Written by Elizabeth Haynes — Her debut novel, Into The Darkest Corner, has been translated into 10 languages, won two Amazon awards, selected for the 2012 Specsavers TV Book Club, and longlisted for the CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger. Now police intelligence analyst Elizabeth Haynes returns with her thrilling second novel which delves into London’s murky mob underworld.
By day Genevieve Shipley works in a pressurised City sales job that she’s desperate to escape. Having discovered a talent for pole dancing during an exercise class, she is encouraged to moonlight in a second career at an exclusive gentleman’s club called The Barclay. She tries to keep focused on buying a barge and leaving her old life behind, but is quickly drawn into an environment where dodgy deals are the norm.
We meet Genevieve five months after leaving London. She’s busy renovating her boat, the Revenge of the Tide, and preparing to throw a house-warming party for her London and marina friends. Before the night is out a dead body is discovered washed up beside her boat. Her old life is coming back to haunt her, and she finds herself caught up in a perilous chain of events, which threaten her own survival. Who is the victim? Could the key to this murder mystery be linked to the package hidden in the boxed marked ‘kitchen stuff’?
Told in the first person, Genevieve’s story is recounted in two parts – the first stays firmly in the present and the second gradually tells us how she came to be living on a boat on the River Medway in Kent. Things seem as though they’re moving slowly but this is all scene setting for the final showdown and people are undoubtedly going to get hurt. Revenge of the Tide presents an eye-opening glimpse into the rather seedy, sometimes dangerous world of the private gentleman’s club, in which knowing who to trust is critical. Ultimately it’s the balance between life and death.
Genevieve is focused and determined to succeed but she is also extremely naïve and this is highlighted by the fact that she blindly enters a world that she doesn’t understand, viewing it only as a means to an end. She believes that turning a blind eye to the corruption surrounding her will keep her safe. In this world, bad things have a nasty habit of affecting those around you and this highlights another aspect of her naivety.
At 386 pages, this is a remarkably quick read and you’ll soon find yourself totally absorbed by Haynes’ skill as a storyteller. She plants the seeds of tension from the very first page and slowly feeds your imagination as the story develops. With Genevieve’s past racing to catch up with her, by the final showdown you’re left wondering whether this story can ever have a happy ending. Revenge of the Tide is out on 15 March.
CFL Rating: 4 Stars