Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
River Bodies (Northampton County) Hardcover – November 1, 2018
|New from||Used from|
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
An Entertainment Weekly New and Notable selection
“Deep, dark, and affecting—Karen Katchur’s latest will keep you glued to the page.” —InStyle
“Katchur is an engaging writer who ably navigates the dynamics of small-town life and the darkness that lurks beneath…Suspense with a tense family drama at its core.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Suspenseful…[The] gripping ending will leave readers eager for the sequel…” —Publishers Weekly
“A darkly rich family drama about a young woman reconciling her childhood with the adult she has become. River Bodies centers on veterinarian Becca Kingsley, who is forced to return to her hometown because her estranged father is dying…Katchur skillfully uses the Delaware River as a metaphor to show the division in Becca’s life…A return visit with Becca is a must.” —Associated Press
“River Bodies is an astonishingly evocative and emotionally resonant novel, its suspense balanced brilliantly between stylings that are both subtle and sublime. (The book itself is aesthetically stunning, which serves to enhance the overall package.) While Karen Katchur’s name may very well be new to mystery aficionados, this outstanding effort would tend to suggest that she’s poised to leave an indelible mark.” —Criminal Element
“River Bodies is a complex story of small town loyalties and relationships, and the nature of family ties. A lurking sense of danger flows like the Delaware throughout, drawing the reader along in its current to the shocking end.” —Authorlink
“Deftly braiding suspense, crime, and the search for trust and truth, Katchur works a modern Deliverance out of a harsh rural location, with potential that she more than justifies in her plot twists, pacing, and growth of character.” —New York Journal of Books
“An engaging, solid mystery that will captivate lovers of the genre, especially those drawn to regional settings.” —Library Journal
“Karen Katchur’s River Bodies has it all: a horrific murder, mysteries resurrected from the past, a story line packed with tension, and vivid characters to bring it all to life. A riveting thriller that suspense readers will love.” —Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author
“With a striking sense of place and a foreboding feeling of unease throughout, I was glued to the story. With relationships so complicated and layered that they feel like your own and plot twists that will leave you gasping, River Bodies is an unforgettable read.” —Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author
“Karen Katchur is a master at writing into the dark spaces of our intimate family relationships, and River Bodies is her most stunning work to date.” —Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me to Be
“River Bodies weaves an engrossing mystery with richly developed characters for an enjoyable, fast-paced read.” —Laura McHugh, award-winning author of The Weight of Blood
“Dark secrets of the past flow into the present in this emotionally resonant, deeply insightful tale of family bonds, betrayal, violence, and redemption. Part engrossing love story, part riveting murder mystery, River Bodies is a must read.” —A. J. Banner, USA Today bestselling author of The Twilight Wife
“Karen Katchur weaves together a twisting braid in River Bodies, a multigenerational tale that dares us to examine not only the secrets we hide but the reasons we hid them in the first place.” —Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author
“River Bodies is a dark, fast-paced, and gripping suspense with characters you won’t forget. It’s filled with old family secrets designed to protect but that instead pull everyone apart. A must read!” —Hannah Mary McKinnon, author of The Neighbors
About the Author
Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and a master’s in education. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. You can learn more at www.karenkatchur.com.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It wasn’t the writing style that caused me to lose connection with the book. Ms. Katchur delivers in this area, serving up a prose that describes as well as illuminates, peppering her words with images that at times felt more than real. This is her five-star element.
Rather, it was the inconsistencies in the plot elements that caused questions to form and to drag me out of the book each time one of them appeared. Our heroine Becca lives just across the river from her home town, close enough that she can identify minute clothing details of someone standing on the other side. While I might be able to accept that she had reasons never to return home (even with it being so close), that didn’t excuse the fact that while she wouldn’t cross the river’s bridge, many others living in the town probably would. However, no one had seen her for years (except for her cousin John, who she “met” regularly when she spotted him on the other side of the river.
The small town of Portland is home to not one, but possibly two decent-sized (more than twenty-five) motorcycle gangs. Possible, but not probable, and with the closest large city hours away, the probability is further reduced. There are more inconsistencies, but I hesitate to list them all without revealing portions of the plot.
Characterizations were good, providing enough background to justify each character’s actions. Everyone, that is, except for the killer. After establishing justification for the most recent killing, the killer’s reasoning abruptly changed, and it didn’t fit with some of the other important scenes in the book. This flaw was large enough to leave me shaking my head during the last part of the story.
Overall, good story and a wonderful writing style, with Ms. Katchur deftly switching between past and current events, slowly revealing bits and pieces until the entire tale is laid out in front of us. Some of the plot elements were ragged, pulling the story down from potential heights of greatness into something that is still better than many of today’s offerings. Three-and-a-half stars.
1. Father figure who was lead member of Motorcycle club (MC)
2. Son who is reluctant to take fathers place as the head of that same MC
3. Son who finds peace when working on his late fathers bike and subsequently riding it.
4. The son kills the man who took over as the head of the MC after his father died.
5. When cops finally come for the son, he kills himself instead of being taken in.
6. Idealistic cop who grew up in the town and is trying with all his might to catch one of the club members in a crime
7. Girl who grew up in the town and around the MC who then leaves the town to pursue a medical career only to come back home as a mature adult ready to face the truth
8. A corrupt police chief who covers evidence and then gets cancer and dies
9. A town that sort of ignores the violence from the MC because of the benefits it brings.
10. The MC runs illegal guns
11. A new chief of police who is reluctantly backed into a corner and had to break the law to help the MC
Then there is the whole issue with the name of the club in the book vs. the name of the club on the TV show. In the book it’s the Scions and the tv show they are called the Sons. Scions, sons, scions, sons, scions, sons... see where I’m going with that.
Now let’s get to the story itself. There was zero mystery, zero suspense, and zero thrills.
We still never find out why John kills the second guy. We know he did something to his niece but we never find out what he did to her or the MC to deserve death. Also we do know that the victims had to be some kind of lower life people who we do not feel bad for at all. We are not made to feel bad for the victims at all.
The characters were ok, but not developed at all. There were giant gaping holes in the characters and it was extremely annoying.
All that being said, the author should be completely ashamed of herself for STEALING these characters and the entire premise of the book from an awesome TV show. There is no easy way to say it. This was was a stolen story and I will never read anything else by this author because she can’t spend enough time to come up with an actual original story.
Top international reviews
A dead body, eviscerated in the style of a huntsman’s ‘kill’ is found in the river that separates Becca’s old and new worlds, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Everybody seems to just ‘know’ it’s somehow related to a similar killing many years before when Becca was still a child. Back in Portland, Pennsylvania not everything she left behind comes with bad memories and she’s keen to get to know her childhood friend Parker (he’s male – I honestly just don’t get why Americans love giving their kids asexual first names that are really surnames) who works for the local police department. Can she take a friendship forward into something more whilst handling the demons of her past and the cheating boyfriend of her present?
This is a competent but not particularly challenging murder-mystery – though perhaps the mystery tag is inappropriate since we know ‘whodunnit’ and we’re neither particularly challenged nor particularly enlightened about ‘whyhedunnit’. The mystery part is perhaps how Becca has buried memories that might have made the ‘reveal’ even quicker.
I enjoyed the small town menace of the storyline – the biker gang that everybody is scared of and nobody talks about, the open secrets that can’t be prosecuted because nobody will tell them, the undermining of law and order in order to keep a strange and strained type of peace.
It’s a fast read – lots of quick snappy sentences that keep things moving along at a high pace and relatively simple relationships between people without too much cause for confusion. Is it ‘great’ murder mystery? Not really but it’s OK and it does the job. The past and present passages are well distinguished so that the reader rarely gets muddled about whether they’re reading now or then.
For me the motivation for the two murders seems a little weak, the involvement of a third-party that comes out at the end is a bit forced and not particularly intuitive, and there aren’t too many surprises in the final chapters. I liked the characters well enough but didn’t get the cold shudder of suspense or the surprise of unpredicted outcomes that I associate with the best of this genre.
And I have to admit I still don't really get the reason the killer was 'gutting' his victims.
Once home, she realises she's seen something of importance to a local murder case (she can see her home town's suburbs), with echoes of the past (hence the book's title). So should she tell her former best friend, and now investigator of the case, chase up her dying father, to see what he know, or confront the biker cousin she has?
The book isn't very good. There's this test in films, to see how long 2 women can go without talking about a man. I sometimes wish we could get the same for the internal monologues in books. If we did, this book would 72 point font fail. It was all to much "what'll I do about heartless boyfriend/dreamy friend/scary but dying father". They're all valid questions, but not all the time.
And another thing. I'm not a fan of love making in movies. I suspect women grumble about it when men write about it, and vice versa. This isn't the issue here. I'm not a fan of men or women being glistening adonises in books (because it doesn't happen that way in real life). I just want a story I can possibly solve (not to quickly or slowly either), and that doesn't happen here. Becca has too much of that internal monologue going on, and the author spends too much time veering towards Mills and Boon for that.
The storyline follows the discovery of a body in a river, which has been dressed as in animal hunting. There are similarities to a murder that occurred years before. The main character, Becca, is a (sort of) witness when she sees something in the river and notices a long standing friend, John Jackson on the river bank. An investigation begins into the killing, led by Becca’s school boyfriend, Parker.
To be honest not much happens. There’s some background domestic stuff but none is riveting and the characters are a little weak. My main criticism is that I didn’t learn the ‘why’ of the killings. The ‘who’ can be guessed at pretty early on. This was a bit like Huckle Finn without the berry.
When Becca catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she returns home to take care of her terminally ill father, whom she’s been estranged from since he sent her away when she was young. While she’s taking care of her father, a murder takes place near her town that has eerie similarities to one that happened 20 years ago. The story isn’t really a whodunnit, as we already know who did it. It is an intricate exploration of how the murders – past and present – affect one family.
I especially loved the emotional journey and the character development of Becca. Her internal and external journey were very detailed and completely believable. This book is for all you who love a medium-paced thriller with rich character development and an evocative atmosphere. I highly recommend!
The whole plot would have made more sense if she had broken up with the boyfriend first, gone home and then witnessed the 'murder'. What was all the stuff about the vet practice? Why didn't her father share the 'dark secret'? How come she simply couldn't remember it?
I found myself flicking through page after page of repetition and overlong prose. I finally finished it (after I'd already predicted the whole plot) but crikey what a struggle!
Still worth a read if you enjoy a thriller.
In the end I did enjoy it.
I felt it lacked imagination and depth and mainly where i read up to. was concentrating on the main persons life.
I think I would not recommend it to many of my friends.like me they would find it heavy going