the story to get to the mystery. This story is quiet in a way, but has a lot to it at the same time. The protagonist deals with a lot of inner demons, while also trying to figure out the eeriness of the environment around him.

If you like slow burn, character driven, Literary mysteries, this may be for you!
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The author's writing is excellent, particularly his descriptions of the natural world. The protagonist compels our interest. The plotting is not as fresh or as distinctive as in the author's previous "The River," which features the same protagonist as here. Readers may feel they've encountered the situation that confronts the protagonist and his client in other thrillers (Rob Hart's "The Warehouse" comes to mind). The denouement is nevertheless sincere and touching.
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A fast-paced, energetic story about a young man trying to find his way after a tragic loss.  This book follows Peter Heller’s other, The River.  We jump back into the story with Jack as he attempt to recover from his mother and best friend’s loss.  If you love nature, brevity, and mystery, this is the story for you.  3.5 stars!!
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This novel was just "okay" in my opinion. It had enough action to keep me turning the pages and the character development was decent, but it just fell a bit flat. The premise was interesting in the light of our experiences with COVID and what may be coming in the future with similar viruses, but there were many holes in the plot that were hard to get past. The author, as he does in all of the novels I have read by him, tends to go down many rabbit holes on his way to the story's end. I find this a tick irritating tbh. As a casual read, this novel will is fine but don't look for more than that.
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Peter Heller is back with another action-packed literary thriller and I loved it from beginning to end!  The Guide can be read as a stand-alone novel, but if you've read Heller's previous work, The River, then your reading experience with his latest novel will certainly be enhanced.  The Guide takes place a few years after Jack's harrowing experience in The River and interestingly, also incorporates the COVID-19 pandemic.  The novel opens with Jack's arrival to Kingfisher Lodge in Colorado where he will begin a new job as a fishing guide to the wealthy elite who are looking for a rustic retreat away from the stresses of the continuing development of new virus strains.  
Heller immediately sets the scene with beautiful descriptions of the Colorado landscape.  Jack is wary of the "something's not quite right" vibe that he gets almost from moment one of his arrival at Kingfisher Lodge.  The novel moves slowly into a rising action that kept me completely invested and hungry for answers.  What's really going on in this remote retreat left me horrified, even more so because I could totally see this actually taking place in society today.  I truly felt as if I was watching a movie the entire time I was reading the book.  I highly recommend The Guide!  Thank you to Knopf Publishing Group and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  The book hits shelves on August 24, 2021.  Be sure to add this one to your TBR!
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Title: The Guide
Author: Peter Heller
Pub Date: 8/24/21
Thank you to the publisher for a free Netgalley!
- Jack is just such a likable character. Loved him in the River (do not need to read that to read this) and he continues to be my kind of guy!
- The female lead was strong and well written!
- I had a couple guesses on what was going on during this story and I was happy that I didn’t guess it. Mine were the usual suspects for this type of story, and this one took a different turn!

- Sometimes the pacing just felt a little slow. The paragraphs can be long and descriptive which is not always my favorite. 

Overall: I highly recommend!
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