BookBin2014: Dark Tide


First, a caveat: This book has two different titles, depending on which side of the pond you find it. In Elizabeth Haynes’s home country of England, the book is known as Revenge of the Tide. Here in the colonies, however, the book is called Dark Tide. Haynes does make note of the fact that the U.S. version of her story went through additional revisions that provided a bit more back story for the main character. Perhaps they changed the title to allow readers the chance to more easily identify the two different versions. I’ll go with that answer for now.

Anyway, I decided that I wanted to continue on the mystery thriller streak that I started with Gone Girl. This book sounded promising from its dust jacket blurb, which describes how protagonist Genevieve Shipley has left behind all the stresses of London to spend a year remodeling a houseboat she purchased in Kent (heh, Shipley…houseboat…clever girl, that Haynes). Part of the stress, however, finds her in her new home when she discovers the body of a former friend/colleague floating outside her bedroom window one night.

Different level of stress from what we’re used to, eh?

From the point of discovery, we begin to learn more of Genevieve’s London life: Of her horrible day job that she wants to leave more than anything, and of the night job she takes to reach her financial goals a bit more quickly. Seems she’s got quite a talent for pole-dancing in her exercise class, so her instructor (a former stripper, of course) sets her up to become the newest dancer at the Barclay, a classy gentleman’s club where the strippers might wear very little, but they never wear clear heels.

Chris Rock hollaback.

Truthfully, this wasn’t a bad novel. Haynes is an able writer and, as a police analyst, she infuses a certain level of professional believability into her writing that grounds it, gives it a bit of much-appreciated heft. I’m still uncertain as to whether I’m ever going to be a true fan of these types of books, but I obviously enjoyed this one enough to finish it (although I didn’t find it to be quite the page turner that I found Gone Girl to be).

Plus, Genevieve is a likeable enough character. Actually, many of Haynes’s characters were likeable (which was a welcome change from the last book). I read a couple of reviews that dubbed Genevieve a “good girl gone bad.” I don’t necessarily think that’s a fair assessment. If anything, I think that Genevieve remains relatively inline with her true self (which isn’t “good” or “bad”…I’d say she’s a decent soul). She’s a bit naive when it comes to certain things, true, but she’s also more than aware of other things, knows how to take care of herself (for the most part) and knows that sometimes you have to take different routes to get to where you want to go. I wouldn’t say she’d “gone bad” at all; she just made allowances that she didn’t properly think through so that she could get what she wanted. This story is just an exaggerated example of how having tunnel-vision focus on a goal can sometimes lead to very bad things.

Final Verdict: Dark Tide is a solid enough mystery that had a satisfying series of revelations and wrap-ups. I don’t foresee purchasing it, but I wouldn’t be averse to reading other novels from Haynes.