I had a hard time figuring out how to rate The Mercy of the Tide. The concept is really interesting, and Rosson is clearly an excellent writer. But for me, this book just seemed to drag. I expected a suspenseful mystery, with maybe some paranormal/horror elements thrown in. And while there are definitely mystery and paranormal/horror parts, they seemed to take a back seat for most of the book.
The Mercy of the Tide is set in Riptide, Oregon in 1983. Riptide is a small town where everyone pretty much knows everyone and major crimes are virtually nonexistent. When the story begins, two women have just been killed in a car accident. This book is mostly about the people closest to these women: their family, lovers, and friends who have to come to terms with their loss. While they’re grieving and healing, a mysterious skeleton is discovered and something starts attacking the town’s animals. Then everything goes kind of crazy.
I had a couple problems with this book. First off, it moves so slow. It felt like a good 70% of the book was spent introducing characters and giving backstories. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good backstory and character development is always welcome. But when you get over half way through a book and still only have a vague idea what the story is supposed to be about and aren’t really sure why a lot of the information you’re given is relevant, it can get kind of boring.
Then there was the ending that was kind of an ending but also not really. I get that Rosson was leaving a lot up to the reader’s imagination. But even so, I feel like very little actually got resolved. A few characters got the closure they needed, and the reader got some explanations for certain things. But I was still left feeling like there was a lot missing.
Despite my lower rating, I still don’t think this is a bad book my any means. It just wasn’t really want I was expecting and I felt a little disappointed after finishing. I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews for this book though, so maybe this is another case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” So if it sounds like something you might enjoy, I’d say give it a shot and see for yourself.
Thank you to NetGalley and Meerkat Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.