The Wilderness Retreat by Jennifer Moore #thriller #mystery @HQDigitalUK #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of The Wilderness Retreat by Jennifer Moore. I had a very nice email from HQ Digital asking me if I would like to read this one. A brilliantly twisty read and one that I really enjoyed. I would also like to wish the author a HappyPublication Day tomorrow 🙂

I release myself from the shackles of the outside world and embrace the wilderness within.

As Bella drops her son off at university, she’s devastated. It’s been the two of them ever since Asher was born. The only thing helping her through is the upcoming week-long wilderness retreat in Sweden. It’ll be her chance to reconnect and recharge.

At the retreat, Bella basks in the beauty of the modern lodge, with its luxury rooms and picture-perfect views, the glistening lake and the lush forest. For the full detox effect, everyone must surrender their phones.

The holiday seems idyllic until the person who ruined Bella’s life years ago arrives, threatening everything she’s worked hard for and will do anything to protect. Suddenly, a terrified Bella is trapped in the wild, knowing someone wants her dead…


I am a fan of thrillers and this one caught my eye when I saw it, being set in a Swedish wood, cut off from anyone else it gives the chance of a locked room mystery-style thriller. The room is not a room but an isolated setting, with guests who are strangers and not altogether likeable.

Bella is a single mum, her son has just gone to uni and her sister has arranged a break for her at a wilderness retreat. Having a life focused on her son, she has effectively cut herself off. It is while she is at the retreat that she discovers that she has lived her life so far through her son so she wants to try to cope without him. It is tough for her as she cannot get in touch with him, and while she thinks there are those that may show her some support, Bella isn’t actually making a great impression.

The author has taken the character of Bella and given her so much to deal with and you can start to see cracks appear as more and more stress and emotion are piled on. I did mention some of the other characters not being likeable, in fact, there is the odd one or two that did wind me up as much as they did Bella. The author uses paranoia to good effect, and at times it did feel a little too repetitive, while it does work for the story it did make it feel like Bella was a bit too many and whiny. To counteract this though there are some good twists and what I thought were red herrings, but not quite though!

I did enjoy this and I found myself quickly addicted to the story I definitely needed to know how things would eventually come to a conclusion. When it did, it was unexpected and also rather quick.

This is more of a mystery thriller and the mystery section of the book was great. If you like a remote setting with strangers in a setting that leaves the imagination to run wild then I do think you will like this one. Not quite as creepy as I thought it might be and still a very enjoyable read that I would happily recommend.


Jennifer Moore is a novelist, freelance writer and children’s author (writing as Jenny Moore) from Devon. Her short fiction has been widely published on both sides of the Atlantic and she was the first ever UK writer to win the Commonwealth Short Story Competition.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂

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