Thursday, January 3, 2013

Against the Tide

Elizabeth Camden's latest novel, Against the Tide, was even better than her previous two books - and that's saying a lot because they're both excellent.

Against the Tide takes up the story of Alexander "Bane" Banebridge, who is a character from Camden's first novel The Lady of Bolton Hill. Bane is very passionate about bringing down the opium trade, but to do this he needs a translator. And Lydia Pallas is the only person in the Boston area fluent in the languages he needs. Lydia desperately needs the money Bane pays in order to have any hope in keeping her apartment. But of course, she doesn't know what she signed up for before it is too late to back out.

Camden weaves information about opium into the tale effortlessly, as well as the politics behind the trade. It is these seemingly simple accomplishments that make a story move from "good" to "great." But it is no simple task. Camden gives readers the information they need to grasp the enormity of the situation facing Bane and Lydia without beating her readers over the head with the facts. Keeping the balance is the challenge and Camden nailed it.

I can't wait to see what she comes up with in her fourth novel due out in August: Into the Whirlwind.

*I was given a free copy by Bethany House Publishers in return for an honest review.