Shadow in the Woods by J.P. Choquette

Thriller, 256 pages, published in 2017

Addie joins her fellow therapist and some patients on an ecotherapy hiking trip. The weather is looking perfect, until a big storm hits and the group of six is forced to take shelter in a cave.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Content Warnings: guns, death, violence, mental illness (anxiety)

I picked this book up at a local used book sale because it looked intriguing and it is by a local author. I’m definitely getting more into mystery/thrillers lately, so I figured this would be a good one to try out.

Almost right away, you can tell things are going to go terribly on this ecotherapy trip. The four patients on the trip hadn’t really met before going on this trip, which I immediately thought was a bad idea. We get third person perspectives from all of the characters, so immediately some of their motives are definitely questionable.

I feel like the blame for any bad things that happened on this trip lies on the main doctor. He planned a four day hiking trip for a bunch of patients that don’t necessarily go hiking or camping. He also admitted to himself that the hike was harder than he let on, but he didn’t want everyone to limit themselves by thinking that they couldn’t do it. This is so wildly wrong to me, so I didn’t have too much sympathy when things started to go wrong. The big storm doesn’t hit until the second day, but on the first night/second morning, a bunch of stuff goes wrong and he still thinks it’s a good idea to keep going, even though the group definitely should have turned back at that point.

There are some fake news articles right at the beginning of the book, so I definitely had an idea of what was coming. I thought this was a little to heavy handed, but there was a twist that I was not expecting at all that kind of makes up for that.

The ending felt…weird. The goal throughout the book is for these characters to survive, but once you do see who survives, it just felt a little lackluster. I guess I was expecting some sort of twist at the end that would tie it all together, but I didn’t get that.

Overall, this was kind of a fun read, just because there were a ton of twists and weird things that happened, but the writing itself wasn’t perfect and the ending fell flat for me.

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