Wednesday 6 January 2021




When a seventeen-year-old track star turns up mangled and dead on the switchback road by the Crescent Hotel, his poker crew grows suspicious of one another. Ebur, a retired cowboy, finds himself in the middle of a once-trustworthy group who all knew and loved Brady.

Or did they?

And can he trust them if they think he killed the boy?

Covering the broad swatch of lifestyles and struggles in off-peak Eureka Springs, Wilderness asks hard questions about retired men and those who try to tame them.

An Audible acquistion of a novella length tale (70 pages) so not too much time invested in this one, just over an hour. I wasn't too bothered really whether I liked it or not. It was company for me on a 5 mile walk with the wife and daughter. Me listening to my book and them lagging behind, chatting or more likely my wife checking me out! Nah, chatting most likely.

A small group of friends meet to play poker - young and old, male and female, working and retired, including a serving cop and a retired detective. Our retired detective finds one of the group dead the next day, and another the day after, and another, etc etc. All suspicious, none by natural causes.

I did wonder for a while what was going on and whether our lead character, Ebur was being targeted for something, as all the bodies were discovered by him. When we find out exactly what's what at the end, it kind of seems a stretch and a coincidence too far that he's the first on the scene every time, particularly when most of the time he doesn't even known that there is a scene waiting for him, until he gets there. 

We get the whys and the wherefores and the reason for the deaths, which in truth were an unintended consequence of an ill-conceived idea. Ebur gets his answers to the mystery, but probably not any life answers in terms of his relationship with his wife and the direction they are heading. Ditto the effect and future with his young son. He knows what he wants and he knows what he doesn't and there seems little common ground between him and his estranged wife. The book's events seem to be trying to force him down another avenue that he doesn't want to travel, manipulated by a third party.

Overall enjoyable enough without being anything startlingly amazing or original. 

Narrated by Theo Holland, who is one of my favourite story tellers when listening to an audible book. That was a nice billy bonus!  

3 from 5

Read - (listened to) December, 2020
Published - 2017
Page count - 70 (1 hr 14 mins)
Source - Audible purchase
Format - Audible


  1. That's an interesting premise for a story, Col. Even if it wasn't your top read of the year, it sounds enjoyable, and a solid story, and I'm glad you found things to like about it.

    1. Enjoyed without every being close to amazing, but there's nothing wrong with that. They can't all rock!