When a young couple disappear on the ominously named Bone Island, forensic psychologist, Paula Maguire braves the treacherous weather to investigate. The case is bittersweet for Paula as it stirs up memories of the last family holiday she had with her long-lost mother. It is soon obvious that ‘outsiders’ are not welcome, with people reluctant to share information about the fate of the couple. With the storm not abating, Paula has a decision to make – should she return back to her daughter on the mainland and leave the case unsolved or risk being trapped on an island with a killer on the loose?
One of my favourite films is The Wicker Man where an ‘outsider’ is lured to a bizarre island in order to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. It was the similarity to this plot that first attracted me to Blood Tide and, after reading it, there are definitely parallels!
One of the things I enjoyed most about Blood Tide was the description of the island – indeed, the island became more of a character than a setting. The author has created an incredibly atmospheric backdrop to the story and it is easy to imagine the desolate landscape that is being terrorised by the unforgiving storm. At times, I felt like screaming at Paula to get off the island, such is the sense of foreboding. Of course, she doesn’t though, and what follows is the discovery of a conspiracy of silence that threatens the life of the forensic psychologist herself.
I would not describe Blood Tide as a fast-paced read, but more of a slow burner that really gets inside your head. Throughout the book, I developed many theories as to what had happened to the missing couple and I was pleased that some of them were correct. I liked the leading character and could really empathise with her plight as she tried to uncover the truth regardless of her own personal safety.
The only problem I had with this book was that I hadn’t realised that it was the fifth in a series. This meant that I had to try to figure out Paula’s backstory in addition to following the missing people story line. This is by no means a criticism – just a slight disappointment that I’ve missed out on the other books and that I have inevitably come across quite a few spoilers!
With thanks to Headline and Net Galley for the ARC.