The Hike by Lucy Clarke – Book Review

The Hike is my second book by Lucy Clarke and it captures the elements I loved about the first one I read, The Castaways. The Hike is a psychological thriller with a real focus on female friendship and relationships. As the title suggests, it centres around a hike – a hiking holiday, to be precise – of four life-long friends. Things, as you may guess, do not turn out how everyone hoped they would…

Opening sentence: Her body lies broken on the mountainside.

Drama on the mountain

As you might have gathered from that high-impact opening sentence, a murder mystery element does come into play in The Hike. What starts as a walking holiday in Norway for four old pals – Maggie, Liz, Helena and Joni – ends as a hiking expedition with twists and turns that none of them are prepared for.

You can’t go into the wilderness without uncovering your wild self.

All four women’s lives are quite different now from their school days, from mum and GP Liz through to Joni, lead singer in a band and actual celebrity, their paths have veered in all directions.

Every year the women go on holiday to maintain their friendship, taking it in turns to pick the destination. Norway is Liz’s choice – she’s going through some things in her marriage and wants a more engaging holiday than just sitting by a pool. And yes, she certainly gets that.

They are doing a mountain hike which involves camping in the rural wilds – something none of the women have any experience in. This is enough to put them in a slightly perilous situation, but thrown in a potential killer on the trail too, and you have a very juicy story indeed.

Characters you care about

I really enjoyed how The Hike blended a murder mystery that kept you guessing right until the end – the implication that there are, perhaps, even some supernatural elements at play added further to the tense atmosphere – with the natural development of each of the characters. We are given snippets of their back stories as the book goes on to gain insight, so you do care about them.

Vilhelm’s warning crept up, dark and insidious. That feeling of unease, of not being alone, that isn’t immediately explicable.

If you’re looking for a page-turning summer read, this is a great choice! Some other reads I’ve enjoyed in a similar vein are The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley and The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – you might like those too!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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