Book Reviews

{Review} IN THE RIVER, by Jeremy Robert Johnson

IN THE RIVER by Jeremy Robert Johnson
Published by Amazon Digital Services on August 4, 2017
Genres: Horror
Pages: 137
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on Amazon

"In the River is a brilliant offering; the pain and strange beauty of it will wash over you and sweep you away."―Scream Magazine

"Gripping, horrifying, surreal...Think The Old Man and the Sea meets The Pearl meets Pet Sematary...But, dare I say it, In the River takes you to even darker places..."―Verbicide

An intensely moving tale of survival and madness along the river's edge. A father and son fishing lesson become a nightmarish voyage to the sea in this visionary testament to the lengths we will go for those we love.

Horror After Dark Review

IN THE RIVER is the first I have read from author Jeremy Robert Johnson. As an introduction, this one could not have been any more captivating! This novella, at first glance, looked to be fairly simple in style–short, to the point, sentences, evolving into short, plain, paragraphs.

That impression was banished within the first several seconds that I read. 

“River looks rough.” 

The words convey a beauty and a love deeper than what I was expecting. This is the tale of a father taking his seven-year-old son fishing for the first time. It is to be a “growing up” experience for the boy, a bonding between them as the father teaches the boy things he will do as a man.

“. . . The river gave so much to them, but the river was also serious.” 

In the stern instructions given, you can feel the love this man has for his son. Knowing the dangers to watch out for is a part of “protecting”, and the boy is proud to be a part in this. We explore the entire gauntlet of emotions in these pages: Love, pride, a healthy fear for the dangers of the river, guilt, forgiveness, sorrow, anger, confusion, and contentedness.

“. . . you’ll know he’s there, and he’ll know you know it . . . “ 

I put this novella down only once, and couldn’t wait to get back to it! The characters we encounter are so realistic and down to Earth. Despite the many dangers along the river, including snakes and black caiman crocodiles, the universe is constantly in motion, and these people have learned to cope with whatever comes their way.

“. . . What good does it do anyone to know the unending cruelty of the world? . . . “ 

Overall, I found this story to be most impressive. It had the ability to take me along with the man and his son on their journey. No matter where you go, or what you do, it’s not possible to control all the variables around. No single person is immune to the whims of fate, and the best you can do is accept this truth and continue on.

“There’s purpose in you still.” 

A spellbinding tale that takes you–mentally and emotionally–much further than you’d expect.

Highly recommended!

.mobi Paperback

About The Author

Jeremy Robert Johnson is the author of the critically-acclaimed collection ENTROPY IN BLOOM as well as the breakthrough cult novel SKULLCRACK CITY. His fiction has been acclaimed by The Washington Post and Publishers Weekly, authors such as David Wong and Jack Ketchum, and has appeared internationally in numerous anthologies and magazines. In 2008 he worked with The Mars Volta to tell the story behind their Grammy Winning album The Bedlam in Goliath. In 2010 he spoke about weirdness and metaphor as a survival tool at the Fractal 10 conference in Medellin, Colombia. Jeremy is at work on a host of new books. For more information:


I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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