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Publisher's Summary

Thousands of hikers traverse the Appalachian Trail. For most, it's an enjoyable experience. A chance to reconnect with nature, meet interesting people, and get a great workout. For some, it can be a nightmare.

Multiple women have been raped, ravaged, and terrorized, along a 40-mile stretch, in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Authorities are stumped. Even as they struggle to find the perpetrator, he strikes again. 

Eric Lance has a sickness. His heart desires power and control. His perverse appetites know no bounds. Can Rob Stone stop him from wrecking another life along the Appalachian Trail? He's out of shape, has a bum knee, and is hiking farther than ever before. His faithful canine companion, Terrance, will have to help him out during a critical time. Finding the perpetrator and stopping him could cost both of them dearly. 

This harrowing thriller is a battle of good versus evil.

©2019 Robert Arthur Ward (P)2019 Robert Arthur Ward

What listeners say about Terror on the Trail

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What A Story!

I have read numerous stories on hiking the Appalachian Trail; this one took my breath away, at times. The rape scenes were hard to listen to! I found myself wanting this sick guy to be caught, so badly! There are parts of the book I did enjoy immensely: the camaraderie between hikers, the thrill of the hike, the newfound friendships, etc. I also found it interesting how hikers obtained their names. This is an excellent story, well written and well researched. One of the hikers had a very foul mouth, which gave her a very fitting nickname. I will say she was a very likable person, and my heart went out to her and her husband! The narrator is excellent! Yes, this is a book worth listening to; it’s a keeper!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Intriguing tale of life on the AT.

Enjoyable story of those on the trail and of pure evil.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Engrossing

"Terror on the Trail: A Hike Gone Wrong" (2019) by Rob Ward is an engrossing novel about colorful characters hiking the Appalachian Trail. We’re introduced to several hikers, including one man who is a deranged rapist. The author does a good job building tension and making the people distinct so the story isn’t confusing. I did find switching character points of view mid-scene to be annoying. Narrator Nick Newell’s baritone voice held my attention. Solidly recommended. Audiobook given free in exchange for honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lot of telling over showing

I was really excited to read the description of this book for a couple reasons. First, I love mysteries and true crime stories. Second, I grew up a few miles from the AT and spent many a weekend on the trail doing day hikes. Third, a few years ago I helped a friend create a book about his Thru hike (RIP Face Jacket). I also have read stories about unsolved mysteries taking place along the AT. (Legends, taking on a life of it's own at this point!)

Mr. Newell gets the trail culture down. Trail names, trail magic, location descriptions. Spot on. I love it.

The main issue I had with the story telling of this book is the "telling, not showing." Each person gets a Wikipedia type description of their life, relationship, and personality. The main character, Erik's, back story is told in a fact-by-fact chapter. Like, "Erik's Dad is a douche canoe. Erik's Mom left. Erik's Dad beat the snot out of him. Erik is evil and hates everyone." There's no nuance, no subtlety. No real character building. Another issue is the "If you didn't get it the first two times, here it is again." Example, "Character's name is Smiles because she is happy. She was known for her sunny disposition. She had smiles for everyone so people called her Smiles."

Book contains graphic descriptions of violence.

Recommended for people who like true crime stories.

I received this audio book in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Worth it!

Great story, very well narrated! I finished it a month ago, and it's still sticking with me!!! Definitely worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A tale for hikers who like to freak themselves out

As an avid hiker I was really drawn to this book and the synopsis. Despite being on the West Coast vs back East where the Appalachian Trail (AT) is located, this story really resonates for me. One of the big differences that I noticed is the set up of such a trail. There's intervalled shelters along the trail to allow hikers to rest and camp in a designated location. This is not something I've seen on any of the bits of the PCT here in CA. I ended up googling them to see what they looked like. It makes the accounts in the book all the more real feeling now that I've seen them. You can get a really good idea what trail life is like. I would love to do a Thru-hike of the PCT or AT in the future and this really gives you a realistic idea of what it takes to live on the trail for weeks and months on end.

The story unfolds and we jump around a bit between a few subplots. I keep thinking we'll be done introducing new characters but then new ones pop up and I'm wondering just how integrated they'll all become. I think AT culture is so different than the way I currently hike that I can't imagine buddying up with folks for days on end and creating trail names for each other. I just assumed trail names were something you gave yourself or a close friend gave you, not necessarily some stranger you encountered. Kind of interesting that the AT lends itself to that comradery whereas the PCT not as much.

There's the rapist Eric, Rob and his dog T, Gab and Stretch, Smiles/Sunshine?, Pathfinder, Sarah and Clay, Paul the snorer. Some of the stories come and go and that's it. Some are more integral to the bigger story. Eric is a serial rapist and he prays on women hiking the AT because they're easy targets. As the story unfolds there's a few painful-to-hear encounters of rape and brutality but you kind of expect that going in. All the while you're wondering who's going to stop this monster from continuing to nab women on the trail. The last 30 or so min are pretty suspenseful.

Some of the dialogue feels a little clunky and unnecessary or like it could have been edited better. I feel like this story would have worked better with a different narrator to be honest. I feel like he did the Jersey accents of Sarah and Clay well, but some of the other men characters just felt forced and too deep. It was hard to get past initially. Sarah's sassy profanity laden dialogue was funny and made me laugh though.

You don't have to be a hiking junky like me to really enjoy this story but it certainly helps create an even better mental picture.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well done

This wasn't what I expected. For some reason I thought it would focus on a single hiker and what she faces (the attack). Instead it's a number of people and how their lives overlap, some in big ways some in very minor. It's well done and I suspect is fairly indicative of how something like this really would happen. Well done.

I received this book at my request in exchange for a fair review.

1 person found this helpful

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Full of colorful characters and suspense

This story follows several people as they hike through the mountains and the people they meet along the way. Unbeknownst to them, there is a serial rapist searching for his next victim. Unfortunately for him. he chooses the wrong woman, Sarah. With the help of Rob and his dog T, who Sarah and her husband met on the trail. they are able to stop him from causing anymore harm.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Hiking Thriller

I totally enjoyed listening to this hiking thriller that takes place in the AT (Appalachian Trail) and all the kooky characters with funny trail names and their interactions. There is a problem that has been occurring for some of the hikers, a serial rapist. (sure there is sexual and violence descriptions that can be hard to take but makes the story. Eric is a psychopath rough torture childhood but loved the characters of Rob and T (his dog) ,as well as Pathfinder, Tom , Sally, and Tonya to name a few. Recommend this deep thriller. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. THANK YOU!!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Dark and Compelling

A twisted story about a hike on the Appalachian trail gone wrong.

Dark and compelling, this book was definitely right up my alley. I loved the way the author switched between the victim and perpetrator to really build up the suspense of the cat and mouse chase.

Narration was captivating.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.