Title: Something in the Water
Author: Catherine Steadman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Date of Publication: 26th July 2018
Date of Review: 19th July 2018
Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all, until Mark loses his job and cracks start to appear in their perfect life.
But they’re determined to make it work. They book their dream honeymoon and trust that things will work out – after all, they have each other.
On the tropical island of Bora Bora Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Mark is with her – she knows he’ll keep her safe. Everything will be fine. Until they find something in the water.
Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret — after all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events… which will endanger everything they hold dear.
Like many contemporary psychological thrillers, this novel starts with a flash-forward scene before retracing the steps as to what has led to this point in time. You know the outcome doesn’t bode well for the protagonist when the flash-forward starts with her digging a physical grave, foreshadowing the same metaphorically. The narrative is rich in analogy: newly-wed Erin describes the tarpaulin covering the body as ‘I’d found it abandoned, hanging like a veil from a branch’.
The story then slows down while we get to know the main characters, how Erin and Mark met; their perfect affluent life in their amazing house, with a fantastic wedding and honeymoon to look forward to. You just know it’s all going to come crashing down! Mark’s lost his job but he still has £80k in savings – about two year’s salary for most people – but banker Mark thinks he’s lost everything and cutting back on their lavish wedding is his first priority. But all is not lost and the honeymoon is still on, but with a shorter stay, on the tropical island of Bora Bora.
I have to say the next part, the ‘something in the water’ is not what I was expecting, and after this the pacing picked up. I don’t want to give any spoilers but suffice to say what they find changes everything. At first they do the decent thing, but when fate plays a part, greed takes over and brings out the worst in both characters.
Characters from the sub-plot of Erin’s career breakthrough, are all well-rounded and whilst at times these characters impact on her psychological well-being, help also comes from where she least expects it.
The plot was a little too ‘underworld gangsterish’ for me; I prefer plots that are more real life. Having said that, there were times when I found it hard to put the book down and I did enjoy it. The narrative is well structured, and characters are three dimensional. This is a great read for anybody who likes to read in that genre.
Under Literature Love’s rating scheme, this book has been awarded 4 out of 5 stars.
Four stars means: I enjoyed this book. This book is highly recommended. A well-structured narrative with three dimensional characters (not necessarily likeable). Plot is intriguing with twisty hooks.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster, and NetGalley for an Advance Review Copy of this book in return for an unbiased and honest review.