Welcome to my stop on the Dark Water book tour.
When Helena returns to her childhood home in Orkney to care for her father after a heart attack, she is forced to face memories that she has spent half a lifetime running from.
Still haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, the charismatic Anastasia - who vanished during a daredevil swimming incident - Helena must navigate her way though the prisms of memory and encounter not only her ghosts but also her first love, Dylan, the only one who can help her unravel the past and find her way back to the truth of what really happened that night.
Sara Bailey’s haunting and lyrical debut: a psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession, set in the beautiful Orkney Islands.
Published: 3 October 2016
Publisher: Nightingale Editions
Kindle: 224 pages
Dark Water - the depth at which divers can't tell which way is up and which is down
Dark Water is a coming of age novel set in the Orkneys, mixed with the mystery of what happened to Helena's best friend Anastasia over ten years ago during a late night sea swim.
Helena comes back to her childhood home after spending the last ten years in London as a successful PR. Right from the beginning we know she doesn't want to be there not now not ever but her father is ill and she needs to be with him.
She has a strained relationship with her stepmother, Kate. The islanders are all curious to see Helena, including her ex boyfriend, Dylan. This is a place where everyone knew everyone's business and secrets don't stay secrets for long. Everyone still remembers that terrible night and the effect it had on the tight-knit community.
Memories come flooding back to Helena and the story goes back and forth in time to her first meeting with Anastasia and how they struck up a friendship - the two naughty girls in school. She recalls their teenage years, the boys, the parties, their first dates. Slowly the story builds to the fateful evening ....
It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel, the writing is atmospheric and tense, the beauty and loneliness of the area is vividly portrayed and the characters are so easy to imagine in this small town.
I thought the story was excellent and I look forward to seeing what Sara Bailey comes up with next.
My thanks to Jacqui Lofthouse at Nightingale Editions for inviting me to be involved in the blog tour, and for offering a digital copy to give away.
Please check out the other stops to see what others are saying about Dark Water.
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