The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis is a post apocalyptic thriller about a 7 year old girl that gets swept away by a storm and ends up lost in the woods. She comes across a cabin after wandering for days with jerky drying on racks out front. She sneaks up and steals a piece. Trapper, the loner that lives there catches her and asks her if she likes the jerky. When she says yes, he takes her in and teaches her to survive. Unbeknownst to her, he is a notorious serial killer.
Once she learns of his true identity, many years later, she runs away and heads north on the Wolf Road. She is looking for her long lost parents who left her with Granny when she was very young. They left her so they could make their fortunes in the far north during the gold rush that happened after the big war.
On her trek north, she begins to have disturbing flashes of memory about learning to hunt, trap, and survive with Trapper. As she moves further and further north, she begins to remember more and more details of these teachings, but in bits and pieces which makes the story gripping. She also realizes that Trapper is tracking her which adds another element of tension into the story.
As she wrestles with her mixed feelings about Trapper – love one would feel for a parent and anger for his turning out to be an evil man bent on hunting and hurting others for his own pleasure, the tension builds. She eventually devises a plan to catch him with the marshall (and the mother of one of the boys he hunted). This story is disturbing and the unfolding of her memories as time goes on makes it even more so. I couldn’t help but feel both revulsion for the girl and sympathy for the traumatized young lady.
I really got into this book. I loved the tension of the slow unfolding of the girl’s memories of what really happened during those years she lived with the notorious serial killer. There was a definite feel of the old west about the story, mixed with a futuristic, apocalyptic overtone. The entire book was one long building tension after another.
I was rooting for the girl as she made her way north, at times, and despising her at others. I love a psychological thriller that makes me feel so many different things for the main character, it just feels more real somehow. You know how you can love someone, but really dislike some things about them, even in the midst of all that love? That’s what this book ultimately did for me.
Great, unique story line, told from the perspective of someone that lived with a serial killer for many years. She sees the good as well as the bad within him, which makes him more human to the reader. This author is deft at bringing depth to her characters and making the story feel as if it could be pulled right from the pages of today’s headlines.
True Grit meets The Road in this post-apocalyptic psychological thriller–narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim.
In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn’t her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires–everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements–and each other.
Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents.
But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won’t be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she’s going to survive, she’ll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he’s turned her into.
About the Author:
Beth Lewis is a managing editor at Titan Books in London. She was raised in the wilds of Cornwall and split her childhood between books and the beach. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has had close encounters with black bears, killer whales, and great white sharks. She has been a bank cashier, a fire performer, and a juggler.
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I received this book for free or at a discounted price from the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.