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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dark Tide Rising by Kristin Miller

Dark Tide Rising by Kristin Miller
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (292 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Depend on a man? Never!

Emily McAllister wants nothing more than to control her own life, but when a vision of her best friend’s murder grips her, Emily’s forced to put her trust in the straight-laced sergeant responsible for closing the case. The police believe the drowning was accidental but Emily, haunted by dreams of the killer, knows better.

Police sergeant Mark Thurgood is interested in facts, not premonitions, and he’s tried to steer clear of the ocean since rescuing two lives from its icy clutches. But when danger threatens the free-spirited Emily, he’s determined to stay by her side.

It isn’t until Emily finally begins to trust Mark that she realizes her reaction to him may be more than physical attraction. But when a detail emerges from the murky veil of her dreams she questions if the man she’s fallen for is actually a killer.

Emily McAlister has dreams of deaths—deaths she cannot prevent and her death is next. If she cannot find and stop the person who sent her friend Stefanie to her death in the ocean, she will meet the same end. The ocean that Emily has always loved will snuff out her life unless she can some way change what her dream revealed—something she has never been able to do before.

Sergeant Mark Thurgood hates the ocean. Memories that make him physically ill roar to life when his duties demand he be near that water -- water that seems to be alive and threatening. His assistant Robin patrols and takes ocean areas calls ordinarily. However, when the persistent Emily McAlister, with desperation in her blue eyes, storms into his life declaring her friend’s death is murder not an accident, Mark’s life spins out of control regardless of how hard he tries to shut down his emotions.

The secondary characters add mystery, suspense, and intrigue as they slip in and out of Emily and Mark’s emotional warfare. Emily’s Aunt Vivian and Uncle Jack, who cared for her after the death of her parents, still keep close tabs on her and want her near even though she is out of college and employed as a whale-sightseeing boat driver in San Francisco Bay. In the small town they live in, they are socially prominent. Vivian knows all the gossip in town and Uncle Jack is always busy at the casino but continues to manage Emily’s trust fund for her. They and others like Stefanie’s surfer boyfriend Sam and his brother Jonathan; Bruce, a career criminal; Robin, Mark’s assistant; Captain Peterson; and even Mark’s absent ex-wife and his dead partner help to weave an ever-tightening, ominous web around Emily and Mark. In spite of all the denial, danger, confusion, and fear, Emily and Mark’s connection to each other grows stronger and stronger.

Kristin Miller lures the reader into the mental, physical, emotional and even spiritual struggles that beset the characters. Each of them struggles with his or her own demons and aloneness in unique ways. As Ms. Miller brings the troubled Mark and Emily together, she keeps the reader in the moment with them. Ms. Miller creates a setting with storminess in times of trouble that adds a gripping fear. Also, the convoluted idea of a ‘glimpse Heaven’ makes one shudder.

This redemptive story with its subtle foreshadowing, expressive imagery, and joy of love lifts the spirit and makes the heart happy.