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To the River

The Kelly family has always been trouble. When a fire in a remote caravan community kills nine people, including 17-year-old Sabine Kelly’s mother and sister, Sabine confesses to the murders. Shortly after, she escapes custody and disappears. Recently made redundant from marriage, motherhood and her career, journalist Rachel Weidermann has long suspected Sabine made her way back to the river—now, twelve years after the ‘Caravan Murders’, she has the time and the tenacity to corner a fugitive and land the story of the year.

Rachel’s ambition lights the fuse leading to a brutal chain of events, and the web Sabine weaves will force Rachel to question everything she believes. Vikki Wakefield’s compelling psychological thriller is about class, corruption, love, loyalty, and the vindication of truth and justice. And a brave dog called Blue.


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Vikki Wakefield
About the Author

Vikki Wakefield writes fiction for adults and young adults. Her novels have been shortlisted for numerous awards. After You Were Gone, a psychological thriller, was her first novel for adults and was published in 2022 to much acclaim. To the River is her second psychological thriller for adults. Vikki lives in Adelaide, South Australia.

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Text publication date:
27 February 2024
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Praise for Vikki Wakefield
andTo the River

‘Vikki Wakefield’s To the River gets under your skin. Two very different women are brought together in the search for the truth and something like justice. Covered in dog hair and splattered with river mud, this taut, muscular thriller absolutely delivers.’

‘A completely gripping story, with two brave, tough and damaged women at its heart. Vikki Wakefield is a brilliant writer.’

‘Twisty crime thriller with excellent female protagonist, a wonderfully atmospheric river setting and propulsive pace. Read it in two sittings. Perfect for fans of Jane Harper, Anna Downes and JP Pomare.’

‘Although divided by age, class and privilege, Sabine and Kate ultimately unite in their determination to expose what actually happened 12 years earlier. To Wakefield’s credit, it’s not what either of them, or this reader, quite expected and all the better for that.’

‘A rollicking, fast-paced ride that builds to the perfect climax, with twists and turns along the way…Vikki Wakefield is a masterful writer with complete control over her characters. Her immeasurable talent and skill are electric in each frame of the story…Mixing in psychological warfare between two incredibly cataclysmic main characters, this is an action-packed, exciting, yet often thoughtful book. To the River will be one of 2024’s sure-fire hits, perfect for fans of Jane Harper and Gillian Flynn. I cannot recommend it highly enough.’

‘An atmospheric mystery with layer upon layer of secrets. Two flawed women discover how much they are willing to risk when justice is not equal and the system is not there to protect them.’

‘Heartrending and heart pounding. At times beautiful and graceful, at times propulsive and frantic—just like a river.’

‘Whether you are an established crime reader or are seeking an introduction to the genre, To the River is a gripping read with a storyline that is easy enough to follow even if you put it down for a few days—though you may not want to put it down at all.’

‘Fast paced, thrilling, and filled with strong and determined female protagonists, you will not be able to put it down.’

‘Emotionally charged, yet tough and matter-of-fact…A really interesting, engaging and thought provoking novel. The emotion in the story has an overwhelming sense of despair and hopelessness at some points, balanced against the respect, and friendship that these two women develop…An interesting combination of a psychological thriller, with a couple of flawed, but engaging and very sympathethic central female characters, To The River ticks many required boxes but does so in a unique form.’

‘Sabine and Rachel find a semblance of common ground in their quests for vindication and justice. A hectic thriller with a dog one has to adore.’

‘Blue, the wonderful dog companion, is a really fabulous secondary character…To The River builds up steam and draws the reader in, not least because of its sense of place. You can feel the hot, clammy Australian weather, the ebbs and flows of the river reflected in the way the story is told.’


‘An atmospheric and grippingly suspenseful read.’

‘[Vikki Wakefield] is an absolute master of the craft…A ripping yarn.’

‘The fragility of the mirror’s ecosystem mirrors the fragility of Sabine and Rachel in their struggle to survive. To the River is tense, dramatic and compulsive reading.’

‘Masterful…Wakefield skilfully addresses themes of love, loss, and the relentless pursuit of truth and justice. Her portrayal of these elements is nuanced, avoiding cliché by giving each theme a fresh and impactful treatment…A remarkable addition to Australian literature…It is a must-read for anyone who cherishes stories that compel you to think, feel, and, perhaps most importantly, piece together the bewildering elements of human lives and motivations.’

‘A blast…If you enjoy Australian crime or find yourself in the mood for a psychological thriller, then I highly recommend To The River…A cracking read!’

‘Cleverly plotted and perfectly paced, building up to a denouement that doesn’t over-egg the pudding…Wakefield also seems to have a singular talent for nature writing…To The River is exemplary.’

Other editions ofTo the River
  • To the River
    ISBN: 9781922791665
    27 February 2024
    Buy ebook