Marion SmithRiptide
by Marion Smith


on the cover:
“Highly readable”

As a therapist, Marion Smith has heard too many stories of families torn apart by child stalkers. In this gripping psychodrama, her heroine is a grandmother who is frustrated by police and church inaction, and who finally gets a gun.

Laurel Greer carries on this fragmented conversation with herself: “Hold the edged blade, Medea,” she thinks, “wipe the blood on your cheeks, your lips, your hair. Moan silently, Eve, … and weep long and shrill, … for my child is screaming in the night.”

What should she do? What would any of us do in her position? These are questions that trouble Laurel, and the reader, to the end of the story.

“Suspenseful and highly readable … haunting, uncompromising.”
—BARBARA WILLIAMS, author, Beheaded, Survived; Titanic Crossing

“Another flashlight in the darkness—a to-the-death struggle between law and order and a mother’s need to protect her own.”
—ANDREW VACHSS, author, Strega; Everybody Pays

“Riveting … no holds barred … devastating.”
—CLAIRE R. REEVES, president, Mothers Against Sexual Abuse

“As Riptide explores an existential coming of age, it urges us all to confront our own inconsistent morality.”
—BRIAN EVENSON, author, Altmann’s Tongue; Father of Lies

about the author: Marion Smith is co-founder and former director of the Intermountain Specialized Abuse Treatment Center in Salt Lake City for which she was named Public Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Utah Chapter. She is a former program director for the LDS Day Camp and Camp Uintah summer retreat for emotionally disturbed children. A University of Utah graduate, she is the recipient of a Distinguished Alumnus Award. This is her second book.

title page:
A Novel by Marion Smith
Signature Books
Salt Lake City

copyright page:
Cover design by Randall Smith Associates
© 1999 Signature Books. All rights reserved. Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Riptide was printed on acid-free paper and was manufactured in the United States of America.
04 03 02 01 00 99 65432 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Smith, Marion
Riptide : a novel / by Marion Smith.
p. cm.
ISBN 1-56085-131-7
I. Title.
PS3569.M537639R5   1999
813’.54—dc21   99-16681
dedication page:
To my husband and children,
whose support has been unfailing,
and to all victims of abuse and their families,
who daily grapple with the arduous
task of healing.

[p.vii]This story is fiction. There are, however, many cases of abuse similar to that described in this book. Often these cases are reported to both police and ecclesiastical leaders, yet no action is taken. While details of individual stories differ, the effects of child abuse and reactions to it seem remarkably similar.

I deeply appreciate the many survivors of child sexual abuse who shared their stories with me. Without exception, their courage and strength are extraordinary.

I want to thank Maxine Hanks for her sensitive editing, and Paul Swenson and Lavina Fielding Anderson for their suggestions.

[p.viii]For nothing can be sole or whole,
that has not first been rent.
—W. B. Yeats, “Crazy Jane”

What men can imagine,
they also can do.
Albert Camus, Between Hell and Reason



JARED (+Rachel)
new baby

TINA (+husband)

JEANNE (+Chris)