Hold Back the Tide

Scholastic. Jan. 2021. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338681307.
Gr 7 Up–Alva Douglas, 16, lives by a set of rules she created for protection after her father, Lachlan, murdered her mother seven years ago. She has a job waiting for her in another town, and as she prepares to leave home, Alva counts down the minutes until she will no longer live in fear of being her father’s next victim. However, due to the greed of the local mill’s owner, the levels in the loch have been dropping exponentially, resulting in the release of horrific creatures. It is the job of Lachlan, the loch’s caretaker, to ensure the mill slows down operation. Though when Lachlan is exposed as a murderer and taken away, Alva steps up to take matters into her own hands and save the village. This novel, set against the picturesque Scottish Highlands, begins with a slow build that breaks way to a bloodcurdling thriller that offers fast-paced suspense and surprising twists on every page. Readers will root for Alva. She is a strong, resourceful go-getter who perseveres, even when faced with an incessant stream of exposed truths. Salisbury delivers a harrowing and pulse-pounding novel that, once it takes hold, will carry readers all the way to the heart-wrenching end.
VERDICT Fans of horror and fantasy novels will devour this.

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