Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: 16th October 2014 from Faber and Faber.
Source: Publisher Review Copy
When Claire Cooper was eight years old her mother mysteriously vanished during Hop-tu-naa, the Manx Halloween. At fourteen, Claire is still struggling to come to terms with her disappearance when she's befriended by a group of five teenagers who mark every Hop-tu-naa by performing dares. But Claire's arrival begins to alter the group's dynamic until one year a prank goes terribly wrong, changing all their futures and tearing the friends apart.
I've been a fan of Mr Ewan's thrillers since Safe House - particularly because he always brings something different to the table with each new novel so you know you are in for a treat (or a trick?) every time, you are just not sure what kind of treat it might be..
In the case of "Dark Tides" the treat was this - one of my favourite types of story (past events invading current happenings) done with this authors particular style, using some terrifically drawn characters facing some terrifying circumstances, all wrapped up in an often scary package - perfect Halloween reading.
Pretty perfectly constructed, we go between past and present to paint a picture of the things that have shaped Claire Cooper - losing her Mother at a young age, growing up fairly insular and isolated but finally finding some really good friends. Sometimes however, friendship can be harmful and this group of eclectic and impulsive characters may not be the best thing for Claire. As events spiral out of control and she faces down a killer, it is compelling stuff and you will be hooked.
I VERY much enjoyed finding out more about the Manx version of Halloween, with all its similarites yet with a deep and imaginative mythology that lent itself brilliantly to the tale being told, giving a perfect backdrop to the often creepy and haunting events. Each of the characters has a heart and a voice all their own, Claire is especially likeable even as she does some rather idiotic things. There are not TOO many male authors who can pull off such an authentic female voice but Chris Ewan is one of them, she is someone you will want to follow along with and will root for all the way.
The mystery element is also intelligently done - ok, so the author did not manage to "trick" me but there were some fascinating insights into a heart full of darkness and an exellent flow to the proceedings, one of those books that keeps you up in the night and leaves you bleary eyed the next morning. I loved it - my favourite so far without a doubt and most definitely Highly Recommended.
I will be part of the Dark Tides Blog Tour on the 28th October when you will find a guest post from the author. And on Halloween itself keep an eye out, there may be a treat in store. No tricks. I promise...
Find out more here: http://chrisewan.com/
Follow the author on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/chrisewan
Happy Reading Folks!