Read The Wildman by Rick Hautala Online


From New York Times bestselling author, Rick Hautala, comes a taut suspense thriller set in the dark woods of Maine. Jeff Cameron is going back to Camp Tapiola on Lake Onwego to meet several old friends and reminisce about their childhood experiences at camp. But not all of their childhood memories are good. For thirty-five years lingering images of their friend Jimmy FostFrom New York Times bestselling author, Rick Hautala, comes a taut suspense thriller set in the dark woods of Maine. Jeff Cameron is going back to Camp Tapiola on Lake Onwego to meet several old friends and reminisce about their childhood experiences at camp. But not all of their childhood memories are good. For thirty-five years lingering images of their friend Jimmy Foster’s lifeless body being pulled from the lake has disturbed Jeff’s peace of mind. Was Jimmy Foster's death an accident or murder? The authorities had said Jimmy’s death was an accidental drowning, but Jeff had always believed there was more to the story. Why after all these years did his old friend arrange this reunion? And why can’t Jeff escape the feeling that his friend has a hidden agenda. What is this reunion is really about? And another question remains... who is The Wildman?...

Title : The Wildman
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780615702476
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 269 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Wildman Reviews

  • Jon Recluse
    2018-09-29 02:51

    A thinking person's horror/thriller. Hautala offers up an engaging mystery, where trauma, memory and lies hide a monstrous truth buried in a young man's past. Brilliantly told with admirable restraint, the author passed up the easy out of gore to amp up the tension to lethal levels.We lost Rick Hautala recently, and it is a shame that I am only discovering more of his excellent work now.R.I.P., my friend.You will be remembered, always.

  • Tressa
    2018-09-23 03:04

    2.5 starsI read this book through a group read at Horror Aficionados. I had high hopes for it, but was greatly disappointed. This is the first Rick Hautala book I have read, and while he seems to have the basics of writing down, his imagination never gets off the ground, at least in this book. This book was predictable because I've read books with this plot so many times before. As they say, there is nothing new under the sun, and there is nothing new in this book. Plot in a nutshell: Group of childhood friends is contacted about a reunion in the woods. They all decide to go and are killed one by one due to some lame revenge act by the brother of a boy who died at the camp decades before. You won't care because you don't get to know them. The group of men is a stereotype heaven: The Fat One; The Gay One; The Smart One; The Leader; and The One You Can't Even Remember two minutes after the story. Once at the destination the leader of the reunion starts turning menacing. Is he the guy they think he is? Only the next couple of days will tell.For some reason the main character, Jeff, is suspicious from the get go. No reason, really. Then he finds the real Evan locked up in an infirmary. He unties him and there's a cat-and-mouse chase on the island. Then the old twist at the end I could see coming from a mile away. Highly disappointed at yet another mainstream read.

  • Bandit
    2018-10-04 23:55

    I read some Hautala a while back, long before his recent passing. And I remember liking it, enjoying the writing, but it never wowed me. Same goes for this book. It's a solid well written character driven thriller. But it's missing that certain something that grabs and amazes the reader. Maybe it's the plot, not very original story. Former camp buddies decided to revisit the past and go camp out in the remote location. Both of those things are generally terrible ideas, but throw a killer in the midst and terrible doesn't even begin to cover it. Now mild mannered middle age men must discover their inner Wildman in order to survive the night. Decent read, good for thriller fans. Maine is creepy as always.

  • Trev Twinem
    2018-10-07 03:54

    This story brought back great memories to me of life at one of the many summer camps that are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the US. As a UK student in 1977 I worked as a counselor in a summer camp run by the Salvation Army at Lake Sebago some 20k south of Portland Maine, and as the years have passed and I have grown older, but not necessarily wiser, I have often wondered what it would be like to return, if only for a short time to visit a place that meant so much to me as a young man and helped create and mould the person I am today....In The Wildman by Rick Hautala we meet Jeff Cameron and one late evening he receives a phone call from Tyler Crosby who along with three other friends Evan,Mike,and Fred is invited to a reunion at a summer camp all 5 had last visited some 30+ years ago Camp Tapiola...and so Jeff sets off on a journey which will have far reaching repercussions and perhaps he will find the reason why Jimmy Foster was found dead (with his throat cut) that summer long ago. This is a fantastic old fashioned horror story the tension and sense of fear is ever present as the 5 friends spend a weekend in a now desolated summer camp. Rick Hautala (sadly now deceased) is supreme at creating a very uneasy atmosphere and Jeff becomes ever fearful that there is an alterior motive for this reunion."Jeff didn't know why, but he sensed a palpable presence hovering close to him in the gathering gloom. His eyes widened as they darted back and forth, scanning the cleared areas where the other buildings-the cabins and tent platforms and the old meeting hall-used to be. But his eyes were continually drawn back to the woods where deeper shadows lurked. The feeling of a presence lurking in the woods was overpowering" The Wildman is a great mixture of crime and descriptive horror with a little bit of magic built in around stories that the 5 friends used to be told about Hobomock the Indian demon who tricked enemies and friends alike, and caused their destruction, he was an Indian spirit who haunted the island. There is a killer in their midst, and he intends to kill them before the night is through.....Jeff feels the presence of Hobomock who at times enters his mind and gives him the strengths and perceptions needed to bring the killer to justice.The ability to astound the reader is what makes a great author and during his search for the truth Jeff makes a surprising and unexpected discovery that totally changes and makes clear that the friends are not meant to leave the summer camp alive! I thought the story was excellent and the crime/horror/mysticism very well balanced. If you like horror that does not rely on violence or gore but rather tests the imagination of the reader then you will love The Wildman. I would however say that I am disappointed that once again the kindle edition has some a number of grammatical errors:"He used to feel he could glide along as silently a shadow cast by...." should read "He used to feel he could glide along as silently (as) a shadow cast by.....""out here, he wasn't going t0 let him dally" should read "out here, he wasn't going t(o) let him dally""he took the bottle of rum from his pocket and took a long pull. The he tapped Fred..." should read "he took the bottle of rum from this pocket and took a long pull. The(n) he tapped Fred...""He wondered how he was going to warn the without alerting Ben."...should read "He wondered how he was going to warn the(m) without alerting Ben.""On a purely rational level, he knew it wasn't true. I couldn't be"......should read "On a purely rational level, he knew it wasn't true. I(t) couldn't be" "Jeff, moving a few steps at a time. He wore hooded raincoat"....should read "Jeff, moving a few steps at a time. He wore (a) hooded raincoat"So once again why can the publishers of the kindle edition not get it right!! I discovered these errors on first reading.. have the kindle edition proof read before publication???!! I felt the telling of the story of The Wildman was easily a 5 star review but am compelled to award 4 stars due to its shoddy kindle presentation!!

  • Anton
    2018-09-26 19:55

    This book was both fun and chock full of problems. I can't in good conscience recommend it, but I also don't AT ALL regret reading it. The straightforward prose and plot pound along at a page-turning pace, the suspense builds, and the twists surprise. The fact that the author resorts to the most ham-fisted 'techniques' imaginable in creating this suspense is both impressive (maybe?) and totally frustrating: he literally has the main character wondering to himself over and over again, 'hmmm, something's not right here.' Pages (and pages [and pages]) of that - and yet I still absolutely wanted to know what was wrong! How does that work?! I guess Hautala was doing at least something right.Oddly enough for a thriller/horror, I found the author's breezy, imagistic descriptions of the chilly New England natural setting compelling and vivid and the high points of the book.So while I can't urge you to go out and buy this (though if you want to, go for it!), if you find a dog-eared copy lying around your summer rental it may very well be exactly what you need. (N.B. A fairly robust tolerance for loose ends may help in your enjoyment of this work).

  • Sonia Fogal
    2018-09-29 19:50

    This was my first Rick Hautala book but it won’t be my last. It is a compelling story that made my eyes water, made me gasp and put my hand on my mouth with a couple of plot twists that I didn’t see coming, and made me read faster because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.The Wildman is classified as horror but if you’re looking for blood and gore this one isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a story that gets you in the head of the target of a mad man then this one is for you. Jeff has been haunted by the memory of a tragic event that took place at summer camp over 30 years ago. When he gets the chance to reunite with friends from that camp he doesn’t have a lot of interest in going but the memory of the tragedy pulls him back in spite of his reluctance. The first part of the story is full of pieces to which we can all relate. He tries to see the child in the adult faces. Tries to see the child in the adult personalities. He thinks about what may be between the lines of what each of his friends says and does. Half way through the book the story takes a tragic turn. The author starts and ends the book with a discussion about the fact that no story really has a single starting point or ending point. This story, for example, started 35 years ago at summer camp. But really it started even before that when each of the boys’ lives began. And you could continue this path indefinitely. The tragic turn of the story is related to the childhood tragedy. It’s a believable turn of events, which adds to the fear and anxiety created in the story. Jeff questions what he sees, feels, hears, senses in a terrifying course of events. He doesn’t know what’s real and what’s just in his head and since we are in his head, neither do we. I have only two criticisms of this page-turner. Descriptions of Jeff’s wonderings about the minds and motives of his friends goes on a little long for my taste sometimes. And while the last couple of chapters are very good I felt like it was a bit drawn out as well. I believe that part of the point of that was that to the main character the events of those couple of chapters felt like an eternity although they were only a few hours of his life. But I wanted things to move along a little more quickly than they did.All in all I recommend this book if you enjoy suspense. It’s a very enjoyable, entertaining read.

  • Claudia
    2018-09-21 01:42

    I hate reunions. At my age, they seem to be a morbid exercise in learning which of your friends is dead or dying. Family reunions are an invitation to be as annoying and abusive as bad breeding will allow. Feeling that way, I expected this book to be pretty good. I love death and mayhem. The overriding theme of this book was the solitude of the main character, Jeff. He is alone in the beginning because he is divorced and his only child has gone to college. He separates himself from society with technology and when he finally finds himself with his former cabin mates on an island he keeps himself separate both physically and mentally. He moves his sleeping bag to the far side of the room and keeps his back to the fire. He explores on his own and he never really commits to anyone except for the memory of seeing his former friend's corpse. It seems to be his only connection. He doesn't remember things they did as a group or even some places on the island although he spent several summers there in his youth. The reunion here seems to be with Jeff and some primal energy that exists on the island. He gains strength and momentum when he makes the connection only to lose it again when he loses focus. He sees himself as the wildman. It is the one time he shows any kind of emotion other than disinterest. It's not so much that we care what happens to Jeff but that we are interested in what happens to him and that works just as well. The flight scenes are well written and harrowing. The ending seems to be exactly what I thought Jeff either deserved or that he was destined to receive. We are never really sure what his part in the murder might have been, we just know that if he was there, he probably did nothing to involve himself and that is what drives the plot. No one seems to be able to commit to anyone else. It is a lot like real life. If we commit to anything we have to assume responsibility and we really have to work at a relationship. It's a crime when we don't but it's so much easier.

  • Brwdladr
    2018-10-01 21:03

    I am a sucker for ambiguity, but this book pushes it a bit too far. Mainly because most of the main characters' actions just don't seem plausible at all. The book also has a tendency to drone on and on, stretching out ideas over full chapters that could have been done in a page or two. I get it, he is tired and weary, and this is a struggle for him.The book almost grinds to a halt with several chapters in the middle of the book. It felt like reading the exact same chapter over and over. (view spoiler)[They do some random camp activity. Jeff doesn't know why, but he is suspicious of Evan. He should just enjoy the weekend, but he can't get the suspicion out of his mind. Is Jimmy's ghost here? (hide spoiler)]The one positive I found is that I love the book's descriptions of the eerie woods and lake. The first time they arrive at the island is some of the most unnerving descriptions I have read in a long time. Unfortunately, the book reuses a lot of the them repeatedly. More than a few times I was told about how the overhead pine branches crackled together like old bones.Also, sadly, like many other Kindle books, this one is completely riddled with grammatical errors and misspellings. I thought about making a notation every time I found one, but it would have happened so frequently that my reading would have been constantly interrupted. It is insane. You can't find one person to read through an e-book before you release it? Overall, not an enjoyable read for me.

  • Book Lovers Never Go to Bed Alone
    2018-09-24 19:58

    I had just finished the final chapter of The Wildman and settled in to write the review when I saw the news of Rick Hautala’s death. The Wildman is the first book I’ve read from Hautala and I was very impressed. The horror community has lost an incredible talent. This review is in a way, my introduction to his work and my own small tribute as well.The Wildman is a complicated story. The basic premise is deceptively simple. A group of friends descend on a tiny island for a late Fall/ early winter guys weekend away. They haven’t seen one another in decades and the strange invitation is both intriguing and unsettling. The island was the site of a youth camp and the last time the men were together, they were children at this summer camp. Their innocence was shattered their final summer there when one of their group was found dead. Decades later, they spread their sleeping bags out on the floor of the old meeting hall and dark secrets come crawling out of the past. Our protagonist Jeff begins to suspect that something or someone is not entirely right. He begins to question everything, including his very sanity as events take one sinister turn after another.This is far more than a “killer in the woods” story. Hautala takes us down not only the darkest of psychological trauma (the death of a child and its aftermath), but he also shoves us into the most primal of human fear. Our own survival. Jeff is forced into a cat and mouse game upon which his very life rests. Man becomes beast. Man becomes nature. Man becomes something primal and savage. But does he? Woven into this survivalist fear is an ancient, supernatural legend. Does Jeff reach into his primal self or does something reach into him? The Wildman is a complex blend of action, fear, sheer terror, death, revenge, and survival. Hautala demands much of the reader and doesn’t make it easy. There are no simple blood splatter conclusions or gore soaked answers here. What really did happen to that little boy so many years ago? What happens to Jeff as he is fighting for his life? What is wrong with the island? Hautala does what few horror writers feel comfortable in doing. He lets those answers to the reader. I loved this one.

  • Mike Kazmierczak
    2018-10-22 01:48

    For some reason I started this novel thinking it was going to be about some crazy hermit-type guy running around the mountains and tormenting a group of people. I have no idea why I thought that but I was very definitely wrong. Instead the novel is about a group of friends trying to relive the past and realizing it is not that easy.Jeff Cameron is living a pretty normal if semi-problematic life when he is invited by a childhood friend to a reunion party of sorts. After thirty-five years, Jeff and some friends from the same tent are going back to visit the island that was home to their summer camp. Not all the memories are good ones though; when they were kids one of their friends drowned at the island. Now the five of them are reunited on the island. A reunion that brings up more than just memories.On the surface, the story is pretty straight forward and semi-common: a bunch of friends are isolated in a remote location and become hunted by someone or something. Underneath that though is a lot more. The true story is about friendships: good, bad and old. It is about memories, distorted and real and how they can affect your life in the present. And it is about death and rebirth, finding that strength to not just carry on but to prevail. However, if you want to simply read the book and thrill in the suspense of what happens, you can do that too. It is not a long book so you'll likely zip through it faster than you expect. Either way there's a lot to experience and enjoy in this concise book.

  • Rob Allens
    2018-10-08 23:54

    I'm a huge fan of Rick Hautala. I'll start off with that. This is one of his best. He weaves a wonderful tale of suspense and fear that spans decades. What happened and more importantly, why? Should we want to know? That's the haunting question that keeps nagging at the characters and the readers. What lurks in the darkness? Hautala has always been a master at creating the monsters in the darkness and The Wildman is no exception. Loved it.

  • Noigeloverlord
    2018-10-21 20:44

    I really liked this book and wanted to give it 5 stars but the last 3 chapters fell apart for me. The beginning of the book was great . Great little twists thrown in. Just enough supernatural elements to keep the story rolling. The last 3 chapters felt too scattered . Still the books is well with the read.

  • Shawn Manning
    2018-10-08 02:01

    Friends from summer camp get together for a reunion. What could possibly go wrong? Not the most original plot, but the author takes it on a good run. There are some loose threads in the plot, but I'm not certain if they add or detract from the story.

  • Diane
    2018-10-04 03:51

    This book was really good. I recommend it to anyone for sure!

  • Jeff Jellets
    2018-10-13 21:02

    A mediocre thriller.No matter how often they are done, most horror tropes can still keep my interest – whether it's a zombie apocalypse, a haunted house or asylum, or in this instance, a summer camp with resident slasher. Rick Hautala’s The Wildman brings four childhood friends back together for a reunion at an old summer camp where, not surprisingly to anyone who’s seen a Friday the 13th movie, a deranged killer lurks. Unfortunately, despite one good twist, The Wildman ends being more tedious than spooky with far too many plot holes.At only about 200 pages, it unfortunately takes about 100 of them to get to a point where something actually happens ... and soon thereafter any sense of ambiguity or suspense is quickly dispelled with a few quick pistol shots, establishing exactly who the bad guy is. A bit more uncertainty might have helped add some tension to the hunt, but as it is, the cat-and-mouse game between killer and prey is pretty straightforward. There’s reference to a supernatural spirit on the island, the Hobomock, and a dose of the ghostly might have spiced things up, but the Hobomock possession doesn’t really go anywhere and too many of the book's big mysteries are left unresolved, including (oddly enough) any real investigation into who slit the throat of little Jimmy Foster and closed the camp in the first place.Hautala’s a capable craftsman, but this is average fare, barely what I would label horror, and more a very middling thriller. If this was a movie, adding a bevy of co-eds in short-shorts and tight tees in place of Hautala's four, out-of-shape male protagonists might help keep a few guys' attention … but The Wildman is unfortunately rather tame.

  • Tony
    2018-09-21 21:02

    One of my pet peeves is spelling/grammar errors in an ebook. The Kindle version of this book is riddled with errors. One sentence was so bad that I could never determine what the intent of the author was. ****Possible spoilers below****This was my first book by Rick. I really wanted to like it, and I did for about the first half. But the promising setup never really developed. The second half of the book was basically a chase through the woods at night. At times I felt that I was reading the same parts over and over. The character of Jeff bounced back and forth from determined combatant to weak minded wimp - sometimes twice on the same page. And I don't even want to talk about the twist at the end!I liked the beginning enough to try another book by Rick, but I will give it some time. ..

  • William Dreux
    2018-09-29 03:46

    This was my first book of Rick Hautala and I am pretty much deceive by it.The story is well written but the plot is not interesting. All of the story consist of a meeting of old friend on a island. And the first half consist of organizing this meeting. Past this boring half when all you do understand is that something is going wrong is the other half where another boring things are coming.Well, the only one moment that was really good for me was when the only unexpected event append ( without spoiling I would say it have to do with the infirmary ) but by the begining to the end everything is predictable. The end is so predictable that I was wondering when the writer would come to it.To conclude I would say that the author may been a really good writer ( behind the bad plot, I can see a good writing ) but this book was definetely not one for me.

  • Brenda Seaberg
    2018-09-26 03:08

    I liked this book, but I didn't love it. Tons of foreshadowing was used, tons of thoughts shown to make the reader very suspicious of almost everything. However it was still rather 'normal'. I didn't find that I couldn't put it down, but I still did enjoy the writing. I will need to read more by this author before deciding if I do or don't like his writing.

  • Missy
    2018-10-13 22:00

    the story was OK. it is abut a group of friends from summer camp that have a reunion in their camp. the camp has been closed for 35 years and is in disrepair. I kept thinking it was going to be like a slasher movie but it really wasn't.

  • Jeremy Hurd-McKenney
    2018-09-27 03:03

    2.5 stars--this started it out strong, building a lot of tension, but fizzled out, mostly due to repetitiveness and crying wolf one too many times. By the time we reach the denouement, the story feels trite and stale.

  • Scott Harris
    2018-10-20 02:46

    Unimaginative story line (several friends unite for a weekend in the woods) with lots of grammatical errors. If this were a first published independent book I might have rated it higher.