The Swell by Allie Reynolds

Looking for an intense and suspenseful summer read? The Swell by Allie Reynolds brings us a beach-fleshed tale of sinister intrigue fueled by hidden secrets from the past, dangerous encounters in the present and deadly plans for the future.

It’s a taunt tale about a remote Australian beach – protected and hidden from the public by a group of six hard-core surfer friends who call themselves “the tribe.” They’ve managed to keep their secret surfer’s paradise all to themselves – outside visitors are frowned upon.

But all that changes when Kenna Ward finds out her childhood friend, Mikki, is about to marry Jack – a guy she’s only known for a short time. And since Mikki comes from a wealthy family with deep pockets, Kenna is picking up the scent of a gold digger and maybe worse, an abuser.

When Kenna pulls a surprise visit to her friend, Mikki, who is now living in Australia with Jack, the surprise is on her. Mikki and Jack are packed and going off the grid for a while – they’ve found their niche among the Tribe and are ready to depart. Against the rules, Kenna winds up going with them to the Tribe’s sacred beach, hoping to get Mikki alone and talk her out of this hasty marriage.

But as Kenna quickly finds out, she’s not a welcomed visitor. After just one day with the Tribe, she begins to realize these aren’t just surfers wanting to keep the pristine beach and the incredible waves all to themselves – they all have a lot to hide.

Sky is the leader of the Tribe, reigning with an iron fist. No one goes against her, no one defies her. The Tribe currently consists of 2 women and 4 men, but Kenna learns there were other members. One committed suicide, others met with horrible accidents. Other members just “disappeared” – yet no one from the Tribe seems concerned or worried.

It’s an alternate lifestyle – surfing, camping and living on your own hidden beach. Members occasionally go into town for basic supplies. Kenna wonders how they pay for their supplies if no one has a job – has the Tribe (not Jack) been draining Mikki’s bank account?

As she befriends some of the members, she quietly finds out snippets of their past. She realizes that they are all “damaged” in one way or another – and then discovers that one of them could be a calculating killer.

But by the time Kenna realizes that no one has literally ever “left” the Tribe – she wonders if it’s too late to save Mikki and save herself.

Filled with subtle twists and turns that I guarantee you won’t see coming, the characters and plot will grab you and pull you under like a strong riptide. Allie Reynolds gives us characters that are “flawed” to perfection. Who is good? Who is evil? Or are they “all” evil? But the ultimate question is: Who will survive?

The Swell is a mesmerizing novel by Allie Reynolds (author of Shiver) – a summer read that sizzles with suspense.

Published by Putnam/an imprint of Penquin Random House LLC.

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