Cover Image: The Wild Between Us

The Wild Between Us

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Member Reviews

Amy Hagstrom skillfully weaves an enigmatic tale, which kept me captivated until the end. There are some unexpected revelations, very well developed characters and vivid descriptions of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, all of which kept me enthralled.

When Silas Matheson’s two young sons go missing in the rough terrain surrounding their home, it is somewhat of a deja vu moment, not only for Silas himself, but for the Search and Rescue Teams involved. Fifteen years prior, Silas had a friend go missing in these exact mountains. He knows exactly how it must look to have it happen again.

The story is told in a dual timeframe between Silas’ childhood and currently as a father. There are some definite thought-provoking moments dealing with human behavior and the complexities involved in keeping secrets. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a tale of family drama, coming of age stories or just a good mystery.

Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the eARC.

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The Wild Between Us is an interesting read, combining a mystery/who dunnit with a present day rescue mission. Hagstrom has created interesting characters; I would have liked more depth, though. At times, what is revealed about the characters, particularly Silas and Meg, becomes redundant and obvious. The shifting of the story between the current SAR and the mystery of what happened 15 years ago advances the plot in an interesting manner. Additionally, Hagstrom's first hand knowledge of the Sierra Nevada and with the complexities of search and rescue allow her to add interesting details to the novel.

I will definitely keep an eye out for more of her work.

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This is my first read by Amy Hagstrom and definitely won’t be my last.

The compelling suspense and dual timelines had me on the edge of my seat.

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This is a tense story, a situation involving missing children, whose fate is intertwined with the past. Echoes of events 15 years ago seem to be pushing into the present for Silas the two missing boys and for Danny and Meg. Danny, Meg and Silas have gone through a similar nightmare in the past when their friend Jennifer vanished, now Silas' sons are missing and Danny and Meg feel the weight of responsibility and their memories as they determine to find them before the storm sets in.
Unbelievably tense, menacing and addictive this is a story that really draws you in.

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I don’t think anything could be worse than having your children missing, but making it worse, in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the freezing temperatures and inclement weather. Time is critical in finding Spencer and Cameron, Silas’s young boys. They got tired of waiting for their dad to go for a hike and ventured out on their own, only to find out they couldn’t find their way home. Scared, cold, afraid, would they be be found or would they lose their little lives , a fear of Silas’s.
Silas is sickened and is tragically remembering this horrific situation which seems all too familiar of his past, 15 years ago, in these very mountains, he and his friends lost their friend Jessica, and NEVER found her. His closest friends, Danny and Meg along with Jessica had gone hiking and Silas was always the one to push the limits and explore the depths of the mountains. One “funny” thing, led to another and the sky darkened, Jessica ran and they heard a scream!
How is it possibly for one person to have two tragic situations in their life! Silas loved the mountains and wanted to share his love with his boys. Did his carelessness cause him the most tragic fear of all?
Interesting topic and suspense is what drove me to choose this book. I rated it 4 stars for the fact I felt like the search dragged on at points and was a bit slow during those parts. Despite that, great novel and entertaining.
Thanks to @netgalley for this ARC

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I was annoyed and impatient by the frequent flashbacks to the past while reading about the present search for two missing boys in the mountains. However, the two plots came together nicely in the later part of the book, you just have to be keep reading.

The story itself was quite good. I just hoped that the way the past was presented didn't intrude so much on the present as to seem disruptive.

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I liked the time jumps, being able to look back at Silas’ past, what led him there.
The setting is wild yet somehow cozy.
I was able to picture the place well,
the characters intrigued me, I was struggling to put it down. Suspenseful and intriguing! I did not see some of the twists coming, and I found it easy to read. Overall a good thriller, and I would recommend it! It would be a perfect fall or winter read.
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for the ARC!

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Fifteen years ago, a girl went missing in the woods. She's never been seen since, but suspicions linger. Three other teenagers—Meg, Danny, and Silas—were in the woods with her, and they can't explain. And now, for the first time since it happened, they're all back in the same place...except Silas's young boys are lost in the woods, and it's a race against time and cold to find them.

This makes for a wonderfully solid read from a debut author. I'm a sucker for lost-in-the-woods books and gone-for-a-hike-in-the-woods books and murderer-in-the-woods books (and on and on it goes), and it's really satisfying to see so much of this book take place, well, in the woods.

The heavier emphasis is on the present-day search. Another reviewer noted that this is more a SAR book than a mystery, and that feels accurate—the search and rescue is very much the A plot to the disappearance B plot. That's partly because the search is so much more time-sensitive; there's a chance that Silas's boys can be saved, while there's no realistic good outcome for a girl who has been missing in the woods for more than a decade. But it's also because the POV characters aren't ready to share everything they know about that day fifteen years ago, when four went into the woods but only three came back out.

If there's a weak spot, that's where I see it—personal preference, but I'm generally not a fan of mysteries where POV characters know more than they're telling. It takes away a lot of the suspense for me, and I ended up wishing that we'd gotten more of that story earlier. Also, I guessed at the resolution of the years-old disappearance (or at least, the general shape of the resolution) relatively early on, and while I don't mind having guessed at it (give me a resolution that makes sense with the information you've been given rather than a twist that comes out of absolutely nowhere, any day of the week), there's a pivotal character who I would have liked to see more of in the present day.

With all that in mind: I want more of this! I'm going to have to mull over my final rating for "The Wild Between Us", but I won't hesitate to pick up more of Hagstrom's books...especially if they take place in the wild.

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing a review copy through NetGalley.

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"The Wild Between Us" by Amy Hagstrom is a gripping and emotionally charged novel of suspense that immerses readers in a thrilling search for two missing boys amidst the breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains. With its captivating storytelling and a backdrop of haunting mysteries from the past, Hagstrom delivers a suspenseful and unforgettable reading experience.

Silas Matheson, the central character, inherits his uncle's lodge in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains, hoping for a fresh start for his two young sons and a chance to confront his inner demons. But his new beginning takes a dark turn as his sons go missing in the same foreboding woods that hold painful memories from fifteen years ago. Silas, haunted by past events, is forced to confront his fear, guilt, and the secrets he has tried to bury.

When Silas calls for help, the local search and rescue unit responds, along with two familiar faces from his past, Danny and Meg. Together, they find themselves caught up in a frantic search that reopens old wounds and raises unsettling questions. As they race against time and face the imminent danger of an approaching storm, the hidden truths of the past begin to emerge, pushing Silas, Danny, and Meg to their limits.

Amy Hagstrom's writing is riveting, infusing the story with an atmosphere of suspense and unease. Her meticulous attention to detail brings the rugged beauty and treacherous nature of the Sierra Nevada mountains to life, amplifying the tension and creating a sense of claustrophobic urgency.

The characters in "The Wild Between Us" are expertly developed and layered with complexity. Silas, Danny, and Meg each bear their own burdens and haunted histories, creating a cast of individuals who are relatable and flawed. Their personal growth and internal struggles add depth to the narrative, immersing readers in their emotional journey.

Hagstrom skillfully blends the past and present, unveiling secrets and untangling the intricate web of connections as the search for the missing boys intensifies. While elements of the plot adhere to familiar suspense tropes, the author's ability to keep readers guessing and the execution of pivotal twists contribute to the overall enjoyment of the story.

In conclusion, "The Wild Between Us" is a gripping and emotionally charged suspense novel that exemplifies Amy Hagstrom's skill as a storyteller. With its atmospheric setting, well-developed characters, and relentless pacing, this book is highly recommended for readers seeking an engaging and thrilling read. Amy Hagstrom has crafted a compelling tale that explores themes of guilt, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity.

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I had the opportunity to read this engrossing novel before publication. The complex plot was carefully and skillfully crafted and peopled with fully-drawn and sympathetic characters. This definitely rates among the top 5% of the 110 novels I have read so far this year.

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The Wild Between Us by Amy Hagstrom

First time read by this author and I found her writing style very engaging.
A father takes his two wins into the Sierra Nevada mountains for a get away from it stay. They then go missing.
I enjoyed the plot and the way the story unfolded and how the past has lead to now.

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This was a really well done mystery going on, it was suspenseful atmosphere that worked well. I was invested in what was happening and wanted to know what was going on. Amy Hagstrom does a great job in writing this and I can’t wait to read more.

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This book had me at the first chapter following two young boys trying to be brave in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It then delves into their father, his estranged friends and a mystery from long ago that happen in the same place. I love learning about these characters, being in the middle of a search and rescue effort and the ending was very well done. Highly recommend this book!

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Enthralling, captivating and a brilliantly written romantic mystery. An exceptional story with a twist that rocks you to the core. Excellent character development throughout the novel that was impossible to put down. Highly recommended and well worthy of five stars.

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3.5 stars. Based on the description I was expecting more of a mystery. I feel as though it ended up being a search and rescue story that had a tiny mystery wedged in there.

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Aaah this book! Amy Hagstrom knows how to write a compelling story. I was tearing through pages into the early hours and honestly it felt like it was over too quickly. I could have spent a week in this book with her characters! I loved Silas and Meg and enjoyed being both in their past and their present. The ending and reveal really had me. I was right in my guess of what happened but that wasn't until towards the end of the book. It was so interesting to be thrown into the midst of a search and rescue. The writing is incredible and the story is one I think I'll want to pick up again. Highly recommend this book and author.

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