I feel a little let down. I've heard such great things about Elizabeth Haynes' previous book Into the Darkest Corner. I've heard that Into the Darkest Corner was a great thriller, and I was kind of expecting that with Dark Tide. The elements were there, but I feel Dark Tide just fell short.
How does this sound? A boatwarming party lets out, late at night a body washes up against the boat, the body is discovered by the victim's former friend, and now that friend has to figure out what's going on before the killer comes after her. Sounds intriguing doesn't it?
Genevieve has led an interesting life. Growing up, she and her dad shared a deep love for boats. He taught her everything he knew about boats. Genevieve knows one day her dream of living on a houseboat will come true. She has a high-paying sales job, but it's not enough for her. She needs a second job to make her dream come true. What's the answer? Becoming a stripper...I mean dancer, or a dancer who strips or a pole dancer. Stripper just didn't seem to be in Genevieve's vocabulary. She was just a dancer who took her clothes off for money. Why? Because someone said she was a natural during a pole dancing workout class. It seemed a little far-fetched, but who am I to judge? Genevieve swears she won't get wrapped up in the lifestyle. Stripping is merely a means to an end.
When the book opens, Genevieve has already given up both her jobs and is living a new life on her boat, Revenge of the Tide. When Genevieve discovers the dead body of her friend Caddy, she can't believe her luck. Her once shady lifestyle has not only come back to haunt her, it has washed up next to her boat. None of her new friends know all of the details of Genevieve's past. Should she tell the police? What if they suspect her? What if they discover the package she is hiding? Yes there is a whole other subplot, one that I could have bought into if the end result was actually satisfying.
Genevieve is holding onto a mysterious package for her "friend" Dylan, a bouncer/enforcer at the strip club. They were a little more than friends, and Genevieve seems to be pining away for him. He won't contact her unless it's absolutely necessary. Even when she contacts him, he seemed a little indifferent or that he wasn't surprised. Could Dylan have killed Caddy? I certainly asked myself that question, but I quickly dismissed that theory. Dylan is definitely a hard-nosed guy, but he seemed to have a soft spot for Genevieve. Only he doesn't want to show any kind of weakness or vulnerability.
The novel flashes back between the past and the present. We learn all about Genevieve's struggles with her day job and her night job. Her daytime boss is a jerk, and she slowly learns that her nighttime boss, Fitz, is a criminal. But the money is too good on both sides, so Genevieve will just have to tough it out.
Sometimes when I'm not really into a book I will just give up and stop reading. But this was a book, I didn't want to give up on. I kept reading because I believed that the ending -- the ultimate payoff -- would be spectacular. I kept thinking there had to be an awesome, suspenseful, edge-of-my-seat ending. I thought all of this has to be leading to something, but I was just underwhelmed. The culprit behind Caddy's murder wasn't a surprise. To me, Caddy's murder was just a red herring. The overall book seemed to be more about Genevieve overcoming her own naivety and stupidity, and the end result was boring not thrilling.
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours