The Mercy of the Tide

Now in Audiobook Format!

Longlisted for the Bram Stoker Award

Riptide, Oregon, 1983. A sleepy coastal town, where crime usually consists of underage drinking down at a Wolf Point bonfire. But then strange things start happening—a human skeleton is unearthed in a local park and mutilated animals begin appearing, seemingly sacrificed, on the town’s beaches. The Mercy of the Tide follows four people drawn irrevocably together by a recent tragedy as they do their best to reclaim their lives—leading them all to a discovery that will change them and their town forever.

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About the Book

Recent Press

  • The Oregonian | Amy Wang – “For a true literary beach escape, seek out copies of Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story collection “Searoad,” Brian Doyle’s “Mink River” or Keith Rosson’s “The Mercy of the Tide.” All are set in fictional Oregon coastal communities.  –Amy Wang, The Oregonian” – Full Article
  • NPR Books | Jason Heller – “Rosson is a talent to be watched, and Riptide is one of the most immersive fictional settings in recent memory.” – Full Review
  • Razorcake Magazine | Matthew Hart – “The Mercy of the Tide is intense and beautiful, epically sad yet restorative like all great novels are. Affirmation in every sense of the term. Highly Recommended.” – Full Review
  • Razorcake Magazine | Kurt Morris – “The world of publishing is strange. It’s kind of like music in the sense of I don’t know why some albums get popular acclaim and others fall through the cracks. I’ve read books that are “successful” and they’re lost on me. Meanwhile, people like Rosson are putting out gripping, illustrative books like The Mercy of the Tide. God damn, if this isn’t made into a movie it’s a crying shame.” – Full Review
  • The Oregonian | Amy Wang – “. . . Rosson’s voice is sure; his characters are vividly, heartbreakingly human in their flaws and foibles and relationships; and his plot rolls relentlessly along, growing ever more nerve-wracking until the final, completely unsettling chapter. ” – Full Article/Interview
  • Publisher’s Weekly (Starred review) – “A striking novel” Full Review
  • Foreword Reviews (5/5 Hearts) – “An exquisitely honed, beautifully written novel.” Full Review
  • The Register-Guard | Brian Juenemann – “Rubbing shoulders with indie literati” – Full Article
  • Literary Hub – “. . . nothing is what it seems in Riptide, both due to the sources of violence and to the magical realism that Rosson uses with a magically deft touch.” – Full Review
  • Sonya Spreen Bates – “Debut novelist, Keith Rosson, has delivered a riveting character-driven tale that crosses the line between mild horror and alternate reality.” – Full Review
  • Paperback Paris | Jessica Duffield – “I recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a unique mystery.” – Full Review
  • – “Authors on the Map, Books on Your Shelf?” – Full Article
  • Barnes & Noble Blog – “Blending fantasy, horror, and alt-history, this slow-burning debut is grounded by characters whose personal tragedies anchor the supernatural elements. ” – Full Article
  • Verbicide – “Highly Recommended” –  Full Review
  • Medium – “Recommended without reservation” – Full Review
  • Arizona Daily Sun – Flagstaff Live – “Words That Work: Anger and The Mercy of the Tide” –  Full Review
  • Hifinoise – “He’s a writer who is now on my list of ‘check out everything they release.'”- Full Review
  • Modern Vinyl – Missaligned PodcastInterview
  • The Nervous Breakdown Interview & Excerpt
  • The QwilleryInterview
  • Speculative Fiction ShowcaseExcerpt
  • The Oregonian Live – “24 NW Books We’re Excited to Read in 2017” – Full Article
  • – “Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for February” – Full Article
  • Brainfluff – “Strongly Recommended” – Full Review
  • Seattle Book Mama Blog (4/5 Stars) – “This darkly delicious novel shows that Rosson is a force to be reckoned with.” – Full Review
  • Rest, Read, Repeat – “Rosson is phenomenal in his story-telling and does a fantastic job of developing his characters throughout.” – Full Review
  • The Haunted Reading Room (5/5 Stars) – ” A novel that is deep and rich, a literary pleasure . . . Best of 2017″ – Full Review
  • A Bohemian Mind – (4/5 Stars) – “A remarkable debut.” – Full Review
  • Making Good Stories – (4/5 Stars) – Full Review
  • Girl With a Pretty Keyboard – “It’s a weird little novel but it’s gritty and deeply emotional.” – Full Review
  • I am not a bookworm – “The mythology and folk tale part of it was added into the story with great skill . . . I like myths and legends and how one was played out and unraveled in this story was very amazing.” – Full Review
  • Writing Forums ShowcaseInterview


Genres: Alternate History, Literary Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Thriller
Tags: allbooks, audiobooks, available, awards2017, Backlist, Meerkat Press, monsterfest
Publication Year: February 2017
ASIN: 0996626247
ISBN: 9780996626248
“An astonishing debut soaked with suspense. Rosson brings his characters to life with surefooted precision. The town of Riptide, Oregon, may be cursed with rain, but it will be scorched into your memory. Outlandishly excellent.”
– Jim Ruland, author of FOREST OF FORTUNE
Keith Rosson’s fearless and genre-bending debut novel, The Mercy of the Tide, is harrowing, haunting, and hypnotic. This is nightmare material of the first order, at once exhilarating and profoundly disturbing. It’ll leave you breathless. Riptide, Oregon, is a forbidding landscape of shattered lives and broken dreams, and it’s a scarier place than the world you’re living in. Pour yourself a bracing drink, settle into your comfy chair. Once you begin this book, you won’t be going anywhere. What talent, what nerve, what an astonishing first novel.
– John Dufresne, author of I DON'T LIKE WHERE THIS IS GOING
A dark thrill ride.
– Kyle Minor, author of PRAYING DRUNK
This story of a community of wounded souls takes some gutsy turns off the main roads to stake its own unforgettable territory. With grit and empathy, Rosson tells a story of heartache and grief unlike any I’ve ever read.
– James Boice, author of THE SHOOTING and MVP
Book Club Resources
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About the Author
Keith Rosson

Keith Rosson is the author of the novels The Mercy of the Tide (2017, Meerkat Press) and Smoke City (2018, Meerkat Press). His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. An advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, he can be found at