The Rising Tide, by Sam Lloyd

Seven stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Sam Lloyd, and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Happy to finds new authors to enjoy, I turned to this piece by Sam Lloyd, as the dust jacket blurb caught my attention. Lloyd tells a gripping tale that is sure to make the reader take notice. While living in a seaside town, Lucy soon discovers that her family yachts is missing, as is her husband. When the boat is located, it’s empty and there’s no sign of her husband either. Thus begins a series of events that not only forces Lucy to take notice, but also leaves a chill running down her spine. How quickly things can change, changing a bucolic town to a place of worry. Lloyd weaves quite the tale and forces the reader to take note throughout this mysterious story.

Lucy is living the life that she always wanted on the Devon Coast, with a family that she loves and all the dreams she’s ever hoped to acquire.All comes crashing down and changes in the blink of an eye one day, forcing Lucy to rethink everything she thought that she knew.

A hard knock at the door changes it forever, when Lucy’s alerted that the family yacht has been recovered out in the water. There’s no trace of her husband, which sends Lucy into a fit of panic. However, it all comes into perspective soon thereafter and Lucy is forced to wonder whether her husband may have orchestrated something as part of a larger plan, one that she was not privy to at any point.

When the rescue mission begins, Lucy has high hopes that it will come to provide answers quickly and everything will prove to be a major mistake. However, a horrible storm blows in and Lucy discovers something that changes her mind in an instant. Still, she has hopes that it is all a bad dream, one from which she can wake soon and hit the rest button, once at for all. However, there is that lingering feeling in the back of her mind that emerges, leaving Lucy to ponder if she might be the one being played in all this. A chilling tale that proves Sam Lloyd has what it takes to develop a great thriller for readers to enjoy.

I’ve had a mix of success and disappointment when it comes to new writers over the past while. Even as some praise the work of a writer, I feel as though I might have missed the mark and am left to scratch my head. While I did enjoy Sam Lloyd’s piece, I am left feeling as though everyone else got something that I could not find, at least based on the reviews I have seen. Lloyd knows how to tell a story and keeps the reader in the middle, but it was not as impactful as I would have liked.

Lucy remains a wonderful protagonist, at the centre of the entire piece. Her early revelations of having the ‘perfect life’ left her vulnerable throughout the piece, something Lloyd uses to his advantage in the writing process. There is a grittiness to her, especially as the story unfolds, leaving Lucy one who refuses to stand down or deny what’s going on. She needs answers and will stop at nothing to get them, even as she is deceived with every step she takes. It is surely Lloyd’s superior abilities that puts all this on display for the reader to synthesise.

Thrillers are sometimes the hardest novel for me to enjoy, as I need a hook from the early stages to pull me into the middle. Many authors prefer the slow reveal, which may work for some, but I am overly fickle when it comes to narrative development. Lloyd does well to set the scene in this book, offering the reader something they can enjoy, while also keeping it innocent for the early pages of the book. A handful of well-developed characters keep the reader learning on a constant basis and forces the reader to attach early on. The plot was sound and kept me wanting to know more, even if things did not go in the direction I had hoped most of the time. I am curious to see how Sam Lloyd writes its other parameters and so I think that it might bode well to give the other novel out there a chance to see how it stands up to this one. All in good time.

Kudos, Mr. Lloyd, for a decent piece of writing. I am happy so many found it so impactful and wonder if I am the anomaly here.