Genevieve is good at her sales job but it's going to be a long time before she saves enough money to pursue her dream - to buy a boat and live on it. So she decides to ramp things up and takes a job pole dancing at a private club in London. Just dancing, nothing extra.
Cut to the second narrative. Dream achieved - Genevieve has done it - she is living on and fixing up a barge. The night after a boat warming party with some old friends from London and new friends from the marina she's docked at, a strange bumping against her hull awakens her. It's a body in the water - and she knows who it is.
Through a dual set of narratives, we cut from present to past, all of it leading to the question - what happened in London?
I really enjoyed this format and the eking out of information as the back story slowly filled in and the present day hurtled forward. Haynes kept me quickly turning pages with her foreshadowing.
With Into the Darkest Corner, I became quite involved with Catherine, the lead character. In Dark Tide, I felt like more of an observer. Genevieve didn't garner quite the same emotional response from me. I found her to be self serving, shallow and I honestly questioned her decisions at times.
All the elements are here for a good read - danger, romance and unanswered questions. And it was a good read for me. It just didn't grip me as much as her first book. Dark Tide was written as part of 2010's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Although the book has, of course, been edited since then, it still felt a bit formulaic and by the numbers. I'm not sure if North American readers will be familiar with a genre of tell all British women's magazines such as Chat. They focus on real people telling their usually shocking true stories in a first person narrative. This is what Genevieve's recounting reminded me of.
I did enjoy the description of life on the boat and Genevieve's renovations - they sparked a daydream of a living on a houseboat! There were perhaps a few too many references to pole dancing techniques and moves.
But all in all, Dark Tide was a great escapist read, easily devoured in a day. I do like this author and will be eagerly waiting to read the North American release of her third book, Human Remains.
Read an excerpt of Dark Tide.
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