Riptide, Oregon, 1983. A sleepy coastal town, where crime usually consists of underage drinking down at a Wolf Point bonfire. But then, strange things start happening. A human skeleton is unearthed in a local park, and mutilated animals begin appearing, seemingly sacrificed, on the town's beaches.
The Mercy of the Tide follows four people drawn irrevocably together by a recent tragedy as they do their best to reclaim their lives - leading them all to a discovery that will change them and their town forever.
At the heart of the story are Sam Finster, a senior in high school mourning the death of his mother, and his sister Trina, a nine-year-old deaf girl who denies her grief by dreaming of a nuclear apocalypse as Cold War tensions rise. Meanwhile, sheriff Dave Dobbs and deputy Nick Hayslip must try to put their own sorrows aside to figure out who, or what, is wreaking havoc on their once-idyllic town.
Keith Rosson paints outside the typical genre lines with his brilliant debut novel. It is a gorgeously written book that merges the sly wonder of magical realism and alternate history with the depth and characterization of literary fiction.
"Rosson is a talent to be watched, and Riptide is one of the most immersive fictional settings in recent memory." (NPR Books, Jason Heller)
"A striking novel" (Publisher's Weekly (starred review))
"An exquisitely honed, beautifully written novel." (Foreword Reviews (4/4 hearts))