TIDEFALL by Thomas H. Raddall


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Readers who discovered the drama and intrigue of The Nymph and The Lamp (1950) will find here a suspense and a violence that matches the setting of the bleak Nova Scotian coast and the story of a self-made man. R. Saxby (Sax) Nolan returns to the home of his boyhood to show off but no one remembers him and to ""show"" himself he tries to become a respected member of the community by buying Caraday's defunct business from the dead man's widow. Flashbacks show Sax' earlier life -- when as a ragged boy, know as Monkey Eyes, he was ridiculed by the town children, and the years when he was a seaman, smuggler, rum-runner, cheat, swindler and all around pirate -- show the beginnings of his modest fortune. Once again he has fortune's favor for the business in Fort Barron goes well and Rena Caraday becomes his wife. But Sax carries his doom with him. His ruthlessness and inhumanity -- for these are the seeds of his own destruction -- destroy his marriage, himself and all that that has gone to make up his sought-after respectability. Just where this misses in coming wholly alive is hard to say for the characterizations are insistent, there's unstinted action and it doesn't lack in readability.

Publisher: Little, Brown