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Hold Back the Tide

Author: Melinda Salisbury

  • AGES 12 - 18 
  • Genre Fiction
Here are the rules of living with a murderer.

One: Do not draw attention to yourself.
It’s pretty self-explanatory — if they don’t notice you, they won’t get any ideas about killing you. Be a ghost in your own home, if that’s what it takes. After all, you can’t kill a ghost.
Of course, when you live with a murderer, sit opposite them for every meal, share a washroom and a kitchen, sleep a mere twelve feet and two flimsy walls away from them, this is impossible. Even the subtlest of spectres is bound to be noticed. Which leads to the next rule.

Two: If you can’t be invisible, be useful.

Everyone in this quiet lakeside community knows that Alva's father killed her mother, all those years ago. There wasn’t enough proof to arrest him, though, and with no other family, Alva’s been forced to live with her mother’s murderer, doing her best to survive until she can earn enough money to run away.

One of her chores is to monitor water levels in the loch — a task her father takes very seriously. His family has been the guardian of the loch for generations. It’s a cold, lonely task, and a few times, Alva can swear she feels someone watching her. Soon, rumors start to spread of dark creatures rising from the loch. Alva tries to convince herself that they’re just stories, but as terror begins to hold the village in its grip, Alva comes to realise that there may well be a connection between the secrets of her past and the horror of her present.

The more Alva investigates, the more she realizes that the truth can be more monstrous than lies. And while you might be able to outrun anything that emerges from the dark water, you can never escape your past…