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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In 1974, in country Queensland, Charlie Campbell forces a car off an unlit and rarely travelled dirt road into a tree, killing the pregnant driver. The crash wakes Charlies sister, Abby, whod been sleeping in the passenger seat next to him. They were heading to their fathers farm.

A dead woman has no place in either of their plans. They drive away, leaving her on the ground
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Penguin Random House Australia
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Mandy White
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
Veronica ⭐️
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alexander explores how a moment in time, a decision taken, can alter the lives of many, having a rolling effect.

Abby and Charlies decision to leave a woman dead on the side of the road after an accident they caused has far reaching effects. The two siblings grapple with their conscience, come to terms with and try to justify what they have done.

Told by dual narrators we get both Abigail and Charlies point of view. Neither character is totally likeable,
Gloria Arthur
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-bookshelf
Riptides is the newest novel by Kirsten Alexander

The plot is an absolute page-turner. Its a gripping story of a horrifying and dark situation that siblings Abby and Charlie find themselves in when a heavily pregnant woman is killed after a terrible accident. After a moment of panic sets in they make an appalling decision.

The siblings hide the crime and as their lies grow bigger, the consequences set in. Its soon revealed that the woman killed had a secret connection to their lives, which will
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

4.5 stars

Riptides is a complex family crime based drama from Australian writer Kirsten Alexander. It is an heart-wrenching affair, that examines the fallout from a tragic accident that rips apart a family unit. Contemplative, divisional and involving, Riptides commands your full attention from the explosive first chapter to the final word.

Riptides brings the reader to the end of 1974, in the state of Queensland. One evening, Abby and her brother Charlie are
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Riptides is the second novel by Australian author, Kirsten Alexander. Abigail Campbell and her brother Charlie, driving to their fathers Queensland outback farm one December night, are the cause of a fatal car accident. A heavily-pregnant young woman dies instantly and, despite Abbys best efforts, her brother coerces her to leave the scene, reasoning nothing more can be done for the victim, and their lives will be the worse for admitting their part.

Arriving at John Scotts farm the next morning,
Theresa Smith
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2020
Riptides is a complex and gripping story about the weight of ones decisions, morality, and family obligation. Set in Brisbane during the mid-1970s, this novel is not just a story about siblings committing a crime; its also a snapshot of the state of Queensland, smack bang in the middle of Bjelke-Petersens police-state reign.

The sense of time and place is so vividly recreated within this novel, not just in terms of the era and setting, but also within the characters themselves: their actions,
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Riptides by Kirsten Alexander begins with the most compelling first chapter Ive read in a long a while.

I wake when Abby shouts. She reaches across me and grabs the steering wheel. A car horn brays. White beams flare at us and then pitch to the right. For an instant, a rump of blue metal shines in our headlights.

Siblings Abby and Charlie are driving to their fathers farm in rural Queensland when a moment of inexcusable negligence results in a young, heavily pregnant driver being forced off the
Jennifer (JC-S)
I wake when Abby shouts.

1974, rural Queensland. Charlie Campbell and his sister Abby are driving to their fathers farm. Charlie, who has fallen asleep at the wheel, forces another car of the narrow, unlit road. They stop. When they realise that the heavily pregnant woman is dead, they drive away. They leave her on the ground, as heavy rain falls. They tell no-one.

The next day, they arrive at their fathers farm and learn that the dead woman, Skye, was their fathers fiancée. Charlie and Abby
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This is my first Kristen Alexander book, a tale of two siblings who are involved in a terrible accident and its consequences. This book is set in Queensland in the 1970s a time of corruption and abuse of power in the police force.

I found this very readable and found myself reaching for it at any moment of downtime but having finished it I feel it wasnt overly impressive. I found the characters unconvincing and there was just too much going on in the plot for me.
Dominique Wilson
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Riptides is a captivating tale that examines the multi-layered aspects of family, its strength and weaknesses, and how the decisions we make in a moment of panic and desperation can have long lasting repercussions. Alexander also explores what lengths we will go to save ourselves and those we love, and how those actions can break or strengthen the bonds between parent and child, and between siblings.

There is also an underlying question on the abuse of power and adherence or lack of to the law
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Riptides by Kirsten Alexander was a little gem of a book. A well paced novel that keeps you turning the pages for more. Very well layered with surprises along the way. Riptides also portrayed some dynamics of Australian 1970s, such as culture, family life, attitude towards women and so on as I have imagined them to be. Would recommend this to my reading friends as a good read.

Thanks to Better Reading for advance copy.
Pam Tickner
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A really interesting concept but I couldn't feel the characters which made their actions less emotive than needed to fully enjoy the book. Thank you Better Reading and Penguin Random House for my advanced reading copy.
Jessica M
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Set in country Queensland in the 1970s, Kirsten Alexanders Riptides is a seductive family drama about relationships, trust, choices, and the consequences of one terrible decision.

The book begins on a deserted highway late at night, when siblings Abby and Charlie accidentally force another car off the road. The pregnant driver dies, and whilst Abby and Charlie should attempt to save the life of the baby, they dont call for help and instead drive off. They later find out
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I feel like I'm a latecomer to Riptides by Kirsten Alexander as it seems to have been out for a while, though really it's only been a month or two. It's been hugely popular however and (I understand) already reprinted twice.

Alexander offers readers a challenging narrative as we wonder what we'd do in a similar situation but I must admit what I loved most about this book was the trip down memory lane as it's set in 1974-1975. I would have only been six years of age at the time but it brought back
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
3 1/2 stars really as liked it but I didn't always like it and in the end I really didn't like the ending!
Catherine Lee
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this, up until the ending. I think it fella little flat where it could have done a lot more.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 fathers 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. They are later shocked
Terry Maxwell
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I obtained an uncorrected advance proof copy of this intriguing tale from Better Reading: It took me a while to get into this book, but then I found myself pulled into the story and swept along with Abby and Charlie, waiting to see where we landed... I couldnt really relate to the decision they made, but their actions afterwards were understandable. Abby feels a responsibility to her younger brother, and Charlie needs to take things more seriously. Despite their bad judgment leading to a womans ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
I found this book a little hard to read dealing with the guilt of the characters not coming forward and idea that they will continue to live with what happened and hide it from everyone. I found some in the characters a little irrelevant such as Ryan and Sal. The relationship with Abby and her husband had issues that were swept under the mat and all in all lots of mini plots that didnt seem to go anywhere. ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
Beth Stackhouse
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sam Still Reading
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: enjoyed Half Moon Lake
Last year, I stumbled upon Kristen Alexanders Half Moon Lake and adored the complexities explored in the novel. There was no earthly way that Id miss her next novel, Riptides, which is equally as enthralling. Although the topic and setting are quite different (missing child in America versus an accident in 1970s Queensland), Alexander creates a mesmerising story full of emotion, secrets and decisions, both good and bad.

The story starts with Charlie and Abby driving to see their father in country
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction"

I was intrigued to read this one when I realised is was based in 1970's Brisbane, so close to my home town!

This book is a complex, multi-layered crime drama about 2 siblings who, while on the way to their father's property unintentionally (but negligently) force a driver off the road killing her and her unborn child instantly. In the moment of panic, the siblings make a horrific decision that they can never come back from.

As the story
Andrea Barton
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever made a decision you later regretted? Riptides by Kirsten Alexander takes this concept and runs amok.
After a car accident leaves a pregnant woman dead, Abby and her brother Charlie flee the scene. This lapse of judgment sets into motion a series of lies, cover-ups and emotional wreckage that tears the characters apart. Against a setting of Queensland in 1974, police corruption, natural disasters and political instability further create further problems.
Told in alternating points of
Lee Crossley
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I gave this four stars but it doesn't allow half stars so 3.5 stars is my official score.
Typically I don't go for plot-driven novels, but I made an exception here.
It's set in the 70s, 10 years prior to my birth, in Queensland - a long way from my birth place. I love books that have a clear sense of time and place. And I love giving new authors a go. This is Kirsten's second novel (I believe) and she has done a good job here. It's fast paced, has well-drawn characters with depth, and a plot that
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Riptides is a tale of families and the strings that keep us bound to one another regardless of the decisions we make. It is a story of consequences and how a lapse in judgement made in haste can alter the lives of not only those immediately involved but those around them. Alexander has created characters that the reader can relate to as if they were your own next door neighbours or even family. As we bear witness to the characters mistakes, we can see their flaws but also can empathise with why ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Riptides tells the story of siblings Abigail and Charlie and the ripple effect one bad decision to leave the scene of a fatal car accident has upon their lives and on those in there family.
Set in 1970's Australia over the span of four months the story alternates between Charlie and Abigails perspectives.
Charlie's only concern seems to be getting back to Bali as soon as he can while Abigail is more worried about the personal cost to her life should the truth come out.
The author does a good job
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Riptides - set across an Australian summer in 1974/75 is solid story which hooks you in from the beginning.

Siblings driving to their Fathers farm in outback Queensland cause a heavily pregnant driver to veer off the road - killing her instantly. Their decision to leave the scene causes a ripple affect across family and friends they would never have imagined.

I got through this is a couple of days; which is rare for me - I usually sit on books for a while. I also liked their familiar names of
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Kirsten Alexander is the author of two novels, Half Moon Lake (PRH, Australia & NZ, 2019; published as Lost Boy Found by Grand Central/Hachette, US & Canada 2020) and Riptides (PRH, 2020). She is writing her third novel.

She is also co-founder of short story site Storymart:

Kirsten has worked as a nonfiction book editor, copywriter (inhouse four years for Aesop, also for

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