The Hike by Lucy Clarke opens with a stunning prologue. The first couple of paragraphs were amazing. So much so I took a photograph and posted them on Twitter. (So others could share my delight!)
There have been quite a few books about groups of friends or colleagues going camping or hiking and one doesn’t return. I thought this might be similar and focus on the aftermath or fallout of a missing hiker…. with the remaining group having to keep silent in a ‘what happens on hike stays on hike‘ kinda thing.
But it’s not like that at all. And though I’m sooooo not interested in hiking or camping or the wilderness, Clarke managed to grab my attention and keep it until I turned the last page of this book.The Hike
by Lucy Clarke
Published by HarperCollins
Source: Harper Collins
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
Leaving behind their everyday lives, four friends hike out into the beautiful Norwegian wild – nothing between them and the mountain peak but forest, sea and sharp blue sky.
But there’s a darker side to the wilderness. A woman went missing here one year ago, scarring the mountain with suspicion and unanswered questions.
Now, the friends are hiking into the heart of the mystery. And waiting on the trail is someone who’d do anything to keep their secrets buried – and to stop the group walking away alive . . .
We learn the four friends met at high school and have remained in touch to varying extents. The most recalcitrant of the group is pop star Joni. Like her friends she’s struggling with stuff she’s kept from the others and the hike comes at the right time. Bordering on drug addiction, she needs a circuit breaker. We learn doctor Liz – whose life seems perfect – is about to start a trial separation with her husband (and high school boyfriend). Successful business woman Helena, may be pregnant despite deciding she didn’t want kids. And Maggie – struggling financially with a toddler and dealing with an unreliable ex – realises she needs to let others pick up some of her slack.
The group’s annual holidays usually involve beaches and resorts so no one other than Liz – who’s choice it was – is particularly enthralled with the idea of the hike, but all go along with it. Reluctantly.
This is only the second book I’ve read of Clarke’s, (the other being One of the Girls, published in 2022) which had a similar theme around old friends; besties and frenemies. But this is great on a number of levels. The women felt very real and not at all like clichés. And the drama on the mountains isn’t over-the-top or exaggerated. Long-kept gripes arise within the group, exacerbated as the weather turns against them. And the danger in which the women find themselves is not the result of targetted malice but rather being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A reminder how fickle fate (and life) can be.
The Hike by Lucy Clarke will be published in Australia by Harper Collins and available in late April 2023.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.