Michael Delgado

End of the Affair

Slack-Tide

By

Jonathan Cape 197pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

It takes skill as a writer to give away your book’s ending in its opening pages and still leave your reader hooked. In the prologue to Slack-Tide, the narrator, Elizabeth, recalls first meeting Robert, the man who would become her lover. ‘I was unprepared for what was to come,’ she writes. ‘By midsummer the thing between us was finished, and it was as if a storm had torn the roof from over me.’

Slack-Tide is the third book by Elanor Dymott, a writer who has so far had modest success. Her 2012 debut, Every Contact Leaves a Trace, had an air of the murder mystery about it: a married couple attend an alumni dinner at their old Oxford college, someone is killed and a series of chilling revelations ensues. Slack-Tide is a very different proposition, and in terms of plot, it might sound unremarkable: girl meets boy, they fall madly in love, they break up. Yet this novel has the urgency and readability of a whodunnit, with an emotional intensity that draws you in, mercilessly, and then spits you back out again. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Tarantino's latest film is 'a fairy tale about Hollywood, where fantasy is an industrial product and the boulevards… ,
    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,