Reviews of Dark Tides

Alison Flood, Observer, Thriller of the Month

“Chris Ewan’s DARK TIDES is a hybrid of a novel, the author managing to blend elements of 90s horror films I Know What You Did Last Summer (teenagers do something bad; vengeance is wreaked) and Scream (dead mother; tragic daughter) with the conceit from, of all stories, David Nicholls’s One Day (the “one day” in Ewan’s novel being 31 October). The remote island setting – “eighty thousand people, clinging to a rock thirty-two miles long by fourteen miles wide in the middle of the Irish Sea” – gives it a touch of The Wicker Man as well. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, or at least for schlock-horror, but Ewan skilfully avoids potential mantraps of melodrama or gore to deliver a truly chilling and thoroughly enjoyable read.”

Boston Globe

"Ewan’s exquisite pacing in this thriller is impressive ... and the overarching tension ratchets up incrementally but steeply, notch by scary notch ... Claire in particular — baggage, blind spots, and all — is a compelling character from the get-go, and Ewan’s knowing touch ensures that she’s worth following around a dark and stormy island on the scariest night of the year, again and again."

Barry Forshaw, Daily Express

“This is a truly compelling piece of work. He utilises the more sinister aspects of Manx folklore, forging from it a truly atmospheric thriller that is impossible to put down. If Ewan chooses never to go back to his lighter Good Thief’s Guide series and continues to produce novels like DARK TIDES, readers will have little cause to complain.”

John Dugdale, The Sunday Times

“Resembling Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but with an organising principle borrowed from David Nicholls’s One Day, the novel is more streamlined, linear and film-like than Ewan’s earlier work. A clever, gripping blend of thriller and detective-story elements.” 

Marcel Berlins, The Times

“The novel’s formula is clever and well executed and Ewan’s portrayal of the island duly atmospheric.”

Catholic Herald

“Ewan writes lyrically and this is a chilling, intelligent and brilliantly structured novel.”

Sydney Morning Herald

“This is a clever, well-structured novel that smoothly builds suspense as the plot twists its way to a thrilling climax.”

Crime Fiction Lover

“What’s compelling about DARK TIDES is simply that it’s very well written. While you’re reading it, you won’t be able to think about anything else. Your mind won’t drift, and you’ll be wrapped up in this Halloween thriller right up to the final full stop on page 440.”


“There are few male authors who would dare to write with a woman’s voice and fewer who could do it as well as Chris Ewan has done in Dark Tides.”

Jon Wise, Daily Sport

“A top book to read by torchlight.”

My Weekly

“A bone-chilling mystery set on the Isle of Man.”