Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes

Dark TideDark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am rounding this up from 3.5 to 4 stars because I’m feeling a little like defending this underdog of a book; one which seems to be the lowest rated and reviewed of Elizabeth Haynes’ novels.
I love Haynes’ thrillers, from her debut Into the Darkest Corner, featuring a heroine with OCD and a scary stalker, to her third novel, Human Remains, featuring a very twisted murder method.
Dark Tide is Haynes’ second novel, and I’d never read it because all the reviews I saw were disappointing.
Luckily for me, I recently found myself in a reading slump, craving a thriller from one of my favorite authors (in the vein of Julia Crouch, Elizabeth Haynes, Nicci French). So, I picked up Dark Tide from my local library, and I’m so glad that I did.
I’ve found that having very low expectations of a book or movie often means that I actually appreciate the good things about it more. And while Dark Tide was different from the other thrillers I’ve read by Haynes, and was weak in some ways, I also found it to be quite enjoyable.
My favorite things about Dark Tide were the two “themes” it is based around, which are: fixing up and living on a houseboat on a marina near London, and pole fitness/dancing.
Both of these things are subjects I know next to nothing about, and I found reading about the main character, Genevieve’s, experience of them to be absorbing escapism.
Genevieve herself is a good person, and the tone of Dark Tide is also, at heart, decent. It’s a thriller in which bad people do bad things, but in which plenty of good, imperfect, people, also try their best. I really liked this about Dark Tide.
*Quick side note: I’ve recently been reading a lot of thrillers which are also¬†categorized as “horror” and have realized that the element of horror…of a world that is ultimately evil and terrifying and bleak, is not one I enjoy immersing myself in. I love suspense and thrillers, and I like twisted plots, and mind-trips. I like excitement, but I don’t enjoy pure terror. Dark Tide is a good example of a thriller in which there was plenty of suspense, but which left me feeling hopeful.
Also, it is worth noting that I read the US edition of this novel, and the afterword stated that in this edition, the author appreciated that she had been encouraged to further develop Genevieve’s backstory. So it is possible that Dark Tide had differences from its original UK incarnation (Revenge of the Tide) which improved my impression of it.
Also, Elizabeth Haynes’ website includes a wonderful blog about Dark Tide with photos of many of the locations in England which inspired her novel.
Ultimately, Dark Tide is an enjoyable romantic-suspense novel, light on plot, but rich in interesting characters and settings. It’s different fare from the other novels I’ve read by Haynes, but I’m so glad I decided to give it a try.

View all my reviews

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