This Wretched Valley
Author: Kiefer, Jenny
Publication Date:January 2024
Original language and publisher
GenreCrime & Thrillers
This Wretched Valley
Author: Kiefer, Jenny
“If you love wilderness horror, This Wretched Valley is a must-read. But be forewarned: after reading this chilling debut, you may never want to set foot in the great outdoors again.”—Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger and The Fervor
“With nimble pacing, scream-worthy scares, and an ever-present sense of dread, a trip to This Wretched Valley is one you’ll never forget.”—Rachel Harrison, national best-selling author of Cackle and Such Sharp Teet
“[This Wretched Valley is] horror that challenges our perceptions and understanding of the physical world, and that distorts our reality, [with] all of the elements I look for in horror—folklore, an environment that is a character itself, and characters trying to understand and survive through a horrific situation.”—Cynthia Pelayo, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Children of Chicago and The Shoemaker’s Magician
“This Wretched Valley is a fast-paced free fall straight into a Kentucky nightmare. Kiefer’s prose sings in this horrific tragedy of blood and dread and paranoia. The story will drag you kicking and screaming into the night and will not let you go. I lost sleep over it. Highly recommended.”—Todd Keisling, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of Devil’s Creek and Cold, Black, and Infinite
“This Wretched Valley is a reality-warping, body-horror, don’t-go-into-the-woods nightmare which grips from its very first sentence. Kiefer deftly weaves something Dyatlov Pass–shaped from her characters’ hubris and pain, leading them to a ghastly and inevitable end sure to delight fans of The Troop or Blair Witch. A truly unforgettable debut.”—Ally Wilkes, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of All the White Spaces
“This Wretched Valley is suspenseful, mysterious, and filled with racing adrenaline and paranoia. Jenny Kiefer calls us to question reality along with the novel’s characters and haunts us with repeating pasts and rotting bones both refleshed and unfleshed.”—Ai Jiang, Nebula and Locus Award finalist and author of Linghun
“Jenny Kiefer takes one of the most intriguing and horrific mysteries of the last century—the Dyatlov Pass incident—and pushes beyond our worst imaginings. An isolated valley and ominous small-town warnings set the stage for a skillful and bone-chilling tale of isolation and the limits of human endurance. Kiefer skillfully weaves historical horror into a modern-day setting, and the result is a deliciously adrenaline-laden nightmare. A fantastic debut that keeps all its promises.”—Laurel Hightower, author of Below and Crossroads
“Jenny Kiefer’s debut novel, This Wretched Valley, is rich with poisonous paranoia and a steadily climbing dread. By the time you realize that you are lost in this book’s clutches, you’ll think twice about ever camping in the woods again.”—P. L. McMillan, author of Sisters of the Crimson Vine
“Reading This Wretched Valley, you will find malice dangling from every branch while an old hunger gathers beneath your feet. Eerie, vicious, and unforgettably Kiefer.”—Andrew F. Sullivan, author of The Marigold and The Handyman Method
This nail-biting, bonechilling survival horror novel is inspired by the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident and is perfect for fans of Alma Katsu’s The Hunger and Showtime’s Yellowjackets.
Take only pictures. Leave only bones. Four ambitious climbers hike into the Kentucky wilderness. Seven months later, three mangled bodies are discovered. Were their deaths simple accidents or the result of something more sinister?
This trip is going to be Dylan’s big break. Her geologist friend Clay has discovered an untouched cliff face in the Kentucky wilderness, and she is going to be the first person to climb it. Together with Clay, his research assistant Sylvia, and Dylan’s boyfriend Luke, Dylan is going to document her achievement on Instagram and finally cement her place as the next rising star in rock climbing.
Seven months later, three bodies are discovered in the trees just off the highway. All are in various states of decay: one a stark, white skeleton; the second emptied of its organs; and the third a mutilated corpse with the tongue, eyes, ears, and fingers removed.
But Dylan is still missing—and no trace of her, dead or alive, has been discovered.
Were the climbers murdered? Did they succumb to cannibalism? Or are their impossible bodies the work of an even more sinister force?
This dread-inducing debut builds to a bloodcurdling climax, and will leave you shocked by the final twist.