Tuesday, April 9, 2013

book review: Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes

The basics: Genevieve dreamed of leaving her high-stress London sales job behind and living on a boat. After taking a second job as a dancer at a private gentleman's club for several months, she saved up the money and is living her dream. On the night of her boat-warming party, however, the first time she attempts to bring together her London friends, from both her pre-club and club days, and her new boat friends, her friend and fellow dancer Caddy washes up dead next to Genevieve's boat.

My thoughts: Dark Tide initially builds tension quite slowly. If you were to open up the book without looking at the cover, you could almost mistake it for a Katie Fforde novel: a young woman starts her life over and looks forward to new adventures. Soon, however, elements of tension and suspension begin to wind through the novel. Genevieve isn't always entirely honest with the reader. As details of her life are slowly revealed, I began to question some of her choices. Most notably, when her friend Caddy's body washes up next to her boat, Genevieve decides not to tell the police she knows Caddy.

While this decision is curious at best, it makes Genevieve even more intriguing. From that point, the novel transitions into a psychological thriller. Even as I questioned, doubted and was intrigued by Genevieve's decisions, watching her decisions was fascinating. As the novel meanders more to a romantic suspense, my interest waned. Aside from Genevieve, the other characters weren't as well developed or as interesting, and I couldn't muster much enthusiasm for Genevieve's love interest. The narrative shifts between Genevieve's days working in the club and the present, and while I typically enjoy this technique, at times it highlighted how little was actually happening in Dark Tide.

The verdict: Dark Tide is a compelling character-driven mystery, but it falters as the romantic elements take center stage over Genevieve, who is the most interesting character in the novel. The suspense in the novel is intriguing more due to Genevieve's perception of events rather than the reader's perception, yet her perspective was intriguing enough to keep me reading to the end; I just wish the ending would have come a bit more quickly and without as much romance.  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Length: 400 pages
Publication date: March 12, 2013
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Dark Tide from the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle version.)

Want more? Check out the entire tour, visit Elizabeth's website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!


  1. Oh, this one did sound exciting until you mentioned the floppiness of the love story. I know that's a weird way to describe it, but that's how I interpret that aspect of the romantic elements of this one. All the other parts sound really unique and exciting, but I don't think I will take a chance on this one. Very honest and unbiased review today. I enjoyed it.

  2. I'll admit that I wasn't incredibly impressed by Haynes when I read her other title for the book tour. I can see the appeal but it just seemed a little trite and all over the place. I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I guess it just wasn't the title for me.

  3. I probably won't get this -- I can't do thrillers -- I get waaaaaaaaay too stressed.

  4. I do plan to read this one at some point -- wish u enjoyed it more.

  5. I'm intrigued by what you say about seeing Genevieve's perception of events making the book more interesting! I'm glad there were things you enjoyed about this one even though it wasn't a perfect read for you.

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  6. Sounds interesting, but not something I would pick up though


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!