The House Between Tides

The House Between Tides

A Novel

eBook - 2016
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An atmospheric debut novel about a woman who discovers the century-old remains of a murder victim on her family's Scottish estate, plunging her into an investigation of its mysterious former occupants.Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. She intends to renovate the ruinous house into a hotel, but the shocking discovery of human remains brings her ambitious restoration plans to an abrupt halt before they even begin. Few physical clues are left to identify the body, but one thing is certain: this person did not die a natural death. Hungry for answers, Hetty discovers that Muirlan was once the refuge of her distant relative Theo Blake, the acclaimed painter and naturalist who brought his new bride, Beatrice, there in 1910. Yet ancient gossip and a handful of leads reveal that their marriage was far from perfect; Beatrice eventually vanished from the island, never to return, and Theo withdrew from society, his paintings becoming increasingly dark and disturbing. What happened between them has remained a mystery, but as Hetty listens to the locals and studies the masterful paintings produced by Theo during his short-lived marriage, she uncovers secrets that still reverberate through the small island community-and will lead her to the identity of the long-hidden body.
Publisher: 2016.
ISBN: 9781501126932
Branch Call Number: eBook Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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pennyvharrison
Aug 28, 2017

More of a romance with a bit of mystery but very well done. Looking forward to her next book.

ehbooklover Dec 30, 2016

3.5 stars. An atmospheric, slow-burner of a Gothic read full of history, romance, and a mystery that spans several decades. The setting is so beautifully described that I felt myself experiencing the sounds and smells of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides alongside the protagonist.

SPL_Heather Dec 05, 2016

Full review of this atmospheric mystery can be found under "Summary," which was first published in the Stratford Gazette on December 1, 2016.

s
Sansha
Oct 14, 2016

I loved the setting for this novel. A crumbling mansion set on the windblown shores of a small island off the coast of Scotland. The storyline is of the landowners and the tenant farmers. Of forbidden love and lies. Thought the story plodded along and was a little confusing.

j
jazpur
Sep 25, 2016

Sensitively and perceptively written.I enjoyed the way the past linked with the current story.There's nothing like a good mystery in an atmospheric setting . Never mind the bees, this one is about the birds.

Summary

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SPL_Heather Dec 05, 2016

Hetty Deveraux decides to leave London life behind and move to her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Still grieving the death of her parents in a car accident two years ago, Hetty leaves a strained relationship behind after inheriting the ruined mansion. She dreams of renovating the home into a hotel, but her plans are halted when human remains are found. Few clues remain, but it is clear the death was not of natural causes.

As Hetty searches for answers she learns more of the life of her great-uncle, famous painter Theo Blake. His brief marriage to Beatrice over a hundred years ago was not a happy one. Beatrice was said to have left the island abruptly and to have never returned while Theo retreated from society and never lived up to the artistic expectations earlier in his career. The community gossip gives Hetty glimpses into the past and the identity of the victim, but it’s clear that someone in the remote Scottish community knew what happened and that the secret was known by more than just the killer.

This atmospheric tale is Sarah Maine’s first novel. While the discovery of the murder is the impetuous of the story, the focus is on discovering the characters and learning about the history of the estate. Chapters alternate from Hetty, Beatrice, and Theo’s perspectives so that the reader learns of the opinions and motivations of each of the major characters. We also see how the events in 1910 between Theo and Beatrice affect Hetty in 2010. All of this allows for a greater depth of character and story.

The setting also creates an unsettling mood in the story. The ruined home Hetty inherits is on an island in the Hebrides which is only accessible from the mainland certain times of the day. When the tides are low, pedestrians or cars can reach the home, but when the tide comes in, it is isolated from society. While Hetty hopes to escape to here from London, we read how it increased tensions in Theo and Beatrice’s marriage.

The detailed descriptions of the lives of the characters and the wildlife in this remote area will pull readers into this atmospheric mystery. If you enjoy Daphne de Maurier, historical fiction, or mysteries with depth, please try this book!

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