Riptides by Kirsten Alexander: Your Preview Verdict

Riptides by Kirsten Alexander: Your Preview Verdict

Riptides by Kirsten Alexander was described by our Preview readers as thought-provoking, compelling , seamless and gripping! This tale that touches on family relationships, choices and consequences is set in Queensland in the 1970’s, and truly has an Australian feel.

Read some of our Preview highlights here:

Riptides is a very thought provoking book, right from the start. Kirsten Alexander has crafted this book so well, looking at different sides of the situation through the eyes of brother and sister Charlie and Abigail, as their hasty actions following their involvement in a fatal car accident follow them and change their lives. Right from chapter one we are left thinking “what would I do in the same situation – I frequently found myself pondering how a decision in a fleeting moment in time can affect so much in the events that follow. Not normally a fan of books that jump in narrative from one character to another, I found that in Riptides it was the perfect format. Definitely not the style of book I would normally choose to read, so thank you Better Reading Preview for the opportunity to broaden my reading horizons to read a book that I just couldn’t put down. – Jane, NSW, 5 stars

Loved the evocation of 1970s Brisbane, truly a state of mind like nowhere else in Australia, as seen through the eyes of siblings Abby and Charlie. Amid natural disasters and social change an unexpected tragedy leaves the pair trapped into a decision to hide their involvement only to discover there is no escaping facing what has happened. Can they conceal their part or while the riptides swirling through family, relationships and an unforseen criminal element bring them undone? Really enjoyed it, thought provoking I would definitely read more – Juanita, NSW, 5 stars

I really enjoyed Riptide by Kirsten Alexander. I was engrossed in the story from the first page and could not put the book down. Abby and Charlie, sister and brother are driving to visit their father and veer into the path of an oncoming car, causing it to collide with a tree. The driver is killed. Abby and Charlie decide not to report the accident. The story evolves around the repercussions of the accident and trying to keep the secret. I can recommend this book. Great read. – Fay, VIC, 5 stars

1974 Abby and her brother Charlie are driving to their dads farm when an accident occurs ( no spoilers ) This is where the lies start and lives are affected including their own, The truth finally comes out and the lies told catch up with everyone ( no spoilers ) – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars

Riptides by Kirsten Alexander is a beauty. I completely enjoyed it. Those readers who don’t remember a time before today’s technology may struggle to understand the event that occurred to set the whole plot in motion, but mobile phones were not around in the 1970’s! The story was interesting and thought provoking, as was the look back at life in Australia at that time. I recommend this for all readers and have added Kirsten Alexander’s previous novel to my reading list. – Alice, NSW, 5 stars

Summoned to visit by their father, Charlie is driving with his sister Abby when the accident occurs. He’s just flown in from his idyllic life in Bali, had a few beers, dozed off behind the wheel. They’re on the outback dirt road leading to their father’s remote farm near Chinchilla. They start to help the victim, but know the implications will imperil their futures. ** redacted due to potential spoilers** They’ll need to re-adjust for the currents to come, not get caught in the uncontrollable riptide. These sibling characters sound cold and callous, but they have their reasons for the deceit and secrets. And so too do some others. ‘Riptides’ is set in a turbulent period of recent Australian history, during major natural disasters and government maladministration. The author Kirsten Alexander descriptively conjures a Brisbane recovering from the devastation of the 1974 flood. She insinuates a Queensland ruled by the tyrranical Premier Bjelke-Petersen, a police state controlled by crooked cops. Police corruption in Queensland is rife, marijuana is growing rampant and the media is shaking things up with shocking exposes. Constable Roberts is pursuing very different lines of enquiry to Sergeant Doyle. Doyle seems less interested in the holes in their story, the gaps in their timeline and slips of the tongue **redacted due to potential spoilers** Is there a way to make amends? Can we forgive the people we love their bad choices and mistakes? As the tension built I found myself swept away. – Anita, QLD, 5 stars

A tragic accident is the catalyst for a big secret that only grows bigger and becomes more complicated for siblings Charlie & Abby as they become older – becoming more complicated in the process. They’ve sworn not to ‘tell’ but wanting to redeem herself Aby holds evidence of what happened. Redeeming oneself of the offering of redemption – is it enough? – Catherine, NSW, 5 stars

Twenty something brother and sister, Charlie and Abby are the cause of tragic accident fatal to a heavily pregnant young woman. One forces a moral decision based on self-preservation, to which the other reluctantly acquiesces. The consequences are completely unforeseen, the guilt multiplies, and the ensuing complications quite unexpected. Alexander’s story grips from the first page and doesn’t let go. Shocking and thought-provoking, this is an incredibly powerful read. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

“Riptides”is a gripping, fast paced novel that explores moral dilemmas, power and relationships. The story is set in 1970s Australia which adds interest to both the characters and settings. I had frequent trips down memory lane while enjoying this read! Cyclone Tracy was woven into the story which will resonate with Australian readers. A great read! – Kelly, QLD, 5 stars

Riptides is such a multi layered story and I loved every minute of it. Kirsten Alexander is a new Australian writer for me and this is her second book. I feel that she has a hit on her hands with this one. There is so much going on in this fantastic book and I can’t recommend it enough. There were moments that made me laugh, and moments that made me cry. It has it all and once you start it you won’t want to put it down. It is 1974 in Queensland, Australia. Charlie and her sister Abby are heading home to their fathers farm. It is raining heavily and dark and it is a small, narrow dirt road. Then both of their lives change forever. They force a car off the road, killing the pregnant driver instantly. Scared they drag the woman from the car but leave her on the side of the road in the rain, dead. **redacted due to potential spoilers** The siblings decide to keep what happened to themselves, a decision that tears them up – and apart. The more they lie and avoid the police the more they change as people. Their friendships and relationships suffer. It is a story of family and what it means to different people. It is the 70’s and there is corruption and abuse of power. It was a different time, an easier time in some ways. Alexander reels you in with her descriptions of 1970’s Australia, I felt as if I was there and watching it all unfold. The characters are so real and you feel for them and the situations they get themselves into. Thanks to Better Reading and Penguin Random House for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased. – Mandy, NSW, 5 stars

When you get caught in a rip you are either taken along for the ride or you swim parallel to the shore until you can zig zag to safety. Abby and her brother Charlie are caught in a rip of their own making. Fleeing the scene of a fatal car accident, they cannot flee the consequences, the origins of which began long before that fateful day. Riptides is an all encompassing read. I could feel the humidity and stench of corruption, steaming off the page. 1974 Queensland was a time of great upheaval, mirrored absorbingly by this story of family, decisions and consequences. – Daniella, QLD, 5 stars

What a great read, RIPTIDES – Kirsten Alexander.   Brilliant,  Complex, tense and real.  I loved this book. It was hard not to love the main characters even though they had done a terrible thing and then made the worse decision they could have. A split second wrong move that could happen to anyone, what would anyone do in their situation.  Abby is someone that we all know, taking on everything for everyone and leaving no time for herself, I did not want her to suffer anymore than she did.  I found my self at times forgetting to breathe with the intensity of what was taking place.  Descriptive story telling that placed me there in the moment.  A page turner that will not disappoint.  Already have Half Moon Lake on my TBR list. – Debbie, VIC, 5 stars

Isn’t it amazing how one little mistake can cause such a riptide in people’s lives. Was well written and a great story loved reading it. The characters were so strong I loved getting into their lives to see how the ripples affected them all. I will read it again and would recommend to other people. – Beth, TAS, 5 stars

From the first few pages of Kirsten Alexander’s ‘Riptides’ you are swept into the current of a compelling and tragic story. Adult siblings Abby and Charlie run away from a motor vehicle accident in which a woman dies. Keeping this secret creates ripples in their relationships and threatens the people they love. The characters are complex and relatable without being trite. The writing is witty and highly addictive. In the background of the story is the threatening Australian landscape of Queensland in 1974. As flood waters rise, new pieces of the story are uncovered. This is a beautifully written and brilliant story about family, community, secrets and the moment in time that can change your life, and the lives of those you care about forever. There is a wonderful mix of story, suspense, relationship and deep themes in this book. Perfect for readers of Liane Moriarty, Sally Hepworth or Chris Hammer. – Amy, NSW, 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. This is an Australian novel set in the 1970s in Queensland. I am loving Australian authors and books set in Australia and this one is a beauty! Brother and sister, Charlie and Abby are driving to their father’s farm when they are involved in a car accident which kills the other driver, a pregnant woman. Abby pulls her from the wreckage and although she wants to help, is eventually coerced into leaving her on the side of the road by her brother. **redacted due to potential spoilers** They keep their involvement in the accident a secret, but as the novel continues, we see how the secret changes them and consumes them. From this point, it’s really intriguing to watch all the family relationships and friendships play out. The author does a wonderful job setting the book in the 70s and as the reader you really feel you have been transported back in time. I highly recommend this book. It will reel you in quickly and will keep you reading until the last page. Thank you Better Reading and Penguin Random House for my review copy. – Kim, VIC, 5 stars

Riptides by Kirsten Alexander was amazing. It starts of fast paced & as the reader knowing what’s happening makes you feel apart of what’s happening. The waiting for the truth to come out build the suspense with Abby & Charlie keeping the secret. Even though you know what they did early in the book I won’t spoil it here. The story moves along at a steady pace then has a very opened ending I feel that leaves it open for a sequel. **redacted due to potential spoilers** The cast of characters as brought to life with Charlie’s friends from Bali & Abby family life. The opening with the flood let’s you know that you will be swept away with this book & the added part of cyclone Tracey was a reminder of a dark time for Darwin & Australia. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes the “will they get caught/found out” & going from hating the people for what they did to maybe feeling for them & understanding why they did it. 5 stars all the way. Thanks so much Better Reading for the preview copy. – Terry, NSW, 5 stars

Alexander explores how a moment in time, a decision taken, can alter the lives of many having a rolling effect. Abby and Charlie’s decision to leave a woman dead on the side of the road, after an accident they caused, has far reaching effects as the two siblings come to terms with and try to justify what they have done. Told by dual narrators we get both Abigail’s and Charlie’s point of view. Set in the mid 1970’s Alexander uses real events, that tie in seamlessly, to place the story solidly in its time frame. The story gripped me from the very first page. Likeable or not the engaging cast of characters were easy to connect with and give for some compelling reading. – Veronica, NSW, 5 stars

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Reviews

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    11 February 2020

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      Riptides by Kirsten Alexander is a Stunning Achievement

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      10 February 2020

      Riptides by Kirsten Alexander is a Stunning Achievement

        Riptides by Kirsten Alexander is a Riveting Page-Turner

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        10 February 2020

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          13 November 2019

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                    Publisher details

                    Riptides
                    Author
                    Kirsten Alexander
                    Publisher
                    Penguin
                    Genres
                    Australian Fiction, Crime Fiction
                    Released
                    04 February, 2020

                    Synopsis

                    Set in Queensland during a time of tremendous social upheaval, Riptides is a gripping family drama about dreams, choices and consequences, from the author of the acclaimed Half Moon Lake.One bad decision can tear your world apart . . .December 1974. Abby Campbell and her brother Charlie are driving to their father’s farm on a dark country road when they swerve into the path of another car, forcing it into a tree. The pregnant driver is killed instantly.In the heat of the moment, Abby and Charlie make a fateful decision. They flee, hoping heavy rain will erase the fact they were there. They both have too much to lose.But they have no idea who they’ve just killed or how many lives will be affected by her death. Soon the truth is like a riptide they can’t escape, as their terrible secret pulls them down deeper by the day.
                    Kirsten Alexander
                    About the author

                    Kirsten Alexander

                    Kirsten Alexander was born in San Francisco, raised in Brisbane, and now lives in Melbourne with her partner and two sons. Half Moon Lake is her first published novel.

                    Books by Kirsten Alexander

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