by Vikki Wakefield

Publisher: Text Publishing, 2024

Publisher’s blurb

The Kelly family has always been trouble. When a fire in a remote caravan community kills nine people, including 17-year-old Sabine Kelly’s mother and sister, Sabine confesses to the murders. Shortly after, she escapes custody and disappears. Recently made redundant from marriage, motherhood and her career, journalist Rachel Weidermann has long suspected Sabine made her way back to the river—now, twelve years after the ‘Caravan Murders’, she has the time and the tenacity to corner a fugitive and land the story of the year.

Rachel’s ambition lights the fuse leading to a brutal chain of events, and the web Sabine weaves will force Rachel to question everything she believes. Vikki Wakefield’s compelling psychological thriller is about class, corruption, love, loyalty, and the vindication of truth and justice. And a brave dog called Blue.


By Kristin Murdoch

To the River by Vikki Wakefield revolves around a past caravan fire and the resulting deaths of several people, including the sister and mother of the main protagonist (and suspect), Sabine.

Sabine has been on the run for years, living in hiding on a houseboat on the river. What a fantastic setting for a crime novel. The author’s description of Sabine’s isolated, secret existence on the river adds great character to her surroundings and blends perfectly with the human protagonists. One is desperate to hide, and the other is determined to expose the truth. The storyline progressed smoothly as it built in suspense.

Sabine’s life in hiding is assisted by her boyfriend and her Pop and seems destined to continue until the arrival of Rachel, Pop’s next-door neighbour who is going through her own traumas after a divorce.

A journalist, Rachel is keen to interview Sabine about the tragedy and so begins the journey between two different time frames – the caravan fire in 2007 and the present day. The book draws you in from the start and had me sympathising with Sabine’s plight. The emotional growth of the two women throughout the story was well executed.

The story is well paced and suspenseful and the characters are great, including Sabine’s loyal dog, Blue. Definitely one to put on your must-read pile!