Detailed, emotional, tragic. There you go. I described the book in three words. But they are not enough. Literary fiction is a tricky genre, often trending towards heavy or the melodramatic. However, the concoction of mystery, supernatural and horror brings this book out of its genre.
I had this book with me for three months.
Because the first read was unimpressive. I found the style too descriptive, somewhat tedious. I stopped after reaching one-third.
The second attempt was like a whole new book. What initially felt like a slow start is a gradual build up of the suspense.
A coastal town, a handful of characters with their fates woven together by a series of horrific deaths (one of them being a girl with obsessive dreams of nuclear war), and a mysterious supernatural foe forms the story of The Mercy of Tide.
The author did a phenomenal job in creating each character with their oddities, their habits and their way of dealing with personal tragedies. He has developed the world with such care that you don’t have to imagine hard, he plays well with the reader’s sensory perceptions. The coastal town of Riptide will be forever etched in my mind. Yes, that good.
The dream sequences are vivid, the expression of each character’s grief and inner struggles are evident and touching. Each death, the investigations, their impact on the people of Riptide, form a converging storyline chapter by chapter. Once I could get adjusted to the format, the ending happened too sudden and not as grand as I started expecting.
A note, I selected the book based on cover and description. After reading it twice, I realized that the cover doesn’t do justice to the book.
This review has been posted on Goodreads.
I give The Mercy of the Tide four bohostars and congratulate the author for a remarkable debut. Waiting for the next one.