"Wildland" By Rebecca Hodge: Review/Giveaway

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Kat Jamison had breast cancer. Then her husband died. Now the cancer is back. Her daughter wants her to have more chemo, but all the fight is out of Kat. She just wants peace and quiet. With that in mind, she rents a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just so she can think. Her daughter, a pet rescuer, thinks Kat should have some sort of company and leaves a dog, Juni, with her. Just what she needs—not. The dog is well-behaved but really, a dog?

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Image Source Crooked Lane
There are two cabins farther downhill, one rented to Scott and his daughter, Lily. He’s on deadline with work and Lily is bored but loves Juni so there goes solitude. The other cabin is for Malcolm and his newly adopted son, Nirav.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. Kat is walking with Juni, down the mountain to get a cell signal when Juni stops, whines, and refuses to go on. She’s found a puppy tangled up in clothesline, a small tree limb, and a fence. The puppy is filthy dirty, smelly, and has a bad cut on one leg. This contemplative vacation is getting way too populated, especially when the kids want to spend the night at her cabin.

Early the next morning, Juni is frantic to wake Kat. She opens the door to let the dog out and smells woodsmoke. It’s been a dry season but plumes of smoke can be seen and not too far off. Unfortunately, the wooden bridge between Malcolm and Scott and Kat’s house has burned. She’s trapped with two dogs and two kids with a wall of fire between them and safety.

Although Kat might decide against chemo, being caught in a raging forest fire is not the alternative she wants. She has the responsibility for the kids and dogs to consider, too. With only the barest necessities, they race to save their lives.

This is a debut novel and I hope we’ll see more of Kat and Malcolm and the rest of the cast of characters. The tale is intense as Kat must decide which way to go and how to keep the children and dogs moving. This isn’t just a thriller although it fills that bill quite well. It’s also a study in what would you be willing to do to save your life and lives of others? What is it you want more than anything? What are you willing to do to get it? Kat must face not only her own death but her life as well.

Warning: Don’t start this book unless you have time to finish it. Once they’re on the run, you won’t be able to leave them until you reach the last page.

Hodge’s descriptions are so good, you’ll feel the heat of the flames and smell the smoke. This will surely be on my Best of 2020 List. Poor list—this has been a good year for books, and the list is getting long already.

To enter to win a copy of Wildland, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "wildland,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 13, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Forest fires are serious business. Count me in the drawing.

  2. Sounds exciting! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  3. Thanks so much for the kind words about WILDLAND! :-)

  4. What a great adventure story. I think we'd both enjoy it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  5. Sounds like a book I would like to read. Thanks for the chance.

  6. Enjoyed the post, sounds like a good one! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  7. Sounds like an exciting read! Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com


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