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  • Writer's pictureKindig

*** - The Rising Tide



If you missed my review of Sam Lloyd's debut, find it here: The Memory Wood. Keep an eye on Kindig for my latest review of his latest read: The People Watcher which is out NEXT WEEK!


The news doesn't strike cleanly, like a guillotine's blade. Nothing so merciful. This news is a slovenly traveller, dragging its feet, gradually revealing its horrors. And it announces itself first with violence - the urgent hammering of fists on the front door.

Life can change in a heartbeat.

Lucy has everything she could wish for: a beautiful home high on the clifftops, a devoted husband and two beloved children.

Then one morning, time stops. Their family yacht is recovered, abandoned far out at sea. Lucy's husband is nowhere to be found and as the seconds tick by, she begins to wonder - what if he was the one who took the boat? And if so, where is he now?

As a once-in-a-generation storm frustrates the rescue operation, Lucy pieces together what happened onboard. And then she makes a fresh discovery. One that plunges her into a nightmare more shocking than any she could ever have imagined . . .


I loved Sam Lloyd’s debut – The Memory Wood and so I was excited to read his next book, a standalone called The Rising Tide. We get a very different book here but it still has Lloyd’s hallmarks of keeping his cards close to his chest, a twist surprise and chapters from an unknown perspective.

Although I enjoyed this book as a whole there was something about it that did not quite gel with me. With The Memory Wood I was completely hooked and powered through the book quickly eager to know what happened next. This book was a slower read for me as I found it difficult to keep picking up – it didn’t quite engage me as much. The story alternates perspective between Lucy, whose husband is missing and Abraham who is the detective in charge of solving the case. I liked the character of Lucy; she’s a strong woman who will do what is necessary to protect her kids and she came across as realistic and interesting. Abraham I wasn’t so sure on, there are some detectives that you read about and would love to see a whole series based around them but he certainly wasn’t one of them. I was confused by his religious leanings which are emphasised repetitively throughout (I was even thinking he might be a suspect at one point). He has a terminal illness which also seemed to have just been jammed into his narrative to make him more interesting. I found him hard to picture, seeing him as old, frail and grizzled but then other characters seemed to react to him as being large and young so I’m not quite sure what he looks like!

I like a good twist and this one certainly had me off guard (no spoilers!). However, a twist should be signposted somewhere in the text and this one is done so subtly that when it was revealed I had a bit of a ‘wait…who? why?’ moment rather than a gasp of shock and a silent bravo to the author. I did like the overall premise though; I just wish the climax had fit in better to the rest of the story. I also really enjoyed the setting and thought Sam Lloyd painted a picture of the seaside town perfectly. The parts set at sea were also haunting, atmospheric and beautifully written.

Overall, The Rising Tide is a great premise with an atmospheric setting, it just didn’t quite engage me as much as I’d hoped. Thank you to NatGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and Bantam Press for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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