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The Wildman [Kindle Edition]

Rick Hautala
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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 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?

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About the Author

Under his own name, Rick Hautala has written close to thirty novels, including the million-copy bestseller Nightstone, as well as Winter Wake, The Mountain King, and Little Brothers. He has published two short story collections: Bedbugs and Occasional Demons. He has had over sixty short stories published in a variety of national and international anthologies and magazines. Writing as A. J. Matthews, his novels include the bestsellers The White Room, Looking Glass, Follow, and Unbroken. His forthcoming books from Cemetery Dance Publications include Indian Summer, a new “Little Brothers” novella, as well as two novels, Chills and Waiting. He recently sold The Star Road, a science fiction novel co-written with Matthew Costello, to Brendan Deneen at Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s and Glimpses: The Best Short Stories of Rick Hautala, to Dark Regions Press. With Mark Steensland, he has written several short films, included the multiple award winning Peekers, based on the short story by Kealan Patrick Burke; The Ugly File, based on the short story by Ed Gorman; and Lovecraft’s Pillow, inspired by a suggestion from Stephen King. Born and raised in Rockport, Massachusetts, Rick is a graduate of the University of Maine in Orono with a Master of Arts in English Literature. He lives in southern Maine with author Holly Newstein. In 2012, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers’ Association. For more information, check out his website

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 650 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Odium Media (3 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #300,694 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story let down by Kindle presentation 2 Jun. 2013
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Wildman by Rick Hautala 3 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very readable and athmospheric horror/thriller, certainly enough to make me want to read more Rick Hautala stories. A number of contemplative paragraphs towards the story's end were quite memorable. (The only downside was the 20 or so minor textual mistakes in the printing)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars macabre and dark... the way horror should be 13 Nov. 2012
By Book Lover - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With gore and splatter all the rage in horror these days, it was refreshing to dig into Hautala's latest. He's an author who understands where horror really comes from... the mind and our inner fear. It's easy to disgust, turn stomachs and revolt. It's far harder to make you fear the shadows in both reality and unreality. Hautala's story leaves unanswered questions. It makes you think. It makes you afraid. What's real? What is not? Does it matter in the end? In the Gothic tradition of the masters of the 1800s, Hautala makes you question your own sanity as you close the final page... my kind of horror indeed...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror at its best by a Master of the genre 22 Mar. 2013
By Pete Kahle, Author of THE SPECIMEN - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rick Hautala has always been one of my favorite authors of any genre. With THE WILDMAN, he proves again that he is at the top of his game. Although I enjoy the occasional gorefest, Hautala reminds me in all his books that it is not a necessary component to induce skin crawling horror in your readers.

Thanks for inviting me into your worlds, Rick.


February 3, 1949 - March 21, 2013
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wildman 31 Aug. 2008
By M. B. - Published on
Hautala is back in full force with this tale of long lost friendships gone wrong and the killer instinct hovering closely by. His protagonist--a forty-something divorcé with some trusting issues, specially toward one of his former Camp Tapiola buddies who may or may not be what he seems--is the ultimate anti-hero, meaning with no hidden superpower or James Bond-like suaveness to describe him. Hautala goes (again) for the normal and delivers one of his most defined character to date. Sad, lost, envious--even of his fellow mates--but with a will for living despite this childhood ache that still haunts him... Only when he's forced to face the obvious concerning one of his presumed friends will he realize just how important it is to rely on his inner self to survive this mid-life crisis disguised as a killer on the loose theme. Of course the author scarcely rely on shock value to tell his story, aiming instead for the atmospheric feel while building up an ever-present plot which includes some well-drawn action sequences and some surprisingly touching moments. THE WILDMAN feels like an above average low-budgeter; you know the one that invades fall screens just before Halloween's time to become a favorite at the box office. Predict the same for this latest Hautala. It is one heck of a bolt-on ride.-----Martin Boucher
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and powerful! 10 May 2013
By Books Lovers Never Go to Bed Alone - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.

Originally published at Horror Novel Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than the Wildman you Might Expect 11 Feb. 2014
By Mike Kazmierczak - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.
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