From internationally bestselling, acclaimed author Melinda Salisbury comes a darkly seductive story of murder, betrayal, love, and family secrets in a small town in the Scottish Highlands.
Here are the rules of living with a murderer.
One: Do not draw attention to yourself.
Of course, when you live with a murderer, this is impossible. Even the subtlest of spectres is bound to be noticed. Which leads to the next rule.
Two: If you can’t be invisible, be useful.
Everyone in this quiet lakeside community knows that Alva’s father killed her mother, all those years ago. There wasn’t enough proof to arrest him, though, and with no other family, Alva’s been forced to live with her mother’s murderer, doing her best to survive until she can earn enough money to run away.
One of her chores is to monitor water levels in the loch-a task her father takes very seriously. Their family has been the guardian of the loch for generations. It’s a cold, lonely task, and a few times, Alva can swear she feels someone watching her.
But the more Alva investigates, the more she realizes that the truth can be more monstrous than lies, and that you can never escape your past …
Title: Hold Back the Tide
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
I am gutted. This book was absolutely fabulous (my first horror book to ever read, btws), but it insisted on ripping my heart out and now I’m shooketh.
This book started off calm. Well, relatively so. It was about as calm as one can be when the main character is living with a murderer. But if I thought things were crazy at the beginning, the rest of the book got even worse. The stakes kept getting raised and new information was increasingly revealed and it was just so good! The plot was just so well-written and well-paced.
As well, the characters and world of this book were so well developed and thought out. No one in the town likes our main character, Alva, which leads to them not believing and not trusting her (which is a whole big issue and main part of this book). But outside of the great setup it gave to the plot, this grumpy town just fit so well into the “feel” of this book. Anything else would have felt wrong and forced. Plus, it made things that much more interesting.
And lastly, something that made this book stand-out for me was the ending. It was wonderful, and heartbreaking, and perfect, and memorable. Salisbury, you have ripped my heart out and created a perfect book in the process. Props to you.
Overall, if you’re a fan of monsterous thriller/horror books, this one is for you! I was getting major A Quiet Place vibes so if you’re into that, definitely check this one out. And don’t say I didn’t tell you so when your heart gets ripped out.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Melinda Salisbury was born in the 1980s in a landlocked city, before escaping to live by the sea. As a child, she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography. When she’s not trying to unlock the hidden avenues of her mind, she’s reading, writing, or traveling. She lives in the UK and can be found on Twitter as @MESalisbury, though be warned she tweets often.