The Tides

Melanie Tem, Author Leisure Books $4.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8439-4574-4
Twenty-eight-year-old Rebecca (Becky) Emig has her hands full. A new position as an administrator at The Tides--a nursing home for senile, elderly, handicapped and insane residents--leaves her little time for her crumbling personal life. Compounding her stress, she has begun experiencing bizarre hallucinations and strange childhood memories after she is mysteriously drawn to visit an empty lake bed behind the nursing home. And her father, Marshall, who is an Alzheimer's patient at The Tides, has begun calling her ""Faye,"" a name Becky does not recognize, but which is inexplicably on the lips of all the patients. Marshall claims that Faye is the one responsible for the recent rash of perplexing ""accidents"" (a suicide, a poisoning, a car wreck, etc.) that have left several patients and staff dead and have authorities threatening to shut down the place. Faye turns out to be Marshall's first wife, a destructive woman whose very existence he and his second wife have kept hidden from Becky. Tem (Desmodus) makes good use of this dramatic irony as Becky struggles to uncover a family secret the reader already knows. Meanwhile, the enigmatic traces of Faye's presence (the intoxicating odor of roses, a visual disturbance in the air) as well as her ability to infiltrate others' thoughts and control their actions, keep readers wondering whether the woman is human or demon. The answer may be different for each of Tem's distinctive and carefully drawn characters. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1999
Release date: 08/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
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