Story: One winter's afternoon, voice coach Sonia opens the door of her beautiful riverside home to fifteen-year-old Jez, the nephew of a family friend. He's come to borrow some music. Sonia invites him in and soon decides that she isn't going to let him leave. As Sonia's desire to keep Jez hidden and protected from the outside world becomes all the more overpowering, she is haunted by memories of an intense teenage relationship, which gradually reveal a terrifying truth. The River House, Sonia's home since childhood, holds secrets within its walls. And outside, on the shores of the Thames, new ones are coming in on the tide...
In order to get a whole picture, the story moves between Sonia and Jez’s aunt Helen. Sonia is a complex character and you are drawn into the darkness residing in her mind. The initial meeting between her and Jez quickly deteriorates and it took me by surprise at the speed from chatting to kidnapping and all the time only being able to see how she wants to keep him safe. The lengths she goes to is unsettling to read but it’s hard to hate Sonia when we start to learn about her past and her early relationship.
We get to see what consequences the kidnapping means when we see Helen’s point of view. Jez is staying with her and her family and here we see the police involvement and even Jez’s girlfriend as they try and piece together what happened. When Helen and Sonia meet as friends it brings another layer to this complicated story and the conclusion as the world falls apart is gripping.
Tideline is a strange read, seeing it from Sonia’s point of view and then watching it all disintegrate around her. Though you can’t condone anything she does, you still feel for her and it’s well worth a read.