“Wilson’s plot hits all the right beats…Devotees of cosmic horror will enjoy this woman-centered take on familiar tropes.”
If ye give not willingly, the Lords will rise…
In 1913, Henry Hamilton disappears while on a business trip, and his sister, Sorrow, won’t rest until she finds him. Defying her father’s orders to remain at home, she travels to Tidepool, the last place Henry visited.
Residents of the small, shabby oceanside town can’t quite meet Sorrow’s eyes when she questions them about Henry. When corpses wash up on shore looking as if they’ve been torn apart by something not quite human, Sorrow is ready to return to Baltimore and let her father send in the professional detectives.
Then, she meets Mrs. Ada Oliver, a widow whose black silk dresses and elegant manners set her apart from other Tidepool residents. After a terrifying encounter involving Mrs. Oliver, Sorrow discovers Tidepool’s dark, deadly secret, and the town’s denizens—human and otherwise—are hell bent on making sure she never leaves.
Atmospheric, riveting, and frightening, Tidepool is a must read Lovecraftian dark fantasy for those who pursue the truth no matter the personal cost.
“Richly dark and enthralling!”
“The creeping dread of Lovecraftian horror by way of American Horror Story - Tidepool will ensure you never look at the ocean the same way again!”
--Peter McLean, author of War for the Rose Throne Series
“Part Thomas Ligotti, part Penny Dreadful, Tidepool, is a novel about the gravitational forces of fate, pulling characters in against their will, with readers only able to sit and watch the catastrophe unfold. This is the compelling force of all great horror, to hope for rescue even when we know it will not come, to want to escape even as we turn the next page. Willson wields a deft hand of darkness and humanity in this compelling debut.”
-- Jaye Viner, author of Jane of Battery Park
Willson's debut sets out to deliver feel-good, feminist Lovecraftian horror, but suffers from uneven execution. In 1913 Baltimore, headstrong Sorrow Hamilton idolizes reporter Nellie Bly and feels stifled by her overprotective yet distant father. When her beloved older brother, Henry, disappears while on a business trip to the tiny seaside town of Tidepool, Sorrow sneaks away to investigate. Tidepool is tiny, shabby, and stinks of rotting fish and Sorrow is certain its unfriendly inhabitants know what happened to Henry. Every thread she pulls seems to connects back to Mrs. Ada Oliver, a mysterious widow whose black silk dresses are decades out of date. But when a mutilated body washes up on shore, Sorrow discovers that Mrs. Oliver may not be the most frightening thing in Tidepool after all. Willson's plot hits all the right beats, but suffers from a lackluster protagonist; readers will be much more interested in enigmatic antihero Mrs. Oliver than in bland Sorrow. Devotees of cosmic horror will enjoy this woman-centered take on familiar tropes, but others can safely skip it. \n