Cover Image: The Guide

The Guide

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Guide is an adventuresome title set in a lodge in Colorado with Jack as the guide and Allison as the paying patron. However, from the onset suspicions of nefarious activities are supported by various clues discovered and hidden. As the story unfolds, excitement and danger builds. You need to read this one.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars...I really enjoyed The River and had high expectations for this book. I love Heller's writing and descriptions, especially of the natural world. Even though the story was propulsive, I found it a bit lacking. I'm not sure if it is because the end seemed rushed or I just wanted the mystery to have more meat on its bones. It is a short and quick read though, so pick it up if you are curious.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the digital ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a story packed with a punch. It added in the coronavirus theme which was interesting to read and it kept me engrossed throughout the entire book. 

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy to honestly review.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed The Guide by Peter Heller, which I was surprised to find, is a companion novel to Heller's The River. This book features Jack as he is still processing the death of his friend Wynn and has not come to terms with the death of his mother years before.

Jack takes a job as a fly fishing guide at a posh resort in Colorado and is assigned client Alison, who is a famous country singer looking for some rest and relaxation. Soon after the vacation gets underway, Jack and Alison get the feeling there is more than fly fishing and massages going on at this fancy resort, and as they investigate deeper, they find themselves in danger and of course, maybe falling for each other. 

Based on the plot, which was a bit too contrived for me, I would give this 3.5 stars, but I will round up to 4 for Heller's beautiful use of language in describing the landscape, wildlife and fly fishing scenes. I will recommend this to readers who enjoyed The River, as well as fans of outdoor adventure.

Thanks to Knopf Publishing Group and NetGalley for the e-arc in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A great follow up to The River. Heller does a fantastic job of combining serene nature writing with edge of your seat thriller plot points. I read this in a single day because I had to find out what happened in this tense and atmospheric story, but I kept trying to get myself to slow down because I just wanted to be lost in the beautiful writing. I will definitely be recommending this one far and wide.
Was this review helpful?
Written by any other author, I would probably have given this book three stars, but Peter Heller manages to pull this mediocre thriller into the four star range with his lyrical descriptions and the vivid sense of place he conjures. The rest of it feels like someone told him a book set in a post-pandemic world would probably sell, and so he took us into the woods and onto the river, and then into some kind of weirdly evil experiment hidden in the back room. I have come to expect more from Heller, especially since this one brings back Jack, (from the author’s novel The River), still wrestling with his grief, still trying to make sense of a world full of loss that began early in his life. He makes some progress in his healing in this book, but the plot and the poor attempt at the suspense/thriller novel made this one fall flat. I will still read anything Heller writes, but this one gets a begrudging 4 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Peter Heller evokes Colorado with loving accuracy. In one sentence he can take you to a river or a mountain or a front porch and sit you down and let you listen to the birds, the brook, the wind in the trees. This book is sadly contemporary--marked by current events that will fade with time and limit interest within the decade, if not the week.  The fishing was great, the weather held, and human interest abounded. The dark mystery was really dark, and if you read for the outdoor adventure parts Heller is so good at, this might not be the book for you. The main character wrestles with savior syndrome and the evil he finds and fights is horrific.
Was this review helpful?
This was my first read by Heller, and not likely to be my last. I wasn't aware until beginning that this was the protagonist's second novel - but I don't think it was a hindrance for me, the story still made sense. 
You can tell the author has a deep love of the outdoors and fishing - the scenery was so very detailed. I liked Jack and Alison, and I liked how the author incorporated the pandemic into the storyline. The depth of detail about the scenery and fishing in particular were a bit of a slog for me, and the story got a bit predictable and outlandish in places. 
Overall, I'm not likely to re-read this one in the future - but I'm glad I read it. 
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance copy to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. The story was suspenseful, the main characters were appealing, and it all took place in a beautiful setting. The detailed descriptions made me want to take a fishing trip in the Rockies—I could practically smell the pine trees and hear the rushing water. The mystery ended up being a bit gruesome and unpleasant, but the story had me hooked, and I finished the book in one day. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! This story was gripping from start to finish and I couldn't put it down. The characters were easy to relate to and easy to like. The story line had me intrigued from the start and kept me engaged the whole way through. Definitely a book you will finish within a few sittings because you won't be able to put it down.
Was this review helpful?
What a treat to get to spend more time with Jack, from Heller’s early novel, The River!  I enjoyed his character development in both books and I liked meeting Jack again; he is very real and relatable.  If you need to like your characters, you’re in great hands here.  I would recommend anyone read The River before this novel to get the full experience.  This book does stand alone but I was glad to read plot points from it as reminders of a past reading experience and not as spoilers of a to be read title.  Jack was a character that stayed with me and it was a lovely reunion!  The only other character we get inside is the female celebrity and I liked her a lot too.  This was a fun addition to the plot and I believed every word.     
The writing is incredible; atmospheric, descriptive and the sense of place it establishes is a work of art.  It really transported this reader to rural Colorado. I have stayed at a similar lodge and the atmosphere created here was spot on.   In this particular novel, I was also aware of how yummy the food sounded; grandma’s potato salad, homemade sourdough English muffins.  The details made me hungry!  There are also lots of descriptions of nature and of fly-fishing but the food was a new angle that I particularly enjoyed.  
From the start, there is a feeling of foreboding to the plot that foreshadows the dread that arrives.  The propulsive unraveling of the story as Jack discovers the inconsistencies is very satisfying.   This story seemed to go faster for me than his earlier books which is strange as, according to Amazon, The Guide and The River each are 272 pages.  (I read on the app so I can’t confirm that information.)  The mystery was solved in a tidy way that this reader bought but the feeling of suspense until resolution was masterful.  The Covid parts scared me!   I read this book in two sittings and couldn’t wait to get back to it.  I can already imagine the movie and it will be a good one.  I could see the action scenes at the end.  
Thanks Peter Heller!  Keep writing as I’ll read it all.  Thanks, NetGalley and Knopf for the early view.  Much appreciated and enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?
I don’t know why I kept putting this one off because once I started I could not stop. The descriptions of nature were so calming and beautiful and then the plot was much more than I expected. Loved it!
Was this review helpful?
Peter Heller is a wonderful wordsmith and he has proven it once again with this captivating sequel to his previous novel (The river) a very entertaining thriller set among the beautiful and magical landscapes of the Colorado Rockies. 
Once again we meet Jack, a young man haunted by the accidental death of his best friend and currently employed as a fishing guide at an exclusive resort in the mountains. But unfortunately nothing is as it seems in this quiet environment and pretty soon Jack will stumble upon some strange shenanigans at the resort...
A very suspenseful novel build with enough twists and turns to keep.the reader on pins and needles all the way to the end. A very accomplished fictional journey and a beautiful ode to the natural wonders of Colorado. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and Knopf for this terrific ARC
Was this review helpful?
I couldn't put this down! Atmospheric, tense, and quiet-yet-propulsive. I was happy to follow Jack after The River and fell in love with Heller's writing even more.
Was this review helpful?
Jack is a fishing guide at an exclusive resort in the Colorado Rockies. He and his client Allison K. become suspicious of the true purpose of the resort and choose to investigate, putting their lives in danger. I don't know much about fly fishing but it doesn't matter because Heller's glorious descriptions of the Colorado wilderness and a heart pumping ending make this thriller immensely readable.
Was this review helpful?
We are 3 years into the pandemic (or is it a new strain, who knows). While the world is back on lockdown, money has a way of softening the inconvenience. One such cushion is the Kingfisher Lodge. A boutique fishing outfit that caters to the uber rich. Set amongst bountiful trout streams deep in the Rockies, the beautiful and the shamelessly rich can kill time being pampered and personally guided to where the fish are biting.

Guests are assigned to individual guides. Local fishing experts who will ensure that the fishing is nothing short of spectacular. A new guide is just off his orientation. Jack is a son of Colorado who went back east for college, but when a black cloud descended on him back in the NH wilderness, he returned to CO to recover. And what better way to recover than to get paid to fish, something he does quite well. 

Jack's first client is Alison, a pop singer of some note, not that Jack has any clue about the current pop music scene. But she's no newbie. A North Carolina native who grew up country can handle a rod, hook, and bait with the best of 'em. That means Jack's entry into luxury fishing should be pretty easy.

The assignment suits him. As they explore the streams, a creek against the current reveals barb wire fencing, guard dogs, and a mansion on a distant hill. The shoreline shows evidence that something had died here. Given the remoteness of the Lodge, the remains could be anything.

The clientele seems a smidge off. Alison is normal, as rich pop singers go, but the others seem peculiar. Some days they are quite personable. Other days they seem drugged. And a bunch don't seem to have much interest in fishing. 

Jack and Alison are well suited for each other. Curious types they are. Willing to go snooping around at all hours of the day and night. And what they find will chill you right down to your marrow. 

I've since learned that this is Heller's 2nd book about Jack. First is called The River and you can bet I'll be looking for it. Jack is an easy character to pull for, given a couple of heartbreaking episodes from his past. Heller contributes to NPR, Outside Magazine, Men's Journal, with lots of kayaking experience. Read this guy's 'About' segment on his website and I'm betting you'll be jealous. 

Available August 24, 2021

Was this review helpful?
Peter Heller always presents a strange mix of natural beauty and violence.  Jack is running away from his old life so when an opportunity to become a fishing guide at a swanky lodge in remote Colorado happens he jumps.  The scenery is beautiful , the fish are plentiful and he is enjoying being around his first client a superstar singer who is really a nature girl.  Soon however the ideal job feels fishy and Jack and Alison begin to explore the area around the lodge a bit more.  There seem to be more big fences and security than one would think necessary for a fishing lodge and they see things they shouldn't.  They realize that they have waded into deep water but it may be too late.  Readers will be hooked from the first page.  Peter Heller is Gary Paulson for adults. Readers of high adventure and mystery in natural settings will enjoy this.   My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
I am a big fan of Peter Heller and have read and enjoyed every one of his stories. Even though his settings and characters are very far from my day to day life, I enjoy the depth of character exploration and the atmosphere each of his novels has.

"The virus had mostly burned itself out and been vaccinated against, and other novel viruses had moved over the world and hit different countries more or less hard, and economies had convulsed and adjusted, those who could afford it spent more and more time on retreat in the remotest places. Like these mountains. The densest cities were still the most dangerous. And vacationing deep in the mountains when possible had become a cultural habit more than anything."

This is the first novel I've read that takes place "after" covid and has incorporated one version of what the world might look like into the novel. I loved that it was part of the story but not the point of the story. The way it was woven in made it feel natural. 

This is the story of a guide who takes a job at this elite fishing lodge and is paired with a famous singer who is there to fish. Even though the story contains both of them and you hear bits and pieces about the singer to pull together somewhat of an image of who she is, the story is really about the guide. We don't really hear her innermost thoughts or her motivations much of the time. 

The guide, like many of Heller's characters, is rugged and layered and no-nonsense with a deep and abiding sense of justice. So when he realizes something fishy is going on at this lodge, he can't not do something about it.

This book is both quiet and fast. It's both a mystery and a bit of a character study. The atmosphere is strong both in the wilderness and in the lodge itself.

I loved every minute I spent with it.

With gratitude to Knopf and netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The latest from Peter Heller, The Guide is the story of a man running from grief – only to find his way into something much worse.

Kingfisher Lodge, also known as “Billionaire’s Mile” to locals, sits in the heart of Colorado and encompasses some of the most pristine river around.

Offering guided fishing, it’s where Jack finds himself employed as a guide, following a tragedy he’d rather let himself forget. The idyllic surroundings can’t keep him from noticing that something just isn’t right, though – and the heavy gates and fences are starting to look less like measures to keep the public from private land, and more like they are keeping something in.

What a stunning book. Jack may be the protagonist, but the main character is Colorado itself. Peter Heller’s stunning descriptions brought it to life around me – when I paused in my reading, I found myself taking a moment to come back, it was so vivid. It’s not overly flowery language, but precise and evocative; it made it so easy to sink into the story.

Speaking of the story, that’s just as interesting and precise as the surroundings; and where they’re beautiful, what’s going on in them is anything but. The world Peter Heller describes is one not too removed from our own; ever-mutating coronaviruses have circulated for over three years, leaving tourism (and stability) mostly to the rich. There are hints of more, but it’s relatively subtle; some species mentioned as being almost extinct, nods to a world where inequality has surpassed our own.

While this is a relatively short novel, there’s a lot going on in these pages. Jack is a surprising character, with the courage and confidence of a much older man. He’s knowledgeable about much more than just fishing and ranch life – he’s well read, insightful and follows his convictions up with action. He’s a protagonist that’s easy to root for, and who won’t let an invested reader down.

The Guide is an excellent book, one to sink into and enjoy in one sitting, if you can. Readers will be transported, and find themselves just as wrapped in the mystery as Jack himself.
Was this review helpful?
Peter Heller’s The Guide is an amazing follow-up to his novel, The River. This book entrances the reader from the very beginning. Love how he brings a follow-up to Jack’s story from The River and loved the relationship he has with Allison. This book has great imagery, plot, and building suspense. I didn’t want it to end!! This book was a wonderful getaway from reality. I felt like I was there; that is how wonderful Heller painted the scenery. Loved, loved, loved!! Cannot wait for his next novel!! #TheGuide @PeterHeller
Was this review helpful?