Title: Something in the Water
Author: Catherine Steadman
Publisher: 1 August 2018 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 400 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: mystery, thriller, suspense, crime
My Rating: 4 cups
A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut--for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.
If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?
Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .
Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?
Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .
Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?
Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.
‘I have the feeling of being too near to something I don’t want to be near to. To something dangerous. I can’t quite see what it is yet but I feel it, it feels close. I feel the trapdoors in my mind creaking under the strain of what lies underneath.’
As a debut, this is a really interesting read that will engage you from start to finish. A slow build story with the author giving time to not only get to know, but assess the main characters. Filled with intrigue you will, at times, be dumbfounded by the actions of some characters - but that, I believe, is the whole point. I can’t help but feel there is more to this story that the superficial ‘who is responsible’ mystery theme. Yes, of course you will be swept along as both Erin and Mark make some incredible decisions together. Without saying anything about the plot, they take you on quite the journey.
I do believe, however, the true star of this book is the underlying theme - a psychological examination of everything it is to be human. The challenge is presented as you read along - what would you have done in their position? What are the priorities in your own life? To what length would you go to achieve them? Would you ever consider the long term consequences of such decisions?
The ending for me, was a great unexpected twist which I loved. Many reviewers complain that the main characters are unlikable, yet I have to wonder, it would definitely take a certain type of person to engage and pursue a similar path as what Erin and Mark ultimately do. They are most definitely flawed characters, but perhaps, that is the point. I did struggle with other areas of the book. Firstly, I found the writing overly stilted and therefore difficult to absorb at times - “we’re our own unit. Impenetrable. Secure. There’s us and then there’s the rest of the world. Until now. Until this.” - typical of some of the punchy lines scattered throughout. There also seemed to be a rather radical change in the character's thoughts, words and actions that I felt did not sit comfortably with what had initially been laid out.
Overall, however, Steadman has created a truly absorbing read. The journey she will take you on will not only be a suspenseful one of ‘whodunit’ but also an engaging thought provoking challenge on motives and morals in the unlikely pursuit of the fulfilment of aspirations to the perfect life. Secrets will abound as both curiosity and greed will have a tug of war with honesty and truthfulness. Where would you stand?
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.