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The Current

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  5,305 ratings  ·  926 reviews
When two young women leave their college campus in the dead of winter for a 700-mile drive north to Minnesota, they suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives in the icy waters of the Black Root River, just miles from home. One girl’s survival, and the other’s death—murder, actually—stun the citizens of a small Minnesota town, thawing memories of another young woman ...more
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Algonquin Books
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  5,305 ratings  ·  926 reviews

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Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Suspense/thriller fans
Recommended to Paula by: Publisher
Tim Johnston has again written an outstanding literary suspense thriller!

Having been introduced to the author in 2016 with, Descent, I was highly anticipating getting my hands on his next book. The Current did not disappoint! A page turning, psychological crime thriller with many twists and turns, The Current, is a dark, emotional novel filled with tension and rage, guilt and revenge, but also compassion.

Two friends leave college to drive to Minnesota to visit Audrey’s father, retired sheriff To
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardback, library
Early in the book a vehicle is pushed into a river that is frozen on the surface but that has a raging current under the ice. The car contains two college girls, one who survives the river and one who doesn't. Ten years earlier another girl, the same age, died in this river, miles upstream, when someone threw her in the river after hitting her with a vehicle.

The writing in this book is different and it took a few chapters for me to get used to the way the book was written but once I got the rhy
"Because it was only girls…in the river…it’s always been only girls.”
In a small town in Minnesota, in the depths of winter, a car with two girls goes in the river, but only one girl survives. The survivor claims they were pushed into the river. The crime is eerily similar to the death of a young girl in the river 10 years ago, a murder than was never solved. The recent death dredges up an unresolved past with long-buried griefs and suspicions. We see the poisonous effects of an unresolved murde
Susanne  Strong
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
4 Stars.

A Taut, Tension filled Thriller that kept me on my Toes!

When two girls go into the river, only one comes out, nineteen year-old Audrey Sutter.

Ten years ago another girl’s life was lost to that same river: Holly Burke - her death was suspicious and though there was a suspect, he was never charged. The Sheriff at the time was Tom Sutter, Audrey Sutter’s father, he has never forgiven himself for letting the killer go free. Now, his own life hangs in the balance. Gordon Burke re-lives his
Life is about the intrusion of the unexpected.

Sun-filled, glorious days fill us with the ease of life and its gentle flow. But it is in the ravaged moments of night that brutal reality visits upon us. And with it comes the jagged scars that are deep, very very deep.

Two Iowa college girls take to the road heading north in the midst of an icy Minnesota winter. One girl has home as her destination. The other girl will have quite the unplanned destination. They stop nearly out of gas at a small town
Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An atmospheric story alive with tension and emotion!

Tim Johnston has written a book that I not only Red but I felt. I felt the tension in my head, I felt the emotion in my heart, and I felt the cold in my bones. There was something so real and raw about this story. It is one of those books that will stick with you long after you turn the last page!

Audrey and Caroline are driving from their southern college to Audreys home in northern Minnesota. Audrey is going home to see her father who is fight
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Tim Johnston, and Algonquin Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

In my first exploration of Tim Johnston’s work, the novel took a journey that may literally chill the reader to the bone. On their way back from college, two young women stop for gas in the middle of winter. A simple fill-up soon turns sour when one is assaulted by two men who prey on her solitude. After fen
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two best girlfriends were travelling by car from their Southern college to a small town in Minnesota. Caroline Price had generously volunteered to drive Audrey Sutter seven hundred miles to visit her father, Retired Sheriff Tom Sutter. Sheriff Sutter had inoperable lung cancer. A late night gas station stop in Iowa, near the Minnesota border, on a raw snowy night, turned deadly leaving Caroline missing and Audrey barely alive.

The gas station, approximately two deserted miles from the highway loo
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The nose of the car drops over the edge of the bank and the world pitches, and their own weight rolls forward through their bodies as at the top of a roller coaster just before the drop – the deep human fear of falling, the plunging heart, and there’s no stopping it and no getting out and nothing to do but hold on. And down they go, fast and easy in the snow, toboggan-smooth, hand in hand, their grips so tight, the grips of girls much younger, girls who will not be separated, their faces forwar ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
TBD is TODAY! my review finally posted over at LA review of books!


reviewing for LA review of books, pub date TBD.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 so well written stars

Ten years ago a young girl went into the freezing cold river. She was murdered and a family, a father, and a small town reeled from the shock, a loss of life that sent currents through lives that were never to be the same again. The murderer was never found. Yes, there was a suspect, a young man, whose family was devastated and as the young man is let go, he runs away. He runs from a family, a twin brother, and a mother who loved him. He runs from a dog, whose devotion
J.K. Grice
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Ever since I was 10 years old I have spent countless hours in the company of rivers. I have fished them, canoed them, floated them, boated them, and waded them. I have been submerged under their surfaces, sometimes by choice and sometimes not. There are times in high water when a river can be frightening, incredibly powerful, and awe inspiring. Then there are other months when the water is so low, it doesn't even appear to be flowing, as if the entire riverbed is one big puddle, left behind by s ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Well I find myself thinking of The Current and it is like a force of something powerful that reminds me of sitting in high school English reading something that is supposed to be profound about mankind or nature or life or maybe all three but all I was thinking about having to work later and how long could this book be would it ever end and how could so many words that were supposed to mean something be so tired?

The Current reads just like that word salad.

It is trying to be deep but it's so bus
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
5 "treacherous river current" stars to this one

I was utterly captivated by the writing in this book. The story was very compelling, and the suspense built throughout the book, but I wouldn’t characterize it as your typical thriller.

The book opens with two college friends on a road trip to Minnesota when things take a terrible turn. The rest of the book deals with the aftermath and the connections to a similar crime ten years ago. Small town life is explored, secrets unearthed, and old suspicious
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded up.

Well, I did not like The Current by Tim Johnston as much as I liked his novel Descent, but it was still a captivating read that pulls at your heartstrings.

What it's about: 2 college students, Caroline Price and Audrey Sutter, are on a road trip from their college campus in Georgia to Minnesota so Audrey can see her dying father. It is the dead of winter, and Caroline's car ends up going into the river, with only one of them making it out alive. Years earlier another girl
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Two college friends are in a tragic accident when their vehicle goes in the river. One is found alive, but the other is killed. The police investigate to determine if it was an accident or intentional. The accident reminds locals of a similar case from ten years earlier, when a young woman was killed at the river and the case was never solved.

Two different mysteries combine in this intriguing and slow-burning novel. One mystery concerns the current car accident involving two young women. They ha
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one begins with two girls, Caroline and Audrey, who are going on a road trip to Audrey's home to see her dying father. They are assaulted at a gas station and subsequently their car is pushed slowly into an icy river. Caroline dies and Audrey survives. This tragic events brings back the memories of another young girl, Holly Burke, who also went into the river and died in a similar way. Audrey's father happens to be the Sheriff from that crime ten years earlier, and his inability to solve th ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars!
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audrey Sutter and Caroline Price drive 700 miles to Minnesota from their southern college in order for Audrey to be with her Dad who is dying of lung cancer. They stop at a dodgy gas station, and encounter two ‘good-old-boys’ that want to toy with them. Fast thinking allows them to escape, but they end up driving too fast and slipping on the icy road next to the frozen Black Root River. And then a vehicle comes up behind them and nudges their RAV4 onto the ice.

The ice breaks and the current take
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read Johnston's previous novel Descent earlier this year, and I hadn't thought about adding this one to my list, except I just kept hearing about how awesome it was. I finally added it and found it on the library bookmobile so it felt like kismet to pick it up.

I was immediately gripped by the book. It shifted perspectives almost too quickly, but this device added to the pageturning effect it had on me. Two college girls are driving to Minnesota to see one of the girl's ailing father's when the
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars which could have been a full 4 stars with a good edit. But rounded down for the length, not only of the whole novel, but of description that repeats and multi, multi overlaps of pivotal events and opinions by taking the route of continually switching both time periods and "eyes". That only works to a top notch degree when you have less characters than this novel and far fewer locale place switches and movement description copy.

But the plot was excellent. Nearly 5 star and absolutely n
Tim Johnston has written an excellent novel, the kind of book that's timely without being repetitive, and horrifying without being repellent.

The Current is the kind of book that sucks you in and holds you in place until it's finished with you - I read it in one sitting - and it's not until you realise you haven't moved in hours that you notice the grip it's taken on you. It's the kind of fiction that feels like a snapshot of reality; characters and places so real and so perfectly written that y
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A cadaverously cryogenic, criminal suspense novel, deftly structured. One might have difficulty catching the flow for the first 100 pages as the book switches between 6/7 characters because the shifts happen mainly from ruminations of one character to those of another. The first half contains sparse dialogue. I suspect most readers have or will hit high gear by a third of the way through. Once I got there, I found it hard to put the novel aside, for the comfort of sleep or otherwise.

Grade A 4.4
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Johnston writes his story beautifully and this is my very first book written by this author. I am pleasantly surprised.

Crimes, cover-ups, a small town, some people hiding and running scared, others too slippery and crafty to get caught. The innocent, the guilty and the scared. There’s emotional grief, sorrow and pain.

This is a story of how one wrong thing can affect so many, not just at the time of its occurrence, but for another ten years or more.
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
From the very first page, I could tell this was going to be an atmospheric read. There's country/small town and big city books. A lot of what we read in the mystery/thriller genre is based in larger cities such as London and New York. Then we get ones like this that are catered to that small town feel. A more intimate setting where people know each other and their families for decades and the sting is sharper and the reveal or overall coming is told in a more subtle, concise way that still leave ...more
Judith E
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A character driven, atmospheric (icy, cold, Minnesota snow) murder mystery of girls falling through the ice and drowning in a river.

The girls, the suspects, and families are fully exposed and sub plots are in abundance. There are sparse and well done narratives, but I had to push myself to the end due to the repetitive descriptions of the icy, cold landscape and the protagonist’s inner thoughts.

At the end, questions remain and I suspect there will be a follow up book.

3.75 stars.
This was a good atmospheric mystery. Set during winter, two college women take a road trip to Minnesota to visit family, but when they stop at a gas station, they're attacked. One of the women ends up dead, and the one who survived discovers the attack may be connected to a murder from a decade ago.

I love a good mystery, and this was well-written and engaging. I enjoyed it so much I plan to read Tim Johnston's previous novel, "Descent."
Because it was only girls… In the river. It’s always been only girls.
The Current is not your ordinary mystery/thriller; in fact, I would strongly discourage those who enter its icy, frozen Minnesotan (and Iowan) world to read it solely for the mystery, or else dissuade altogether those looking for a fast-paced thriller.

What Johnston has written instead are immensely literary and exceedingly woeful, harrowing character studies of those who are trapped in present and past traumas—all of whi
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Copy courtesy of NetGalley

This is a well-written novel, but for some reason the story did not captivate me. Reading was arduous and I couldn't wait to finish - I'd already invested too much time to quit, but could tell what the ending was, predictable. There were too much descriptions, unnecessary "scenes" and a distinct lack of originality. I feel like I've lost a chunk of precious life.....
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Tim Johnston is the author of the novels THE CURRENT and DESCENT, the story collection IRISH GIRL, and the YA novel NEVER SO GREEN. A New York Times, USA Today, and Indie national bestseller, Descent has been published internationally and optioned for film. The stories of Irish Girl won an O. Henry Prize, the New Letters Award for Writers, and the Gival Press Short Story Award, while the collectio ...more

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