Night Tides is a pretty decent debut
with its mix of paranormal romance and kidnapping mystery.
Rachel Matre appears fairly normal on the surface: a divorced woman who owns a diner in the prosperous college town of Madison. However, Rachel has
some secrets. One is that she writes the 'Lady of the Lakes' blog; the second, and more dramatic, is that she has a weird relationship with two of the local lakes, skinny dipping there and having some kind of sexual experience with the mysterious lake spirits or creatures.
When young women vanish, leaving behind only their clothes, local police realize there's something serious going on. The lake spirits seem to be telling Rachel to help the women - but how can she? And what if she is a target for the kidnapper, too?
That's a bald outline of a plot which is actually exciting and gripping in places. The weird relationship-with-the-lake thing isn't as odd as it seems
at first glance and doesn't take over the story too much. The author has a good writing style, and the mystery of the kidnappings
is handled well as the perpetrator's motivations are gradually revealed.
This book does reveal itself as a first novel in some ways. The plot summary completely ignores the love interest, which feels tacked-on; the oh-so-attractive-and-manly Ethan Walker
is entirely unnecessary to the plot. And Rachel, the heroine, isn't always a sympathetic character,
a fairly self-centered woman who doesn't seem to think much about others - just about her own needs. She's
also gathered a surprisingly long list of stalkers, which suggests that she might not be the easiest person to get along with.
Night Tides is an enjoyable read all in all, though, presumably the start of a series in that it doesn't entirely wrap up all plot threads. Alex Prentiss is probably an author I'll read again.