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The Current

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  615 ratings  ·  187 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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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  615 ratings  ·  187 reviews


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Paula Kalin
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Suspense/thriller fans
Recommended to Paula by: Linda
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
...more
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
...more
Linda
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
...more
Fran
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
...more
Matt
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
Matt
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
...more
karen
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
reviewing for LA review of books, pub date TBD.
Reading.Between.Wines
⭐⭐⭐💫 / 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 wa
...more
DeAnn
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
...more
Berit☀️✨
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Kathleen
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
...more
Elizabeth
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
...more
Nilufer Yenidogan Ozmekik
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fiona
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
...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
Laura
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this one blindly only knowing reviewers were saying "it's better than his first." I haven't read his first but the second was very, very good. I only give it 4 stars because I'm a reader who likes complete closure and you don't get that in this book. The book grabbed me from the beginning but I did not know this was a suspense/crime novel until later as the plot developed. It is very well written and I enjoyed the pace. Highly recommend.
Perry
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A cadaverously cryogenic, criminal suspense novel, deftly structured, though it can be difficult to catch the flow for the first 100 pages as it switches between 6/7 characters since the shifts happen mainly from ruminations of a character to those of another with sparser dialogue in the book's first half. I suspect most readers 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.

Grade A Prime 4.5 star feed for my thrice-
...more
Jessica Woodbury
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, crime-mystery
If you read DESCENT, you know that Tim Johnston writes anti-thrillers, crime novels that are purposely slow. A mystery may be solved but sometimes it seems that that is secondary to a larger goal. If you use the term "literary fiction," this is certainly a "literary" mystery, with prose worth paying attention to.

THE CURRENT starts fast and then becomes very slow, especially because it considers the way a new crime brings an old one to the surface, which means you have twice as much backstory to
...more
Erin
Feb 16, 2019 marked it as abandoned
DNF 12%

What I thought this book was about:

A mystery about 2 young women plunging into an icy river and the parallels to an old case. Was it an accident or were they pushed...

What I got:

An overly prosy word-soup that lacked any human emotion or suspense. The dialogue felt forced, other chapters lacked quotation marks to indicate dialogue, sentences/paragraphs began with ‘and’, others were choppy and interrupted by thoughts and questions of the character to whom the paragraph was about. The use o
...more
Barbara Bryan
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. A slowish start but then I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Caroline is driving her friend Audrey home to Minnesota to see her father who is dying of cancer. They have a run in with creeps when stopping for,gas and then end up on the icy river and then into the river. Audrey lives but Caroline doesn’t.
Ten years ago in a parallel story Holly Burke is hit by a car and thrown in the same river where she drowns. Both stories are investigated by various engaging and likable cha
...more
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
3.5
Amy
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another page turner from Tim Johnston. A drive home from college for a local girl ends in tragedy for a small town in Minnesota that has already experienced its share. What follows is a series of events that tie together many of the individuals involved in a cold case over a decade old and a chance to either solve the case or come to terms with what happened next to an icy river one night in winter.

After the action started, I found it hard to put this book down, even when the pace slowed a bit t
...more
Rebecca
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley for review.

Marketing this book as a thriller is going to do this book a disservice. It's a solid literary fiction book, but thriller it is not, and readers going into this story expecting the suspense of a thriller are going to be disappointed (I'm not generally prepared for literary fiction style structure when I am reading a thriller). About 2/3 of the way through this book I finally became pretty invested in the story and found t
...more
Gloria
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This does not come out until Jan 2019, but please put it on your to-read list. As in his previous book The Descent, Johnston excels at slow-paced yet steadily increasing tension. Twice was sure I had solved the crime, but plot twists kept the story moving in new directions.

An unresolved death of a young woman ten years ago is somehow part of a death of a young woman today. Both situations become urgent problems to solve. This explores the grief of parents of young adults, strained relationships
...more
Quinn Sullivan
This book was lacking something for me. It was a mystery but it never really seemed to take off or really get resolved. I felt like I was left with so many loose ends by the end of it. And the constant inner monologue back and forth from past to present was draining to read. Not my favorite unfortunately.
Dana Portwood
I don't know if there is a category for books called "lyrical thriller" but if there is, that's what I would call Tim Johnston.

The current is a multi-level story which is set in motion when a car carrying two college-age friends enters an icy river on a dark night. One girl lives and the other dies.

In a strange twist of fate, Audrey, the girl who lives, was on the way to visit her father who is dying of lung cancer, and who also used to be the sheriff when, several years ago and in another sta
...more
Georgette
Wow. He really got me with his last book, Descent. This took awhile to get into, but the edgy story of two Iowa girls whose SUV goes into an icy river, gets ahold of you with intersecting stories and multiple character arcs. The story and its end will really take the wind out of you. My advice is....it starts slow, but the different characters start to take over and the story takes root like wildfire. Stick with it; totally worth it.
Karyn Niedert
This book started out great, but dragged quite a bit in the middle, for me. There were so many sympathetic characters, and when the truth came out I was very surprised. I was very pleased (and relieved) to find out who didn't do it, but was disappointed by who did.
Adrienne Scales
This was a new author for me. I needed a change of pace since I read so much romance. I was looking for a thriller, a little mystery to shake things up. I found the premise enticing, two girls driving home from college end up in an icy river, only one survives. The surviving girl returns home, searching for answers to another murder of girl in the river ten years prior.

This story had the makings of a great thriller. However, I found myself confused, even unsure of what was happening. There are s
...more
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Tim Johnston is the author of the novels DESCENT and THE CURRENT, the story collection IRISH GIRL, and the Young Adult novel NEVER SO GREEN. Published in 2009, 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 collection itself won the 2009 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. In 2005 the title story, “Iris ...more
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“A professor of mine used to say justice is blind,' he said, 'but she also can't see worth a shit.” 0 likes
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