by M.J. Ford
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Pub Date 10 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 25 Nov 2022
Avon Books UK, Avon
In the wilderness, it’s kill or be killed…
When Gemma Kline is reported missing after setting off on a solo hike in the remote Pennines, her sister, Sarah, is dumbfounded. How can someone disappear without a trace?
Travelling to the isolated town where Gemma was last seen, Sarah discovers it’s not the first time a young woman has vanished from the hills in mysterious circumstances. As she digs deeper, it quickly becomes apparent that neither disappearance is what it first seems – especially when unwelcoming locals share chilling tales about what’s really lurking on the moors…
Whatever has happened to her sister, one thing is clear: this town has secrets someone would kill to keep. But even on the fells, nothing stays buried forever…
A gripping and atmospheric crime thriller set in one of the most remote corners of the British wilderness, perfect for fans of Chris Hammer, Jane Harper and Michael Connelly.
Readers love The Hiker:
‘Now this was GOOD! What a story! Brilliantly gripping!’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I loved this book… gripping with atmosphere and tension. Twisty, creepy, and unpredictable.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Full of unexpected twists and turns… it really keeps you guessing till the last page.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Engaging and menacing… nothing and nobody are what they seem.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘So, so, so good! Eerie, beautiful, haunting, shocking… the writing was absolutely superb, bringing the incredible setting and shock-factor alive. Excellent thriller!’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘This twisty storyline had me hooked and I tore through the pages… kept me on the edge of my seat.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Dark and foreboding… A great read.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘An excellent crime thriller… held my attention from start to finish.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A real page turner! Five stars.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘This book kept me on the edge of my seat with twists and turns throughout… impossible to put down!’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A fantastic read full of mystery and suspense. And that ending…. I did not see that coming! Highly recommended.’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘The many twists and turns had me gasping aloud. I could not put this book down… And I have firmly decided I will never be going on a solo hike again!’ NetGalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 210 members
So, so, so good! Eerie, beautiful, haunting, shocking. So many twists that I did not see coming! And the writing was absolutely superb, bringing the incredible setting and spook-factor alive in equal measure. Excellent thriller!
Intriguing book, plenty of twists, turns and thrills. Definitely recommend it for people who like a good thriller. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed the setting of this book, the moors turning dark and menacing when the sun disappears. Sarah finds herself there looking for her estranged sister, and finds some reticent locals, tales of big cats in the wild landscape, a gloomy estate whose owners moved out years ago, and a local girl, who, like her sister, disappeared without a trace. Gemma, the younger sister, has her story told too in alternate chapters, it’s an effective way of telling both stories and gives us background for how both sisters ended up in this small village. A wild end ties up the various story lines. I read an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.
I enjoyed reading this book, it was well written, had a gripping plotline, well-developed characters, and a remote setting that added atmosphere and tension to the plot. This was a twisty, creepy, unpredictable story. This is a book I'll definitely recommend and keep an eye out for more from the author. Overall I just loved how this book had to want to keep reading and ignore everything else because you just wanted to get to the bottom of everything and find out how it all ends.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this eArc in exchange for an honest review.
Really good thriller, with plenty of twists and turns; did not see the twists towards the end coming. Definitely worth reading
When Sarah discovers that her sister Gemma has gone missing on a hike in the Penines, she sets out to discover the truth. It becomes clear that other girls have gone missing in this area. The more she digs, the more she uncovers and, whilst locals are less than helpful with their tales of doom and despair, what secrets are being kept here? Laced with a sense of underlying menace and with a credible cast this is an engaging suspense where nothing and nobody are what they seem.
Great thriller, one of the best I've read recently that was slightly let down by the ending imho.
The voice is really fresh, I loved both sister's parts and the dual timeline worked really well. Also coming from the North East the setting was a fun one for me (although I wasn't a huge fan of some of the dialect choices "Tek" etc).
What let it down was the ending, I don't think the author needed to pile on the second incident / set of baddies - their behaviour was in no way rational and it descended into hyperbole at that point. It also felt like the author kind of ran out of steam at the end ("I'm not going to dwell on the psychological reasoning why a baddie was a baddie") and more tying up could have been done.
Also what did Gemma do with the money from her mother's house sale?! It didn't make sense to me that she was totally broke when she'd inherited 50% of a London house (albeit a small council house on the outskirts) 5 years earlier and there was no explanation of where the money had gone.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy.
This book was full of many unexpected twists and turns. It helped keep me engaged to the very last page. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. I really enjoyed the way the story unraveled.
The book is told from the viewpoints of sisters Sarah and Gemma. Gemma’s viewpoint from the past intertwined with Sarah’s viewpoint from the present.
The main story focuses on the disappearance of Gemma and her sister Sarah’s desperate search to find her. Gemma is not the only person to go missing in this small town and the town’s people have a lot to hide. There are so many different characters and side plots, that it really keeps you guessing til the last page.
I look forward to reading more from M.J. Ford in the future.
First off, this book was awesome, and definitely veered off into some unexpected craziness towards the end! Sarah and her sister, Gemma, haven't seen each other since their mother's funeral years ago when they had a terrible argument that left them estranged. But now shortly before her wedding, Sarah's contacted by the local police because Gemma is missing. Her boyfriend's body is found in a burnt up car near where they had been away on a hiking trip. That fact alone is suspicious to Sarah, as Gemma is the last person to spend her free time hiking, especially in a small town so far from her home. She soon realizes she can't ignore this situation, imminent wedding or not, and she leaves London to go search for her sister.
The local townspeople are anything but friendly and instead of answers, all Sarah hears are tales of abandoned estates and strange creatures roaming in the wilderness. It's because another girl named Alice went missing years ago, also apparently vanishing from the face of the earth when she was out for a walk. And she lived in that now-abandoned estate. Alice has never been found and Sarah fears that Gemma will meet the same fate. The local police seem more suspicious of Gemma than worried that she's in trouble and Sarah can't find anyone to take her claims seriously. But the deeper she digs into the local lore the more she's putting herself at risk. Will she find Gemma or will she become the next one to disappear?
The story is told from the point of view of both Sarah and Gemma, which helps the reader compare what they see in one narrative with the other. Plenty of discrepancies to found, that's for sure. The townspeople are all kinds of crazy and no one is who they seem to be. There's one surprise after another as the story reaches the conclusion and even though some details sound unbelievable, I find it plausible that in a town like this, with the history that it has, nothing is impossible.
I loved this book, it was well written with a gripping plotline and well developed characters and a remote setting that added atmosphere and tension to the plotline. It was twisty, creepy and unpredictable, I really enjoyed reading it. I will definitely be recommending this and looking out for more from the author,
The pacing of this book was excellent, with every few pages leaving me with a new question, or wondering what the next page was going to tell me. The general plot had me interested right the way throughout and, shock, I didn't guess the ending! I specifically enjoyed the frequent nods back to the history of the village and key characters. There were the odd couple of occasions where the writing felt a little clumsy, as if the line of thinking had suddenly switched to something entirely different to what was going on in the moment but it didn't distract too majorly from the main plotline.
The style of writing was easy to read, and pleasurable to do so, and I was left feeling like I really did understand Sarah's and Gemma's perspectives on the people of the village. Later in the book there's even the northern dialect used, and it's small details like this that bring you back to where the book is set.
The general feeling this book has left me with is one of unease, feeling creeped out and maybe somewhat slightly untrusting of small quiet villages which seemingly have nothing going on other than a bit of a strange history.
Great thriller, couldn't put it down, likeable characters, twists and turns along the way, can't.wait.for.the next one from this author
The first couple of pages I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy this book but then BAM it took off at a galloping pace. The writing draws you in and at some points my heart was in my mouth and the adrenaline was pumping. I can’t remember the last time a book did this to me. I was totally immersed in this and definitely the best book I’ve read in a long time.
A week before Sarahs wedding she decides to find her estranged sister who has sent a postcard saying she can’t attend the wedding. Why is Sarah yearning to find out what has happened to Gemma? Is it for old times sake that she wants her baby sister there?
Without giving away any spoilers I rate this book a solid 4.9 stars. 1 teeny tiny thing let it down for me but I won’t give the game away.
Thank you Netgalley & M J Ford for the advanced copy of The Hiker which deserves to be one of the best reads you will have for a long time.
Well written and intriguing. It does take a little bit for this book to pick up but once it does, I could not stop reading. One sister goes on a journey to find out what happened to her missing sister. and along the way has to unravel the secrets kept by a small tight lipped village community. She discovers that her sisters disappearance could be related to that of another young girls years prior. Mystery and myths converge to make a delightful read. Thanks for publisher Avon and Netgalley for this ARC.
The author’s writing style lends itself perfectly to the genre. They know exactly when to end a scene and mount suspense. The characters are well-drawn and believable. The plot is perfectly paced, holds your interest, and keeps you guessing.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book. This was an excellent read.
Sarah and Gemma are the two main characters in this book they are sisters, they have not spoken for years, Sarah is a lawyer who appears to have it all great job a beautiful house and is getting married soon, Gemma struggles to make ends meet and her boyfriend Mark is no better, Sarah receives news that Mark has been found dead in a burnt out car but there is no trace of her sister Gemma who is missing, Sarah doesn’t hesitate to go looking for her sister who was last seen in a small village, the village people are not terribly friendly and some have very crazy ideas, the local police are not much help either, Great descriptions in this book the reader actually feels like you in the moors and the rugged countryside, urban myths and strange people this was a great book
Slightly far-fetched plot about two sisters who have become estranged. When one goes missing, the other travels to the north of England to try to find her. Without much help from the police she tries to find her last whereabouts before she disappeared. She is confused how her sister ended up in this small remote village. The villagers are all a little strange with some rather bizarre tales. Good page turner.
This was a gripping read and held my interest throughout. There were lots of twists and turns to keep the story interesting
The Hiker by M.J. Ford After a slow start, the action picks up and evolves into quite a thriller. Past disappearances, a community with a myriad of secrets, twists and turns make for a suspenseful read in Sarah's search for her missing sister, Gemma.
Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
This book takes you on a ride and is interesting. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book.
I really enjoyed this book, full of twists and turns with a good ending.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.
Sarah is preparing for her upcoming wedding when she finds out her estranged sister, Gemma, has gone missing. Her boyfriend’s car has been found burnt, with him in it, but she’s nowhere to be found. Although she hasn’t spoken to Gemma for several years, she has to know what’s happened to her. When a clue leads her to a small town, she starts making enquirers with the local townspeople, but not everyone seems to be as forthcoming or honest as they should be. What really happened to Gemma?
The Hiker was a good double style mystery, with two missing girls, years apart, and a cast of both friendly and shady characters - working out which were which was definitely part of the fun! Based on the title, I was expecting the story to revolve around a hiking disappearance and the resulting survivor type story, but that really didn’t have much to do with it at all. There were some other animalistic type plot points that had me excited (I love big cats and stories with wild animals!) but that didn’t quite work out how I expected (or hoped) either. Nonetheless, they were expectation mistakes on my behalf and it was a solid mystery/thriller. I enjoyed the multiple points of view with the differing timelines, it made for a well rounded story that linked all the clues and twists together nicely.
This book really wasn't what I had expected based on the title. The story is much more complex and really has nothing to do with anyone going hiking. Sarah discovers that her sister Gemma has gone missing and she sets out to discover what has happened. The two have an estranged relationship but Sarah is determined to uncover the truth. Locals seem to be unhelpful to the point of obstructive, and it is clear there are secrets being kept. The story is unusual and quite menacing, and kept me interested to the end.
In the hiker by MJ Ford Sarah is happy she is a divorce lawyer in the week away from her own expensive wedding to the love of her life. When inspector show up at her office looking for her sister Jenna and questions about her boyfriend Mark who was found in a burnt out car she is confused as to how they found her, she hasn’t spoken to her sister since the mothers death five years ago. Sarah and Jenna have led two totally different lives. Despite this Sarah feels compelled to find her sister. She goes on an investigative road trip and find the village where her sister was last seen and although the local residents or close mouth about her sister there also hesitant to talk about the other girl that went messing and what they think happened to both of them. I enjoyed this book, but I really thought it was going in a different direction. In the beginning of the book it lead you to believe it’s something supernatural, but either way it is a good thriller and worth reading. If you love great mysteries then you will love this book just don’t think I think this is a great book that holds your interest and that is why I gave it four stars and highly recommend it. I was given this book by net galley and I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any grammar or punctuation errors as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own.
This was totally different to the type of book I normally read and I wasn’t sure how I would enjoy it but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t really want to put it down! I liked both Sarah and her sister and didn’t guess the ending at all. I like a book that keeps you guessing until the end and this certainly did!
The author set the scene well, the characters were written well. It's not my thing if I am honest but it was good and I'd definitely buy as a gift for friends who would really love this book
Sarah Kline is a solicitor at a city law firm specialising in divorce. When her sister Gemma is reported missing in the remote north Pennines, Sarah needs to find out what has happened to her. Travelling to Hartsbridge, a small town in the Pennines on the border between Northumberland and County Durham, where Gemma was last seen, Sarah is told by the local police that Gemma and her boyfriend are both "in some sort of trouble" - probably criminal. But what?
The mystery deepens when Sarah learns that it's not the first time that a young woman has disappeared without trace in unexplained circumstances: sixteen years before, 15-year-old Alice Brocklehurst had vanished from nearby Brocklehurst Hall. As for the hall itself, "who knew what other secrets it would be hiding?"
Sarah soon discovers that there are dark secrets that the locals want to keep hidden - and are prepared to kill to do so. And perhaps the terrifying tales of a mysterious creature lurking on the moors are real after all...
All is revealed in this readable novel, a mixture of crime thriller and American Werewolf in London/Hound of the Baskervilles-type mystery.
M.J. Ford wrote The Hiker. A fast-paced, stand-alone novel in the crime thriller genre. Supposedly, there's a wild animal causing havoc in Hartsbridge, but only one local believes this as no one has ever seen it. A young girl named Alice disappeared fifteen years ago. Nobody has seen her since. She was born to wealthy parents living on a luxurious estate called Brockleburst Hall. On the day Alice disappeared, she walked past the stables only to discover that her horse Castor had injured itself. She could not ride him to meet her friend Daniel secretly.
The last time the two sisters, Sarah and Gemma, saw one another was at their mother's funeral over five years ago. Sarah Kline is a divorce lawyer whose getting married to Doug in one week. Sergeant Sadler and Constable Sanjit visited her at the office with the news that her estranged sister Gemma had vanished. They found her boyfriend, Mark Lane's badly burned body, and his burned-out car in Hartsbridge. Gemma worked at the Elm House Nursing Home and shared a home with Mark. Because of financial difficulties, they had a hard time paying their rent. What was the reason for going to Hartsbridge?
This book kept me on the edge of my seat with its twists and turns throughout, and I found it nearly impossible to put down. It's a well-written and well-edited novel, with nothing negative about the storyline. Without a doubt, I recommend this book to mature audiences who appreciate a good crime thriller. I give it a five out of five-star rating.
Congratulations on a job well done!
Two sisters, estranged having had to cope with an alcoholic mother, their lives have taken different paths. Sarah is successful, a lawyer, about to marry the man of her dreams. Gemma works in a care home, her boyfriend loses his job and she hits rock bottom in an effort to keep paying the rent. They haven't spoken since their mother's funeral years before.
Then Gemma disappears in the Pennines and big sister Sarah feels she has to at least try to find her, or what has happened to her. However, her arrival in the village is met with less than a warm welcome and she begins to worry in earnest.
A real rollercoaster of a read - you just think you've got it all sorted out and the plot swerves and takes off in a new direction. I really enjoyed it, was kept guessing, and felt the whole thing was well handled and a fun read. The only thing I didn't really understand was the title!
Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I really liked this story, I liked how both girls stories ran along side each other and intertwined with each other. It set a good pace right from the start and kept me entertained till the end. I wanted to know what would happen. It is such a fresh idea and one I have not read before. Sarah is on the hunt for her sister to a isolated town where her sister was last seen, but with the locals being mysterious and a bit suspect what actually has happened to her sister and will Sarah be able to find her before it is too late? A really good story, I felt as though you could almost feel as though you are there. You could cut the tension with a knife and it all felt very unpredictable. A great thriller.
This is a stand alone crime thriller, and a first book I’ve read by the author. I like the rustic setting where the majority of the book takes place. You can easily picture the village, Manor House and many residents of the remote village.
I read this book quite quickly and it held my interest throughout thanks to plenty of action in the story, and it’s twists and turns. I liked the character development and I didn’t expect the many plot twists that took place. If you are a fan of this genre, I definitely recommend this book.
I like how past and present intermingled in this novel and at the end mystery was solved. It was a good read.
I was enthralled with this book. I found the writing style to be so casual and matter-of-fact that it was almost like you knew the main character personally and I felt I immediately liked her. The storyline was great. I will admit there were times, up until about 70% of the way through, where I wondered how the prologue could be linked to the main story. Atmospheric and easy to read- I recommend to anyone wanting a crime/mystery novel to curl up with!
I loved this title! It kept me up last night as I simply could not put it down. The sister's relationship, the desperation of Gemma and Mark, and the creepy history everyone knows but no one is sharing. It is a delightful page-turner!
I would call this book - Brilliant- pacey - spooky - scary and quite hard to put down at night. I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to things that go bump in the night and there were a few nights I left my light in longer than is appropriate for a woman of my advanced years!
Despite the title this is more of a werewolf in London style thriller set in a small village in the North East with lots of creepy characters and a before and after narrative from two sisters. It’s really enjoyable with plenty of twists and a storyline that has enough pace and intelligence to keep you reading to the last page. Must check out more by this author.
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