Tideline – Penny Hancock

Posted by Justine Solomons on 22 January 2012, in Recommendations

Tideline - Penny Hancock

Tideline is a very creepy book and a real page turner. Sonia's marriage is falling apart and she is reluctant to leave her childhood home a Greenwich house that backs onto the Thames. She is clearly not well and is also clinging on to her past so as not to have to face the future. In her past is her first love a sixteen year old boy, Seb, so when Jez, a fifteen year old nephew of a family friend comes to borrow a Jeff Buckley CD, she sees a way of getting back something she once lost. She decides to keep Jez in the house by whatever means necessary, including throwing away his mobile phone and plying him with sleeping pills. Her friend Helen and her family as well as Jez's girlfriend Alisha are thrown into a panic searching for the missing boy but she does all she can to hide her new house guest. When her husband and daughter come back to stay she is forced to move him from the comfortable music room into the dank garage next to the house before she is finally pushed over the edge and has to take more extreme measures to avoid Jez being discovered and taken from her. The story is told with the backdrop of her relationship with Seb and dark secrets start to float up to surface as the story progresses.

This is a really good book, one I enjoyed immensely, it put me in mind of SJ Watson's Before I Go To Sleep, although told from the captor's rather than the captives point of view. While the reader is in no doubt that Sonja is not entirely sane one also feels a sympathy for her, understanding how destructive her love for Seb once was and the disappointment her subsequent life has been. While this past does not justify her actions one cannot help but feel her deep and buried sadness. Worth reading, and throughly enjoyable.

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