“Genevieve – office worker by day and pole dancer by night, finds herself implicated on a mob underworld of murder, corruption and betrayal.
She has finally escaped the stressful demands of her sales job and achieved her dream: to leave London behind and start a new life aboard a houseboat in Kent. But on the night of her boat-warming party the dream is shattered when a body washes up beside the boat, and she recognises the victim.
As the sanctuary of the boatyard is threatened, and her life is increasingly at risk, the story of how Genevieve came to be so out of her depth unfolds, and she learns the real cost of mixing business with pleasure…”
“Revenge Of The Tide” (also known as “Dark Tide” in the US and Canada) is the second novel from author Elizabeth Haynes, following her debut psychological thriller “Into The Darkest Corner” which I read late last year.
The title is taken from the name of the houseboat that the central character (and sole narrator) Genevieve Shipley bought to live on whilst she spent a year doing it up, having earned enough money to do so from her day job in sales for a London firm and her part-time evening job as a pole dancer in a private club, The Barclay.
Five months after quitting both jobs, starting the renovations of her boat, and getting to know her fellow houseboat owners at the marina in Kent where she lives it’s time for a house-warming (boat-warming?) party. She invites a few of her old sales colleagues from London, as well as Caddy – another dancer who she got on well with at the club.
Caddy doesn’t make an appearance at the party, which doesn’t unduly surprise Genevieve – for reasons that we later discover – but when Genevieve is awoken by a knocking noise on the hull of her boat later that night she finds Caddy’s body in the water between her boat and the marina.
From there on in we switch from present day at the marina to the months leading up to Genevieve’s decision to leave her old life behind and move to the marina and start afresh.
I have to say that I didn’t connect with this novel as much as I did with Haynes’s first effort. This would seem to be a common complaint and one which the author addressed on her website. However, for me it wasn’t the change of tone or subject matter that was the issue. Simply, I didn’t feel that the central figure was a particularly sympathetic, or at times credible, character and the plot felt a bit lightweight too. There was also, and again this is just from my perspective, too much repetition of certain things, such as Genevieve’s motivation for wanting to make as much money as possible in a short period of time and, especially, detailed descriptions of her pole dancing moves. Perhaps if you are a dancer or someone who knows the moves this would be worthwhile but otherwise it’s really a bit too unnecessarily technical.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did, it just didn’t reach the same quality level as “Into The Darkest Corner”. Still worth a read, but I’m hoping that Haynes’s third novel “Human Remains” is an improvement…