High Tide at Midnight

Budjette Tan

Book cover

See my review of Trese #1 (“Murder on Balete Drive”) for a broader assessment of the series.

I liked “High Tide at Midnight” a lot, second only to #3 (“Mass Murders”)–bearing in mind that I still haven’t read #2. Like #3, this volume follows a single plot-line through the entire book–flooding in Manila and the dangerous sea-creatures it brings into contact with people. It’s probably the furthest foray into social commentary I’ve seen in Trese, portraying the “preventable tragedy” aspects of flooding and showing policymakers making callous and corrupt decisions. As part of this aspect of the plot, it also does a great job of further tying “The Madame” (Trese’s archnemesis, Imelda Marcos) into the overall plot arc of the series.

This volume also might be the most “traditional comic-book-like” one in the series so far, with Trese gathering her squad of pseudo-Avengers together to combat the threat, which takes the form of monsters that almost literally “level up” into ever-more-threatening forms. It’s good for what it is, though I personally prefer the more detective-type stories from some earlier volumes. I did like the way Tan used the “getting the crew together” plotline to bring back the character of Bantay, who has an interesting and complex relationship with Alexandra due to events earlier in the series (in “Mass Murders” #3).

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars