Monday, April 22, 2013

Fiction: Dark Tide by Elizabeth Haynes

Anyone who has ever taken part in Nanowrimo -- National Novel Writing Month -- and wondered what was possible need wonder no more. If ever there was a best case scenario, Elizabeth Haynes has lived it/is living it.

It looks like this: Haynes, a mother, wife and police intelligence analyst who lives in Kent, England, made her first foray into fiction writing with Nanowrimo in 2006. Fast forward not very far to her first novel. Into the Darkest Corner was published in the UK early in 2011 to wide acclaim. It was named Amazon UK’s best book of the year and film rights were sold to Revolution Film.

Two years later, Dark Tide (not to be confused with the faintly crappy 2012 Halle Berry movie of the same title) is living up to the promise of that first passionately written blockbuster.

Another tense thriller that is likely to keep a lot of beachgoers riveted this summer as they get to know the engaging Genevieve, a London salesperson who chucks the stress of job and city to live her dream on a houseboat in Kent.

What the gorgeous Genevieve hasn’t shared with her pals is that she’s paid for her new start working weekends as a pole dancer and a not-so-exclusive gentleman’s club. The secret threatens to come out, though, when a body washes up during her housewarming party and Genevieve recognizes the victim as one of her colleagues from the club.

As charming as readers will find Genevieve, she is not the most reliable of narrators and during our time with her we come to doubt her judgement and even her perspective. We find ourselves, then, in a well-wrought psychological drama where everything is in question and nothing is quite what it seems.

Haynes has penned another winner and Nanowrimo has delivered a poster girl.  After all, bestsellerdom, films coming and wonderful new books on the way: it just doesn’t get much better than that. ◊

Sienna Powers is a contributing editor to January Magazine.

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