Cover Image: The Wild Between Us

The Wild Between Us

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Member Reviews

Tragedy tore them apart and it seems a tragedy could possibly bring them back together. The vivid settings are atmospheric and I loved getting to know the demons that haunt the characters.

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Thank you Netgalley. This was such a fantastic read. The dual timelines kept me wanting more after each chapter. The characters were well done and the way the story finally came together was spectacular!! Highly recommend

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Wow- this was definitely suspenseful, I had a large range of emotions as I read this. It was so well written I became absorbed in the story and could feel a sympathize with the characters.

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The Wild Between Us is the first novel by American author, Amy Hagstrom. When Aunt Mary’s gift of the Marble Lake Lodge coincides with his ex, Miranda’s departure for a dream job in Manchester, Silas Matheson quits his job protecting vulnerable Oregon wilderness and takes his two young sons with him to run the lodge.

But returning to Feather Creek after fleeing fifteen years earlier isn’t easy; he’ll have to face Meg and Danny, the friends he left behind after Jessica Howard went missing in the Marble Lake Wilderness back in 2003, and he’s not expecting a warm welcome.

Two weeks on, he’s just discovering how run down the place is when almost-eight-year-old Spencer and five-year-old Cameron, bored with waiting on the promised hike, set out alone in the late afternoon to climb the ridge, and fail to return. Mid-November is not a good time for two boys without warm clothing, food or drink, to be lost in the Sierra Nevada.

Meg Tanner and Danny Cairns get an early-hours call as part of the Feather River Search and Rescue team, coming face to face with Silas, and the unsettling memory of eighteen-year-old Jessica missing in the same place.

They’re searching right where Jessica went missing, but this time, looking for two young boys. Silas, Meg and Danny have each told lies and kept secrets for fifteen years: what might be exposed during the search? And can they put aside differences to find the boys?

Except for Spencer’s prologue, Silas and Meg alternately carry the story, although their lies make them unreliable narrators, and the dual timeline narrative very gradually reveals just what happened on the day four teens went into the Wilderness and only three returned. It becomes clear that Silas, now dedicated to the protection of the wilderness, was charismatic, impulsive and rather selfish, and that each of the teens made some poor choices.

There’s a lot of detail about the Search and Rescue process, no doubt drawn from the author’s experience, and Hagstrom’s descriptions of the setting are very evocative. An impressive debut.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing

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This story was so well written with intriguing characters, that you will be hooked from the start, it's about love, secrets and best friends. Is history repeating itself or is this punishment for something that happened years ago?

Sila hopes that returning to his childhood home will be a new start for him and his boys, and a chance to face his demons. It was there his life changed forever fifteen years ago. Silas and his friends venture into the woods the four of them. But only three of them come back and there their friend Jessica was never found.

So, when his two boys go missing in the same woods, causing a wound to open that he fought so hard to keep close. There is a storm brewing, and each minute more precious than the next, the three of them must face what truly happened in the wood that fateful day.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book for my honest review.

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The Wild Between Us by Amy Hagstrom

Excellent dual timeline story that drew me in, made me care, and had me thinking about choices and the impact they can have on lives.

What I liked:
* The plot, pacing, setting, and writing
* The backstory of Meg, Danny, Silas, and Jessica that impacts the present search and rescue that takes place
* Thinking about how age impacts choices made whether five- and seven-year-old boys, high school seniors, or adults
* Thinking about some of my own choices at various ages and being thankful that I did not have to face situations like those of the characters in this book
* Remembering my brother and sister, perhaps a bit older than Cameron and Spencer, adventuring, getting lost, being searched for into the dark of night, and the joy of having them home again
* Reading about search and rescue and how teams work together
* Reading about “metabolic icebox” – a new term to me
* The idea that there is hope for the future and the possibility of making new choices to improve one’s situation

What I didn’t like:
* Who and what I was meant not to like
* Thinking about the ripple effect of some of the choices made by characters in this book

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC – This is my honest review.

4-5 Stars

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This was just ok. I really struggled to get into this book. It really was not for me. It was very slow paced and it did not hold my intrest very well.
This is told in a dual timeline and I had a difficult time liking the characters. 15 years ago Jessica disappeared and what happened remained a mystery. Fast forward 15 years and 2 little boys also disappear on the same trail. Read this one of you want to see how the situations are related.

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“You’re leaving me with all this?”
“No. I’m taking it with me.” 😭😭😭😭😭

This book had me SWEATING from the very first page. Maybe since I’m a parent myself but good lord, this book nearly had me in tears thinking of those little boys lost 😭 I loved the dual timeline and watching them solve two cases at once. And when I tell you I did NOT see the end of the first story coming…I loved this book.

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was a great thriller and keeps you wanting more! Love the outdoor aspect of this book also. Can’t wait to read more from this author.

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Truly suspenseful, well done, and hard to put down. The Wild Between Us explores an unimaginable horror, while still packed with heart and hope. And those twists?! This book ticked all the boxes for a great domestic thriller. Perfect for fans of Laura Griffin or Jenifer Ruff.

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Amy Hagstrom you had me totally engaged throughout this incredible story - focused on rescuing two young boys lost in the wild as well as solving a 15 year old mystery. The dual timeline aspect of this story worked incredibly well, sharing snippets of the past that served to better understand the dynamics between four friends from high school who reunited - one the parent of the missing boys, one is deceased, and the other two have remained a couple since high school.
The rescue operation kept me on the edge of my seat saying prayers. Although I knew the mystery would be solved the revelation of it was the perfect solution for Meg and Silas. The title says it all…the wild between us. The setting and the descriptions of the terrain made visions come so vividly to my mind, especially the mine shafts. I still have one remaining question that was not answered…who gave Jessica the necklace?
Many many thanks to Amy Hagstrom, Lake Union Publishing, and NetGalley for affording me the pleasure of reading an arc of this recently published book. Job well done and I will be eagerly awaiting your next novel Amy Hagstrom.

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I received a digital ARC from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I loved everything about this novel. The alternating timelines, and chapters kept me turning pages. The pacing was perfect. I look forward to reading more from Amy Hagstrom.

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"The Wild Between Us" by Amy Hagstrom is a gripping tale of suspense and redemption set against the breathtaking backdrop of the California Sierra Nevada. The author skillfully weaves together past and present, as Silas Matheson confronts the haunting mysteries of his own history while racing against time to rescue his missing sons. The story's relentless pace, coupled with the vividly depicted wilderness, creates an immersive experience for the reader. The characters, particularly Silas, Danny, and Meg, are well-developed and relatable, their shared past adding layers of complexity to the unfolding drama. As the search and rescue mission intensifies, the narrative skillfully builds tension, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. While the novel delves into the darker aspects of the character's past, it also explores themes of resilience and the enduring bonds of friendship. "The Wild Between Us" is a page-turner that seamlessly combines heartrending suspense with a rich exploration of human emotion and the healing power of confronting one's demons. This four-star review reflects the novel's ability to captivate and engage readers, making it a compelling addition to the genre of suspenseful fiction.

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The Wild Between Us was a fast-paced, deliciously tense, thriller-laced drama. The plot focuses on the disappearance of two little boys after a move to a mountain lodge with their Father, but also jumps to a previous disappearance associated with their Father 15 years prior.

The novel seamlessly jumps between timelines and wraps them together easily. I know some people don’t like this style of writing, but the Author does a fantastic job of alternating and blending the stories together. I read this one pretty quickly, so I obviously was intrigued.It’s actually hard to believe that this is Amy Hagstrom’s debut novel! It’s really well done.

Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for gifting me an ARC in exchange for my honest review. I really enjoyed this one!!

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A solid dual timeline story. I liked the wilderness/outdoors aspect to it. The bad weather and terrain really added to the tension of the book. Very atmospheric! I am in no hurry to visit the Sierra Nevadas!

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This was an emotional and heartfelt genre mash up of mystery, thriller, and fiction told from two POVs alternating timelines from past to present. The setting is in the Sierra Nevada mountains where Silas’ two boys go missing when they venture out to take a hike on their own. It stirs painful memories from 15 years before when a friend of Silas went missing in those same mountains only never to be found. Meg is one part of a pair of his best friends from those high school days 15 years ago, and very much a part of the events when their friend went missing. She dedicated her life to being part of a search and rescue group and they find themselves face to face after a 15 year long absence where she’s helping Silas find his boys. The present search is an emotional rollercoaster, and the past events as they unfold include an added suspense to the present and when both collide so many answers come to the surface with a curveball I did not see coming. I really enjoyed reading this book!

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This is such a beautiful and powerful time-jumping story.

I loved every moment I spent with the characters in the Sierra Nevada Mountains!

After fifteen years, Silas Matheson returns to the wilderness in the mountains. He inherited the lodge from his aunt with the purpose of helping him, because his life as a single dad isn’t going all that well.
Silas isn’t 100% sure he should quit his job though. It would mean leaving his old life behind.

When Silas was 18, he went hiking with his former girlfriend, Jessica, and his two best friends, Meg and Danny. Jessica disappeared and her body was never found.
Silas left for college and cut off all contact with Meg and Danny... that is until some young kids go missing...

7 year old Spencer and 5 year old Cameron disappear into the same woods Jessica did... and now the race is on to find out where the boys went and to discover what really happened to Jessica.

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This is a debut book for this author and she did a fantastic job. It's a heartfelt story that really keeps you on edge through a lot of the story. Keeps you turning the pages for more of what happened before. Fifteen years before to be exact.

This book is about two boys who go missing. About the horrors of not knowing where you little boys are. Realizing that you was not paying attention when they left. And that it's been fifteen years since it happened the first time on your watch.

Silas was a super popular person. He lived life to the fullest. He seemed to have it all. His best friend Danny and Danny's girlfriend Meg are together most of the time. They go all over the hills around the lodge that Silas's uncle and aunt own. They are the best of friends. Then comes Jessica. She and Silas are a bit of a couple. She's a cheerleader and all around perfect high school girlfriend. Just not for Silas. He has eyes for another.

What happened in 2003? What does it have to do with 2018? Jessica went missing in 2003 and Silas's boys go missing in 2018. Could there be a tie or is it coincidental? It's fifteen years after Jessica's disappearance but Meg and Danny are working as SAR(search & rescue) to find these two young boys. There are so many places to look. So many places where they could have gone. Gotten lost. Something, anything, could happen to them. It's cold and raining and they are only seven and five. They are just babies. It was hard to read some of this. Some that had me holding my breath when things were happening. I cried hard in a few places. Just the thought of two little boys being out, lost, alone, in this area was heart-wrenching. You could feel Silas's fears.

I figured out fairly early on what happened to Jessica but in no way did this take away from this story. It was well written. Well researched it seems. This story takes you on the path to find two young boys but so much more will be found. Even through the tears I enjoyed reading this book. It was sad in places but it was also so good. I could picture the terrain. The lakes. The lodge. The three friends who may not have been as close as they seemed. Or may have been closer than anyone knew. It felt real.

This is a huge FIVE star read for me. Very well written. Heartfelt. Heartbreaking. But also filled with lots of love. Well done.
I will post links after tomorrow. I read this as part of a blog tour and can't post until Sunday November 19, 2023

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Loved it!! I really enjoyed how the book alternated between Meg and Silas in 2018 and 2003. If Silas's boys never went missing, would the truth about Jessica's disappearance ever been revealed? I can't imagine a five and seven year old attempting to climb a mountain on their own. They must have been terrified. I'm not sure how Danny and Meg stayed together for so long. They didn't seem to like each other much. Danny always dismissed Meg. They didn't even work well as a team, while they were looking for the Matheson boys. I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know what really happened to Jessica and if they would find the boys.

Definitely recommend the book. Loved the characters, story and writing style. It had a bit of a mystery with regards to what happened to Jessica. It had me guessing if Meg, Silas, Danny or some random stranger was involved. Look forward to reading more books by the author. Loved the cover of the book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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If you are looking for an atmospheric mystery set in the mountains look no further than The Wild Between Us. Told in dual timeline and dual POVS, it follows the story of Silas as he returns to his family’s mountain lodge now with his two young sons only for them to go missing bringing up old fears from his past. Silas reunites with his old friends, Meg and Danny, as they are know part of search and rescue as a sort of penance for the disappearance they are all tied too.

The tension between the former friends is thick and old secrets come to light as the team searches for the missing boys. The cracks expand even wider as the past timeline progresses and it spills over into the present timeline. The way the story is told it’s very clear there is a villain among the friends and while I figured it out I think a lot of readers won’t until it’s revealed.


Thank you @katerockbooktours @AmyHagstromWrites and @AmazonPublishing for this gifted eARC and a spot on the book tour.

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