Riptide by Catherine Coulter | Teen Ink

Riptide by Catherine Coulter

May 1, 2008
By Anonymous

“Riptide” is a novel about all of the hardships and life changing experiences that a woman goes through while finding out the truth about her family and their history unravels. However, I believe that there is more to this novel than what appears on the surface. In this book, the main character, Becca, deals with catastrophic events that range from losing her mother to cancer after her father had died when she was only 3-years-old, to being stalked by a murderer. After she was kidnapped by the psychopath stalker, she found out that her father was still alive. He'd kept himself away for nearly 25 years in order to protect her and her mother from the man who had inevitably found her. It was this unconditional love that Thomas Matlock had for his wife and daughter that had led me to believe that this novel was mainly written about the lengths that people with go to protect those that they love.

Thomas Matlock was in the CIA and he accidentally killed a Russian agent's wife during a shooting. The agent's name was Visili Krimakov and he swore to Matlock that he would kill him and his entire family. After that, Krimakov disappeared and Thomas knew that the only way to protect his family was if he separated himself from them. However, the stalker who Becca and Thomas thought was Visili seeking revenge all these years later was actually Krimakov's son, Mikhail. Even though he was crazy, I believe that Mikhail also loved his mother very dearly. He thought that his mother had been murdered by Thomas. Mikhail was avenging his mother's death because he loved her so much. He said to Thomas and Becca, “Now I've got you both and I'm going to kill you, just as you killed my mother. It's justice. It's retribution.” Though it may be wrong, this is another example of how people sometimes go to extreme lengths for the ones that they love.

I think that it is very easy to relate many of the feelings that the characters have in this novel to feelings that I have felt during times in my own life. It's amazing what kind of feats people with reach in order to protect those that you love. It's said that some mothers can lift a car off of their child after an accident and some people will give up everything to be with a loved one. A perfect example of this was when Thomas Matlock was shot in the chest by Mikhail. In the book it said, “Becca's eyes were closed, Mikhail's hold against her throat as too strong, far too strong. She'd passed out. He had to do something, anything...He felt the pain pulsing deep in his chest, but with it, he felt such an intense surge of love for her that gave him a burst of strength. He managed to ease his hand down to his pants pocket, to the small derringer. Just a bit more strength, that's all he needed, strength.”

Even though the events that take place in this novel aren't necessarily things that occur in most people's everyday live, the feelings experience could be comparable. I think that it was very creative for the author to place her characters in dramatic situations to express feelings that nearly everyone goes through at one point or another. Whether it's protecting those that you love, or learning how to love others, she found an imaginative way to keep the readers attention while teaching a few life-longs lessons about love and trust.

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