What could go wrong on a honeymoon in the wilderness? Plenty for a thrilling story of survival, terror, and psychological suspense. I’m often drawn to novels with wilderness/survival themes, and this one did not disappoint. Because the setting itself provides literary possibility, I appreciate this author’s use of language and metaphor, much of it unusual and stunning. Atop an overlook, as the newlyweds admire the vast magnificence of the forest, they’re hit with the reality they’re lost and may never be found: “The sight was hideous in its beauty, in what it meant for them.” Shocked at the discovery of violence in this setting of natural beauty and peace, the wife tries to make sense of it. The husband says, “What’s savage out here isn’t the land… It’s what people do to each other in it. That’s always been true. Wherever you happen to be.” The wife is discovering that her husband has a dark side: “Secrets were like dry rot, invisibly erode the floor beneath you and the walls all around.” And then, something far worse than her husband’s revelations awaits them in the forest, a surprisingly different kind of villain with an interestingly twisted view of the world. If you like a fast and thrilling read with moments of psychological insight and artful prose, Wicked River is for you.