Cover Image: The Rush

The Rush

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Member Reviews

A young couple joins two strangers on a trip across Australia's Outback while trying to stay ahead of a massive storm that is to be expected to produce massive flooding. Of course as the journey continues, tension gets thick and anger escalates between the group.

Meanwhile, Quinn works at the country pub in the middle of nowhere for Andrea and her family Quinn wants to leave before the storm hits to check on her childhood home that now sits empty. On her way, she discovers a body lying on the side of the road and as she checks the body, a hand grabs her. The person is still alive.

Andrea is preparing the pub for the dreadful storm. Her husband leaves to help a neighbor before the storm is to arrive leaving Andrea alone with her toddler son. A sketchy biker shows up seeking shelter from the downpour.

I found this to be a tense and terrifying book. The setup was great for all POVs to really bring the shocking, terrifying twist to be unexpected. The POV I found to be the most gripping was Andrea being home alone with her toddler son during the night with a massive storm, no cell reception, and a shady stranger needing shelter. This is one you'll want to read! Out now!

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Set amidst flooding storm, this story is evenly paced and quite brutal at times.
I liked some of the characters but thought they could’ve been fleshed out more, quite an edge of your seat plot however and a smooth style of writing.
This thriller is worth a read for sure.

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I was eager to start The Rush by Michelle Prak. And she didn’t disappoint with this amazing thriller!
I have to admit this is probably the best Australian thriller I’ve ever read before.
The suspense is there from the beginning, making this a true page-turner.
The Rush engages the reader with grand and realistic descriptions and a full set of intriguing characters.
This was one I could not seem to put down. Wonderful… It gripped me from the first page until the last. The characters are so amazing… This story kept me glued all the way through.

Thank You NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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The Rush by Michelle Prak

Jumping from one group to another to set the stage for what is supposed to be a suspenseful thrilling read is what I believe the author was set on achieving. I have to say that I had trouble relating to any of the characters or the situations they found themselves in but was invested enough to skim through to see what would happen to the woman who finds a man in need of care, four people on the road together, and a woman manning the pub on her own. And what will happen when the three different storylines intersect kept me skimming though not reading word for word. There was a twist within the twist at the end of the story, there were some rather horrible characters to be dealt with, there were some evil actions taken by more than one, and at one point I thought of past true crime stories I have read of or seen on the news. The closing seemed a bit of a soft landing after the rather gritty chapter that preceded it but all in all it was an okay if not gripping read. I know that many will love this story even though it was not for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane for the ARC – This is my honest review.

2-3 Stars

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Many thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and Dreamscape Media for gifting me both a digital and audio ARC of the debut thriller by Michelle Prak, the audio wonderfully narrated by Jodie Harris - 4.5 stars!

Four strangers set out on a road trip across Australia. Hayley and her boyfriend, Scott, are on a break from university and found two other people to share the expenses of the trip. But they are still strangers. Andrea and Matt own and work at a remote pub, where Quinn also works. When a storm comes, they must prepare with sandbagging, and Matt is called away to help a neighbor, leaving Andrea alone with their young son. Quinn is on the road when she spots a body - and stops to help.

This story takes place over 48 hours, going back and forth in time, from multiple viewpoints. This author nails the atmospheric tension of the desolate landscape and impending storm, coupled with the fears that all women alone face. I was terrified for all of them! Each different storyline will have you on the edge of your seat, and the ending was perfect. Fabulous debut - can't wait to read more from this author!

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For me, there is nothing more terrifying than “monsters” in human form, and Michelle Prak was relentless at preying on the many things that women fear most, in this FAST PACED adrenaline thriller set in the remote Australian Outback.

The story takes place over a 48 hours span, alternating back and forth in time, and between three narratives which eventually merge.

A rare February storm is coming and nobody knows better than Quinn how overpowering and deadly rain can be, because as a child, she witnessed a similar storm take down her father’s livestock and wash away everything in its path.

The first drops start to fall when Quinn spies a body in the road. She has already lost reception so she cannot call for help, and she feels obligated to stop.

Back at the Pindarry, the remote country pub where Quinn works, Andrea and Matt have begun sandbagging the place in preparation for heavy rains, when Matt is called to help a neighbor with flooding.

Alone with her sleeping three year old son in the back room, Andea reluctantly lets a biker in to wait out the storm, feeling obligated to do so, despite having reservations about him.

And, out on the wet roads, tensions are rising between four backpackers on their way to Darwin. Hayley and her boyfriend Scott, are on break from University and they have invited two others to join them on a road trip to share expenses. But, what do they really know about Joost and Livia?

They never expected to hit bad weather, but if they can just make it to the Pindarry, they will have a place to shelter in until the worst of the storm has passed.

The storm provides a menacing atmosphere, and the tension is PALPABLE! My heart was in my throat and if this were a movie on the big screen I would have been on the edge of my seat!

Worrying about Quinn’s loyal dog Bronte, added to my anxiety (thankfully she escapes unscathed!)

Don’t pick this up late at night if you plan on getting any sleep-the quick chapters had me saying “just one more” and before I knew it, it was way past my bedtime!

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A seemingly carefree road trip in the Australian outback turns into a nightmare for four young travelers as sunny weather becomes a once in a decade storm and flood that culminates in a standoff at a roadside pub. Excellent, fast-paced, debut thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The author does an amazing job of creating and sustaining tension from the very beginning. I did not see the ending coming at all, so kudos to the author for an unexpected twist. This was a quick, but suspenseful read (I read it in under four hours).

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This story takes place in the Australian outback which has been suffering from a drought but now the forecast is for plenty of rain and possible flooding due to a cyclone building off the northern coast. The story follows multiple characters including the husband and wife owners of a remote country pub, The Pindarry, and their employee who is currently making her way back to the pub from her father's house just as rain starts falling. Meanwhile, couple Hayley and Scott have teamed up with two total strangers to embark on a road trip to Darwin.

There are quite a few characters scattered across the area and we hear from some of them on a timeline of about 48 hours. Almost from the start I was on edge, only partly because of the threat posed by the storm and the isolation of the area. If you're at all familiar with the Outback I imagine you would really appreciate this book. The ending was *chef's kiss*! I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say it was creepy and intense and I highly recommend it. This is another instance where the epilogue was necessary and appreciated in my opinion.

Many thanks to Crooked Lane books via Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. This review will be published on Goodreads and Netgalley as of March 29, 2024 and on after the publication date, April 9, 2024.

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Quinn, Andrea, and Hayley. This thriller moves back and forth in time and between the three of them to tell a fast pace tale set in a storm in Australia. A lot happens in 48 hours- most of it horrifying in one way or another- but these are resilient women. Their stories will eventually merge but no spoilers from me as to how. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. This is an atmospheric page turner.

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This was an unputdownable read for me. I devoured it in one day. It begins with a road trip in the outback’ of Australia. Haley had planned a minute by minute trip with her long time boyfriend, Scott and two other people, who they vetted from the message boards. One an avid activist for climate and animal rights on her way to Darwin to get on a boat to capture poachers and another Dutch just wanting to see the site of the desolation of the outback. It all begins in a happy go lucky way until things go bad. Not expecting the torrent of rain that lasts for days, the group are unprepared. The have a small journey to get to a quaint pub in the middle of nowhere called Pindarry which has been featured on instagram in the travel blogs. However, what transpires is the nice little twist at the end where some don’t make it to the pub. This book is filled with lies, deception, murder and a couple really bad characters, not to mention a monsoon that hasn’t been seen in over 20 years.

Thank you #netgalley, #michelleprak and #crookedlanebooks for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book, #therush

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OMG, what a brilliant, suspenseful and tense book!! It was well written and very descriptive. The plot is told in several character's voices and told over different time periods. I did not want to put the book down! The ending of the book cames as a complete shock to me. I will be recommending this book.

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The Rush by Michelle Prak is a fast-paced debut psychological thriller set during a storm in the Australian Outback. It is highly recommended.

Quinn Durand has been clearing out her family house on their property which is for sale when she hurries to leave with her dog Bronte and head back to the Pindarry pub where she stays and works before the rain gets bad and flooding occurs. On the way home she finds a man lying in the road and stops. Back at the pub Matt, Andrea, and Ethan, their three-year-old son are serving their last customers, a group of bikers before they begin to prepare for the storm. At the same time a group of four young adults, Hayley, her boyfriend Scott, Brazilian Livia, and Dutchman Joost, are setting out on a trip from Adelaide straight north to Darwin and heading right into the storm. Tension is already beginning to rise in the group and they may not be prepared for what is to come.

The narrative reads like a movie and the action pulls you in, propelling the action forward just as quickly. This is a perfect example of a tension-packed "just-one-more-page" novel. Once you start reading, you will continue reading until the ending. It's a rapidly developing plot and each new development adds to the tension. You may have to suspend your disbelief a time or two, but, just like with a movie, you will go along with it to see what happens next.

The characters are all mainly caricatures of a type of person without a lot of nuance, with perhaps the exception of Andrea, but this choice works well in the novel due to the fast paced action and the cinema-like feel to the novel. The rain becomes a major character too, further isolating characters as the danger increases. There is one surprising twist that you won't see coming because it is very well done. Thanks to Crooked Lane Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

The review will be published on Edelweiss, X, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

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An enjoyably tense page turner, this had me up way too late so I could find out what happened to all the characters I had come to know.
As with many Australian novels, the sense of place and power of nature is well captured and the need for people to protect each other is highlighted - until you are betrayed of course...
Thank you to netgalley and Crooked Lane books for an advance copy of this book

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4.5 Stars. This is an enthralling, character-driven, atmospheric story about a flood in the Australian outback and some of the lives involved. I found it chilling and unpredictable, with many twists and reports from multiple perspectives that will converge later. It centres around a torrential rainstorm that results in flooding in the usually parched, dry Australian outback. The story focuses on well-developed characters, the terrified and the good and bad. It is not easy to distinguish which characters have evil intent.
The story's complex plot took the reader on a high-octane, chilling adventure. I was riveted by the fast-paced story, which had some breathtaking and shocking twists.

Haley and Scott are a couple on a university break. She persuades Scott to go on an adventure from Adelaide through the isolated outback to Darwin. She hopes the journey will restore their relationship, as Scott has been acting cranky and distant. Scott borrows an old van from a relative. The couple realizes they must find more travel companions to share expenses. They selected two applicants: Livia, a lovely Brazilian environmental activist. She travels the world for conferences warning about climate change and the preservation of nature. Joost is a young man from the Netherlands taking a break from his studies to travel around Australia. These two seem the most compatible to join on the trip. They discuss stopping at the isolated Pendarry pub when they cross the border to the Northern Territory. They are unprepared for the storm that hits when they are still in a remote part of South Australia. The roads flood, and they are miserable and drenched.

The four have disagreements and conflicts about how to proceed on the muddy, flooded roads. They become separated, and two feel abandoned and lost. The van is missing. Tension and clashes among the group of four eventually result in kidnapping, a life-threatening injury and death. Will any group members reach remote Pindarry for rest and shelter from the storm?

Meanwhile, Andeaa owns the Pindarry pub with her husband Max. They have prepared for the approaching storm by laying sandbags. Andrea is protective of her three-year-old toddler and is pregnant. They are miles away from cell phone reception, medical help and neighbours. Her husband is called away to help an elderly distant neighbour struggling with damage from the flood, leaving Andrea alone in the bar. They usually have a live-in helper, Quinn. She left to spend a short time at her family's abandoned property but has not returned. Andrea manages to evict a rowdy group of bikers, but the most worrisome one returns in the storm and refuses to leave. She is pleased that a soaking-wet stranger asks to come in and helps expel the biker.

When Quinn was driving to the pub with her dog, she discovered a man near death lying by the roadside. He has been severely beaten around the body and face. With no way to summon help, Quinn gets him in her car and brings him to the Pindarry establishment. The women administer first aid, but it seems futile. There may be internal injuries, and his face is damaged. The pub contains Andrea, Quinn, the stranger who sought shelter, and the unconscious, injured man.
Where are Haley, Scott, Livia and Joost?

There are shocks and surprises galore, and this gripping book will be among my favourites for 2024. I would have preferred that the book ended without the lengthy epilogue. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for permitting me to read an early electronic ARC. I was highly entertained and kept in suspense. The Rush is due to be published on April 09.

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PHENOMENAL!!! Thank you NetGalley, Michelle Prak and Crooked Lane Books for granting me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.


As a massive storm looms, Quinn, more than anyone, understands the potential danger it poses and the urgency to prepare for its potentially deadly impact. The first drops start to fall when Quinn spies the body. Faced with no reception and the impending storm, Quinn must decide whether to stop and help the person or keep driving to safety. Back at the country pub where Quinn works, Andrea is sandbagging the place in preparation for the heavy rains. Alone with her sleeping three year old son, Andrea reluctantly lets a biker in to wait out the storm. Meanwhile on the wet roads, tensions arise among four young backpackers on their road trip from Adelaide to Darwin through the center of Australia. They have not prepared for this kind of weather because it never rains in the Outback. Now they are alone, angry and afraid in unfamiliar surroundings and flooding isn't the only threat bearing down on them!! How well do they really know each other? Will they be able to find shelter to wait out the worst of the storm? Will they be stranded on the side of the road? Who will survive?

In conclusion, it is a thrilling and frightening adventure that had me gripping my kindle ever so tightly and sent chills up my spine! It definitely will make you think twice about taking a road trip! Now I need to buy the physical copy of the book for my personal collection. I highly recommend and it deserves infinite stars!!!💫💫💫💫💫

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"The Rush" was the worst book I read in 2023. I love thrillers based in Australia, and while this book did make you feel like you were way out in the Outback, it was a boring, tedious and hard to read book based on all the misogyny, stereotypes and build ups. The excessive build-up and pointless backstories at the beginning made it an arduous read, and let's not even talk about the mind-numbingly boring and irritating characters.
As the plot finally decided to grace us (solid 60% in) with its presence, it was a little too late to salvage anything. The 'twists' were there, but honestly, I couldn't muster the energy to care.
This book seemed to revel in stereotypes and, dare I say, a tinge of misogyny. Trigger warnings were sorely needed, and the whole experience left me questioning why I subjected myself to such a poorly executed piece. The initial idea might have had promise, but the author's execution was nothing short of disappointing. A solid two stars—proceed with caution or better yet, don't proceed at all.

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What an amazing thriller debut! This book reads quickly, but not because its so simply or easily written... but because it is so exciting. You just want to know what happens next! I loved the descriptions of the surroundings and the weather. Almost makes you feel as if you are there, sharing in the suspense. What I also liked is that is written from different points of view, that way I had not one single character that I was rooting for.

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Difficult to read at times due to the violence, shaming and treatment of females, The Rush could have been a good story with better developed characters and plot lines. The beginning is slow to move forward and the ending is rushed. Readers who like remote Outback stories may better appreciate this book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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This was a good story to complete my 2023 reading journey. The book summary introduces the three different storylines, which is a lot to pack into 272pgs. Michelle Prak’s fast-paced, edge of your seat story of bringing a bunch of strangers together out in the bush of Australia in a torrential rainstorm makes for an intense read.

The story starts with Quinn, a bartender at the legendary Pindarry Pub and Hotel, an Australian hotspot on social media, is on her way back to the Pindarry after packing up her family’s home that is being prepared to sell. It’s pouring down rain and she’s trying to get back to the Pindarry before the floods start when she sees a body in the road. The man is unconscious and really beaten and banged up, so she gets him into her car and takes him back to the Pindarry with her.

Back at the Pindarry, bar manager, Andrea, is alone with her three-year-old son, Ethan, after her husband, Matt, left to help a neighbor put up more sandbags at his home. Earlier in the day, Matt and Andrea had to kick out a bunch of bikers after one of them took off on a motorcycle with Ethan and drove around the parking lot. After Matt leaves, Rosey, the biker who took Ethan, comes back, and starts harassing Andrea and won’t leave when she tells him to get out. Right then, Joost walks into the Pindarry and shortly thereafter, helps Andrea get rid of Rosey out of the pub.

Joost is a Dutch guy from the Netherlands who was traveling the previous day with three other people, Hayley, Scott and Livia. However, he shows up at the Pindarry late at night, in the pouring down rain with a broken and bruised nose and other wounds on his face. Most of the story flips back and forth from the previous day between Joost and his travelling companions and the current day when he shows up at the Pindarry alone.

It's well into the second half that the three different storylines collide and after that it’s an intense and scary mad dash to the explosive end. The epilogue ties up all the loose ends into a very satisfying ending. I want to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for sending me this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

#NetGalley #CrookedLaneBooks #TheRush

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A group of four young people are on a road trip through the Australian bush; a woman and her husband are running a hotel in the middle of nowhere; and another young woman traveling alone finds a body in the road. These different storylines are building up to converge while a storm is on the way. The Rush was described as a popcorn thriller in the synopsis, but this book isn’t thrilling until at least 60% in. There is far too much build up and unnecessary back story; frankly the beginning of the book is just boring and filled with annoying characters. The plot does eventually pick up and there are some twists, but by that point it was hard to care. The switching of perspectives was the only thing that kept the pages turning, but that still didn’t redeem the book. The idea was good, the execution by the author was lacking. Three stars.

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