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Retribution Ridge

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A small hiking group in the wilderness – with bloody revenge for company

Milly has barely spoken to her sister Judith in years. They hardly exchanged a word at their mother’s funeral. They could not be further apart.

So when Milly gets an invitation to go on a hiking trip, she hopes it will be an opportunity for reconciliation. Inviting her school-friend Harper along with her for support, the small party head off together into the bush.

What awaits Milly is far from just a bracing hike in the wilderness, but an unexpected encounter with the past. The form it takes is revenge. But who is enacting it against Milly, and why?
Whilst the action in this book comes thick and fast, it is the relationship between the sisters and their mutual friend, Harper, that introduces the true darkness into the story.
This book is set in the rugged landscape below Perth in South Western Australia, an area the author has explored in depth.

231 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 29, 2016

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Anna Willett

21 books863 followers

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5 stars
181 (32%)
4 stars
181 (32%)
3 stars
147 (26%)
2 stars
36 (6%)
1 star
18 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 51 reviews
Profile Image for Peter Topside.
Author 4 books629 followers
August 28, 2022
Wowza, this story just kept going deeper and deeper into the very complex plot. I think it may have gone a bit overboard with the revenge premise and all the twists, but it was definitely an interesting way to keep the reader riveted. But then again, I’m three screwdrivers into my evening and maybe that’s affected my judgment. But it had lots of suspense throughout, even leading up to the finale. I enjoyed how Anna Willett took her time here and didn’t rush anything. And I really liked how she showed the after effects of the main story with Judith, Harper, and even Archie. Most stories, especially of this genre, tend to just end and not show the agonizing PTSD symptoms of the survivors. So kudos for that. But I thought the story was really good and I liked the overall execution quite a bit. Anna Willett demonstrates, once again, her tremendous abilities as a writer, and keeps me as a fan wanting more.
Profile Image for Vicki.
1,207 reviews146 followers
February 19, 2017
This thriller is exactly that, thrilling. with mysterious watchers, chasers and histories, there is a lot going on in this hectic race through the woods. These sisters have ten years of bad feelings, hurts and secrets that keep them from connecting. It is not as it seems and the story weaves a tapestry so tightly you are caught up in it trying along with the sisters to see what exactly is going on.

Anna Willett has a skillful way of making you feel you are on the run with these women. There is something sinister going on and my breathing was racing as I was tense with the unexpected. Each turn each moment brought fear to a head as you knew someone was out there and had no clue who it was. No clue whom you could trust. It is excellent storytelling.
Profile Image for Marie.
900 reviews221 followers
July 18, 2020
This was a very intense and in depth book of two sisters and a friend going hiking in the back woods of South Western Australia.

The sisters haven't spoken to each other in years, because of an tragic incident that had happened to them when they were younger. Milly's friend Harper invites her on the hiking trip letting her know that they will be meeting up with Milly's sister, Judith.

Judith invites a man along, Lucas, to help them get through the back wood country. When Milly and Harper finally arrive, things seem tense between the sisters at first. But then things start happening that puts everyone in danger as someone is stalking them and it has to do with the tragic past.

The book is full of twists, turns, along with some unexpected revelations, and a revenge stalker. I had a hard time putting it down as every chapter was full of suspense and intrigue.

I read the last forty percent of the book in about three hours as the closer it got to the end, the more intense it became.

Update on this book.

I am changing the rating from four stars to five stars as I read this book within 48 hours and any book that keeps me in a state of trepidation suspense with hardly any sleep when the only thing that matters is the book deserves five stars! So the rating has changed.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,027 reviews2,628 followers
March 7, 2021
Sisters Milly and Judith have barely spoken for ten years, not since their friend Drew died. Now Judith wanted Milly to join her and their friend Harper for a two day hiking trip in rugged bushland near Perth, Western Australia. They would have a guide, Lucas, who was an avid and experienced hiker. It wasn’t long before Milly started feeling uneasy, especially when they were supposed to abseil down a cliff face. Milly was terrified so Judith went first. Why was she making her do this? She knew of her fear. When things went woefully wrong, Lucas and Harper went for help…

The fear that flowed through the sisters; the terror that Harper felt. What was happening? Would they make it out of the thick, dangerous bush alive?

Retribution Ridge is another gritty suspense novel from Aussie author Anna Willett which I thoroughly enjoyed. The tension was high, the fear the characters felt became my fear. Willett always writes great characters, their strength and grim determination making them part of the action that takes place. Another great read which I recommend.
Profile Image for Diane Dickson.
Author 35 books85 followers
November 1, 2016
This books grabs you from the very start and then for the rest of the read the tension, drama and action are unrelenting and chilling. The threads of the story are woven together like a fine fabric and the twists are clever.

I haven't read much set in Australia and I really did enjoy the location descriptions which were very well drawn. The main female characters were believable and brave and human and the baddies were very bad indeed. It is brutal at times, in fact very brutal now and then but none of it is gratuitous and it is well done. The ending has a touch of sadness, a touch of left over fear and a degree of hope. What more can you ask.

I finished it in two sittings and was truly gripped by it.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,456 reviews445 followers
December 11, 2018
Third read by the author, her books just tend to show up as Kindle freebies and exceed all (admittedly low, but still) Kindle freebies expectations, so why not. These stories are Australia set for a fun change of pace and are always pretty thrilling thrillers, with elements of mystery and suspense featured in various quantities. Usually pretty straight forward stories, this one certainly was. Two sisters, estranged by a past tragedy, attempt a reunion ten years later, following the death of their mother. The reunion is to take place on a hiding/camping trip…because apparently no one ever reads genre fiction and no one ever learns. Along for the ride are a best friend and a hiking guide. The nature is gorgeous in a distinctly Australian way, but the trip hits a snag, upon a snag, until it unravels pretty brutally into a violent stand off between the ladies and a duo of killers of a revenge mission. So yeah, basically an action suspense thriller. Although there are a few plot twisting surprises thrown in for good measure. The writing is as decent as always and it makes for a very entertaining quick read.
Profile Image for Wiseask.
132 reviews12 followers
January 21, 2020
Retribution Ridge is a book written by a woman, about women, and frankly, for women. It’s subtitled by the author as “a dark, gripping and intense suspense thriller,” but it reads more like a novelization of a made-for-Lifetime movie with the same recurrent themes: emotionally fragile women in a geographically remote area are in peril as they are stalked by no less than two killers (males, naturally).

Is there a dark secret in their past? Is the Pope a Catholic?

In this version of the formula, two estranged sisters form the core of a party of four hiking through a dense and desolate Australian national park. The two day hike was supposed to help the sisters reconcile, but things go terribly wrong after a stunt orchestrated by one sister badly injures the other. The two remaining members of the hiking party go to seek help, leaving the sisters to fend for themselves.

You will find that the action borders on the miraculous as the separated main characters somehow manage to keep locating each other with pinpoint accuracy, without the aid of a compass or map in the vast and impenetrable wilderness which forms the background of their story.

Throughout the book the women talk a lot about their feelings, because that’s what women do. Along the way, there are non-stop descriptions of eyes and skies and voices and clothing and hair and foliage and terrain and body parts (“Walking through soft sand for two days will do wonders for my thighs”). The story leads to a predictable conclusion as the women triumph over their male assailants. The Lifetime TV channel shows a variation of this story every two hours as it rotates movies to bring excitement into the lives of bored housewives.

Are you a bored housewife? If not, I can recommend less feminine thrillers elsewhere. But as far as feminine thrillers go, except for the final three chapters lacking in suspense, rhyme or reason, Retribution Ridge was not bad.
Profile Image for Maia Gomez.
108 reviews30 followers
November 26, 2016
Oh wow - Anna has done it again! She's quickly becoming my favorite thriller author! This dark and intense thriller take you to the outback of the Australian wilderness with two sisters who are trying to reconcile after years of not speaking to each other. Haunted by a tragic accident from their teens, boundaries are pushed and deeply buried secrets are revealed through flashbacks to the accident that took a friend's life. Little do they know, the past is dogging their steps through the wilderness as they're stalked by two sinister men seeking retribution. With some nicely graphic survival scenes and deeply wrought emotion, this story was masterfully written and ensnared me from the very beginning. Full of twists and turns with plenty of surprises, I found myself holding my breath quite a few times to see what would happen next. I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed this story and really can't wait to see what the author brings us next!
Profile Image for Erik Empson.
381 reviews12 followers
January 9, 2020
If Backwoods Ripper had you chewing your knuckles in suspense, Retribution Ridge certainly will not disappoint. But the tension has a deeper psychological twist in Anna Willett's later book, which has the reader sharing in the entrenched distrust that exists between the two sisters at the centre of this story. This is a book that taps into our own fears of past wrongs, which delivers an exciting, pacey read with the kind of eerieness and impending threat about it that will have you reading long past bedtime.
Profile Image for Derith Rolfe.
393 reviews1 follower
December 27, 2018
Dark deeds and darker actions

This is literally edgeof the seat stuff. At the core of this is sibling rivalry. ' Sisters, sisters, never were there such devoted sisters. ' unfortunately I never had one. After reading this, I don't want one.
Profile Image for RedRedtheycallmeRed.
1,651 reviews35 followers
January 30, 2023
Sisters Milly are Jude are attempting to reconcile after years of barely speaking by going on a hike together. It's a terrible idea, as only one sister really has reconciliation on her mind, and things go from bad to worse quite quickly.

It's a lot more gruesome and violent than I expected, but it moves at a pretty good pace and is fairly short overall. I think Milly's part of the story got the short end of the stick, I felt like it needed a little more.
Profile Image for Jane.
390 reviews21 followers
March 7, 2021
An excellently paced thriller from a new to me Aussie author. Short but well plotted, good characters and good use of the Australian landscape to add to the thrills. Will definitely be on the look-out for more by this author.
Profile Image for Trudy.
301 reviews
August 31, 2020
I've read Anna Willett before and enjoy visiting Australia every so often. This story of sisters Milly and Judith and friend Harper and a hike that turned into a terror. It was suspenseful and intense and kept me guessing. The rugged terrain in Western Australia was described beautifully.
Profile Image for zoë ❅ (fallxnrobin).
93 reviews19 followers
November 23, 2016
Retribution Ridge was a rather quick, dark and thrilling read.

3.5 stars

Millie and Judith are sisters, but an incident that took place ten years ago drove a wedge into their relationship. Not long later, Millie left Perth and moved to Sydney. When Millie receives an invitation from Judith to go on a hiking trip, she accepts it, hoping that she’ll be able to reconcile with her sister. Together with her best friend Harper and their tour guide Lucas, the group of four headed into the Australian wilderness. But everything quickly turns awry and the past finally catches up to Millie in the form of a revenge plot.

While the backstory for this revenge plot may not be anything spectacular, the use of time jumps really maintains the suspense of the story as what happened before the time jumps is unknown to us. There’s also a lot of chase scenes, not unlike a predator chasing its prey, with some heart-to-heart talk scenes between the two sisters slotted in.

I didn’t really like Millie as I thought she was too bossy and freaked out really easily, but I guess I should spare her break. She did break her ribs, sprain her wrist and never expected a simple hiking trip to take such an unexpected turn of events. However, under all the conflicts and arguments, she still loved and cared for her sister. This relationship of theirs played a very important role in some of the decisions both of them made and it made the ending even more bittersweet.

There’s a lot of description with regards to the surroundings, helping bring the Australian landscape to life with the various types of wildlife found there, such as the kookaburras and gum trees*. However, when it comes to descriptions of the characters themselves, I felt that it was lacking. We know what colour the hair of the characters is and sometimes, their eyes, but what about their other features? What style is their hair in? What is their body structure like?

*I can’t seem to get that song out of my head though…

I like that two whole chapters were dedicated to the ending but it didn’t really give me the full closure I wanted. It showed what happened to all the characters after the main events in Retribution Ridge but I would like to have some confirmation from an authority figure regarding Milly’s fate. I’m still having a hard time believing that it actually happened to her (what ‘it’ is I shall not say for spoilery reasons).

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Profile Image for Angie.
45 reviews14 followers
June 1, 2020
3.5 stars. This book was great, thrilling fun and I will definitely read more from Anna Willett. A star definitely got knocked off because of some moments that made me groan, but over all I really enjoyed this and read it in two sittings.
2 reviews1 follower
November 22, 2016
Very clever writing. I particularly enjoyed it being written in the 3rd person. Great story that leaves you thinking way after you have finished reading. Please keep writing Anne.
Profile Image for Cindylou.
122 reviews1 follower
July 9, 2020
Retribution Ridge

This is an intense read. The characters are cold and calculating. Extremely suspenseful with some dark twists. You don’t want to wait to find out what happens.
Profile Image for kittykat.
142 reviews2 followers
March 6, 2018
A lack of suspense and mediocre story telling.

The plot is one of revenge stemming from an incident years ago. Two stories colliding to a brutal outcome. Set in a native Australian National Park WA, author captured the essence of the Australian scenery but failed to build suspense the storyline warranted. I can see where the author was trying to go but for me it just fell way short. The characters lacked the charisma you need in a thriller. I was bored thru a lot of this book and just wanted it to end. I have downloaded another book by this author so I’m hoping it doesn’t disappoint.....stay tuned!
876 reviews1 follower
December 4, 2018
australia sisters torn apart by an accident where their best friend drowned. After the death of their mother they decide to try one more time to reunite by taking a trek with a guide into the outback . One sister falls and seriously hurts her head in a planned scheme to scare her into selling the mothers home .
Little do they know that the guide and another stalker are the brothers of the friend that drowned . One sister dies of her injuries of the fall and the other two girls fight for their lives to survive.
600 reviews1 follower
February 13, 2019
Two sisters have not been close for years. One decide to teach the older one a lesson. They meet with a friend and a guide in a national park in Western Australia and all hell breaks loose. The Aussies are as blood thirsty as the Scandinavians it seems in their description of horrible happenings. This book ends with a whimper, touchy feels after all the gore and trauma. I read it to the end, but not tempted to read more by that author...perhaps some day ... a freebie in My Kindle? Who knows.
1,172 reviews7 followers
April 12, 2020
Two sisters that share a dark secret about a child hood friend dying after falling off a cliff into water.
Milly and Jude are going on a hike with a guide and Jude's girlfriend Harper. The guide is not what he pretends to be. The guide is the brother of Drew, the boy who died. His other brother shows up on this hike to make the sisters pay for the death of Drew. They are in the mountains of Australia miles from help. This is a thriller and page turner.
23 reviews
December 21, 2018
Amazing story telling

An amazing book it really is girl power. It was a shame someone had to die. I really enjoyed the story I could just pictured the Australian out back it seemed so real.

November 17, 2019

The editing in the last few chapters was poor which spoils the otherwise fast pace. The descriptions of place and time had a few problems but it is a very suspenseful, entertaining book.
Profile Image for Neil Randall.
104 reviews
May 24, 2021
It keeps the pace up all through, however I found some of the sorts quite repetitive. And how many times did we have to run through thembush and fall over.

Good easy read though, bit of an obvious bad guy though!
Profile Image for Tina.
877 reviews6 followers
March 18, 2023

A family out for revenge. But which family?
A story where you can't trust anyone in your life.
Stated as fast paced, I didn't think it was. Didn't take away from the enjoyment though.
18 reviews1 follower
December 13, 2018

Not a lot of substance. Could have been reduced to half by cutting out the fluff. Not my type for sure.
Profile Image for Shirley McCann.
Author 28 books147 followers
December 23, 2018
Three women embark on a hike with a guide they barely know. But another person later emerges as a killer. This book was great, but should have ended sooner. I skimmed over the last few pages.
337 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2020
Thankfully short

I don't like to leave a book partially read so ploughed through this. Nasty and violent I didn't enjoy it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 51 reviews

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