The Wild Inside

The Wild Inside

3.3 (1,222 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Wild Inside is an unusual love story and a creepy horror novel -- think of the Brontë sisters and Stephen King. --John Irving

A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica.

A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family's home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother's rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed.

But these precautions aren't enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound--a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can't be sure.

Helping her father cope with her mother's death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn't have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can't warn her father without explaining about the attack--or why she's kept it to herself.

It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest's edge.

Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them--or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 28mm | 408g
  • English
  • 0062741993
  • 9780062741998
  • 1,968,934

Back cover copy


In Alaska, the winters are long and dark, the land untamed. Tracy Petrikoff has always loved her family's remote home and her parents' business training and racing sled dogs: cold days out in the woods on a sled, warm nights inside by the fire, a family built of four hardworking humans and forty willing dogs. It seemed only a matter of time before Tracy's father won the Iditarod--and perhaps, not too long after, Tracy herself would win.

But now everything is different. Tracy's mother was killed in a hit-and-run the year before, and the family is mired in grief and struggling to keep the business alive. Tracy holds tight to the rules her mother told her never to break: Never lose sight of the house. Never come home with dirty hands. Never make a person bleed. . . . She tries not to think about the questions to which she will never have answers--questions about the natural instinct she inherited from her mother for working with dogs, questions about why her mother was walking by the side of the road the night she died.

When a stranger attacks Tracy in the woods and knocks her unconscious, she does not tell her father. She does not want to give him another reason to worry--nor does she want him to keep her close to home. But shortly thereafter, another stranger emerges from the woods, looking for a job, and Tracy's omission becomes the first strand in a web drawing tightly over her family. Now the isolation Tracy has always valued in her home has begun to seem like a threat, and Tracy has to decide what she must do to protect those she loves best.

An electrifying debut that explores questions of loyalty and family, love and longing, The Wild Inside will introduce you to a voice and a writer you will not soon forget.
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Review quote

"An unusual love story and a creepy horror novel -- think of the Brontë sisters and Stephen King...The architecture of the storytelling is faultless."--John Irving
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Rating details

1,222 ratings
3.3 out of 5 stars
5 15% (186)
4 28% (346)
3 33% (404)
2 18% (217)
1 6% (69)
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