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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Environmental activist Summer Avery travels to Tide Harbor to aid an anti-turbine campaign in Concealed by the Tide by Zara West. Also new to Tide Harbor is Gil Moses, who is investigating deadly boat bombings undercover as a lobsterman, with his daughter Lissie in tow, who is autistic. Summer is with the resistance; Gil is not. Seastroke Energy's plans to install the tidal turbine mobilize Summer to rally opposition and organize meetings, one of which is disrupted by someone who leads Summer to suspect Gil. All this is complicated by the chemistry Summer and Gil struggle to suppress. Hostility, protests, vandalism, serious threats, physical confrontations, and arrests rock their lives, as do questions of trust and intent. When the pair goes on a boat inspection together, the journey turns dire when sabotage leaves them on a failed vessel in a storm, badly beaten and fighting for their very survival.
I love that Zara West can shake up a reader's idea of where they think Concealed by the Tide is going and whether or not we are reading an eco-terrorism thriller, a shady corporate murder mystery, or a romance that crosses the activist-bioresearch pay divide. In reality, it's all three, and it is exciting. For starters, I knew nothing of tidal energy and was quickly taken aback by the devastating impact turbines have on marine life. You hear “sustainable energy” and you think it's an eco-win, and then Summer Avery comes along and she sets it all straight. West gets the human elements right, particularly as we see the relationship between Gil and his daughter Lissie come to light. Gil has a lot on his plate, and it's safe to say that between Summer, Lissie, and a housekeeper armed with raisins, Gil is surrounded by a gale storm of strong women. West's writing is uncomplicated, which helps as a handful of subplots unfold. The book is a solid start to the Tide Harbor Suspense series, and I look forward to getting to know the town and West's writing better. Very highly recommended.