Tideline is a chilling and beautifully written debut from Penny Hancock. The plot centres on the disappearance of fifteen year old Jez. At the heart of the story is the River House, an imposing house by the river Thames that Sonia grew up in, she is very attached to the house and cannot bear the thought of leaving it.
Jez turns up at the River House one afternoon looking to borrow some music. Suddenly, Sonia is swept up with an overwhelming urge to keep him there. The story then takes a turn back to her first love and this is a theme throughout the book. The Thames is a powerful theme in the book and it seems that the water, and the River House itself, seem to hold secrets
Tideline is written in the first person from Sonia’s point of view and gives the reader a real insight into her character. Parts of the novel are also written in the third person from the perspective of Helen who is Jez’s aunt. I was hooked from the very first page, this is a book filled with suspense and I had to find out what would happen to Jez and Sonia. It is strange that the closeness of Sonia’s thoughts actually had me feeling sympathetic to her at points.
This is an outstanding first novel, it is haunting and covers a disturbing subject, but is an addictive read at the same time. I cannot wait to read more from Penny Hancock.