Cover Image: In Deep Water

In Deep Water

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Member Reviews

I missed the first book but that wasn't a problem. This features a strong and unusual protagonist in Cat Connolly, who works as a Garda, is studying for a degree in forensics and is a kickboxer. She's trying to find her missing sparring partner and then there's a murder, Some of the plot elements might seem familiar (human trafficking) but it's nicely put together. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read,

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I love a good thriller novel and this one did not disappoint! Finished it in one seating and is definitely a page-turner. Would definitely recommend if you're into Ian Rankin and Christopher Greyson!

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I got this as a review copy from Netgalley, so as always thank you to them and the publishers. As my headline says I found this the best book of the Cat Connolly Trilogy. Much more plot twists than books 1 & 3. Without spoiling anyone's reading I never saw the twist at the end coming, I knew there was going to be a twist but not the twist that was delivered. As always really enjoyed the Dublin background. i think this is probably it now for Cath Connolly and her Gardai colleagues which is a shame. Can be read as a stand alone book or in order but would recommend to read in order for continuity.

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This was a gripping and tense psychological thriller with an emotional plotline. I loved the writing style and was kept on the edge of my seat. Another brilliant book from the author.

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Sorry for the inconvenience but I have realized that this is a part of the series and I haven't read the previous book in the series. So I think I won't be able to experience the book to its fullest.
Thank you for providing the copy though. I look forward to reading some more titles of yours. Thanks!

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In Deep Water (Cathy Connolly #2) by Sam Blake was a good read. 2018 has been packed with a number of thrillers for me. It has been my go to genre this year. While this is my first book by Sam Blake it will not be my last. Cathy Connolly is a very well written character and moves the story along well, my only downfall is that since this is the second book I needed a little more back story. Cathy “Cat” Connolly has recently returned to Dublin’s An Garda Síochána following a close brush with death on her last case (book #1). Now she’s fighting fit thanks to long hours of physical therapy & rehab. She’s a national kick boxing champ & when her usual sparring partner doesn’t turn up one day, Cat knows it’s time to get worried.

Sarah Jane Hansen is a hard-working journalism student, Cat’s best friend & training buddy I loved the character of Sarah because you could tell that she is resilient and crafty and I love how the end ties the story up nicely. You don’t know if Sarah will live or die but you know that Cat won’t stop trying. I felt the plot believable and the story flowed well. It builds tension nicely while some parts could be shorter all an all a great read if you’re looking for a good cop read. 3.5 starts from me because while I connected with it and would read more from the author I just needed a little bit more about Cathy to connect with her a bit morel.

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Maybe I’ve brought it upon myself for not reading the first installment. However these type of series usually do not require you to read any of the previous books, having a complete control of what you want to read and when.

With the Cathy Connolly series it turned out to be slightly different.

Focused strongly on main character, Cathy, the story provides just enough background for you to understand what happened previously, but not enough to connect with the character. Which, once again, is not usually something you want to do in crime novels anyway.

During the entire book, we spend quite a lot of time reading Cathy’s thoughts and memories and I was wishing for something slightly different.

- Yes, there is a missing person case (and very personal to Cathy at that); and
- Yes, there is a murder;

BUT! the feeling I got was that we were meant to care more about Cathy than about the case itself. She was described as a head-strong, intelligent agent, but that was not how she acted for the most part. Considering that the person who went missing was her dear friend, it attenuates the degree of recklessness showed by the main character but does not eliminate it completely.

The case that she was working on turned out to be more than just a missing-person case, englobing murder, human trafficking and sex slavery. But, yet again, the author was touching such important and largely concerning topic, and I didn’t feel like it was emphasized enough.

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Cat Connelly is getting her life back together following a case that almost killed her and left her physically and mentally damaged. Now she's back at work as a detective with the Irish Garda, back studying for her degree in Forensic Psychology and training for the next Kick Boxing competition. Her best friend Sarah Jane has been a great support through her struggle to get her life back to normal but now Sarah Jane has disappeared and Cat fears something bad has happened to her.

This was a reasonable read with an interesting plot, although one involving foreign girls trapped into the sex trade that has been well worked before. There were lots of disparate elements - the rich playboy, his ex wife and slightly autistic child, a kidnapping and a headless body that just didn't seem to come together well and failed to develop any degree of tension and for the most part fell a bit flat. Cat also came across as a bit too needy, maybe not unexpectedly after her previous trauma, but that made it hard to engage with her. The ending also felt somewhat contrived, almost a last ditch effort to add some tension to the plot but it was all too late to save it.

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I was eager to read the second in the series of Cat Connelly books, because the first, Little Bones was such a corker and ended with such a heart stopping moment that I couldn’t wait for the next in the series.

Cathy Connolly is a member of the Garda. Following a difficult, traumatising and deadly case, she has now gone back to work and has resumed her kick boxing training at the local gym. Though far from mentally or physically recovered; she is still suffering from PTSD – she is determined to get on with her life and make the best of her considerable drive and skills. She resumes her studies in Forensic Psychology and is making serious strides to regain her kick boxing awards under the tutelage of Niall McIntyre, an ex-para who has coached her since she was a teenager.

She works out with her best friend and fellow student at Dublin University, Sarah Jane Hansen and so, when Sarah Jane fails to show and cannot be found anywhere, Cat must take action to establish what has happened to her. Sarah Jane is a journalism student – unsurprisingly since her dad is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and also works in one of Dublin’s most expensive restaurants as a waitress.

When Sarah Jane’s mother phones Cat to say she is worried and Cat learns that she and her father had argued about a story she was working on which he felt had the potential to lead her into danger, Cat grows seriously concerned for Sarah Jane’s safety.

Under the watchful eye of her boss and detective partner, DI Dawson O’Rourke, Cat sets out to track Sarah Jane’s movements.

This is almost a book of two halves; in the first half of the book we learn about Sarah Jane through Cat and follow Cat’s retracing of SJ’s steps and as she discovers that something has gone seriously awry. Then the pace of the book picks up as a young woman who had contact with Sarah Jane also goes missing, and the case leads Cat and O’Rourke into the ruthless world of Dublin organised crime and human trafficking.

As ever, Cat is prone to rushing in where others would have cooler heads, but I didn’t always feel that this was successful as O’Rourke felt somewhat too tolerant of Cat’s behaviour for this to be a convincing reflection of a police case.

Because I had become invested in the characters in Little Bones, I was a wee bit disappointed that O’Rourke and McIntyre did not progress much in character development and I felt the lack of that personal connection as the book progressed.

I did, however, very much enjoy the character of Jacob; a young boy with Asperger’s who gave reader a much needed personal stake in the outcome of the investigation. Sensitively drawn, Jacob provides an emotional connection with the reader that really worked for me.

For me, In Deep Water lacked the pace and drive of the first book and I found aspects of the plot a little too contrived, and the ending, though explosive, a touch unbelievable, but overall it was a decent read and the Dublin and Enniskerry settings are very enjoyable.

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Set in Ireland, I can only imagine the scenery, both beauty and cold and rain and mud.
A recovering from big injury detective, an awesome boxer, Cat is putting things back together with the help of her best friend. When that friend goes missing, all the police powers are directed towards finding her and bringing her home.
False starts, overlooked clues all frustrate and delay the search. The final reveal of the bad guy is concerning but the loose ends are tied up.
Fun fast read, not too deep.

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This book is the second in a series of which I haven’t read the first. So, I’m not sure if my initial confusion was down to things I would have known if I had read the first book or were done on purpose to keep the reader off balance. Whichever, it made it difficult for me to get into the book.

Cathy is literally a kick ass kickboxing star, as well as an Irish Garda DS. She is painted as a go for broke kind of detective, a lone wolf. The book starts when her best friend goes missing. As the plot comes together, parts appear obvious to the reader, if not Cat.

This is not a fast paced read, although it picks up in the second half. The author tried to keep the tension up, but doesn’t consistently succeed. The book has a few twists I didn’t see coming, but the plot was fairly standard. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but part of the ending just felt like a cheat. Decent, just not great.

My thanks to netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for an advance copy of this novel.

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An averagely good thriller that keeps the mind engaged but doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

After a traumatizing encounter that left her adjusting to the new physical and mental scars, Cat Connolly, the first female detective in the Garda Síochána, has seen enough action to last a lifetime. When her friend and training partner Sarah Jane fails to show up to their training session, Cat decides to investigate. Sarah’s home was turned upside down, and her father, a famous Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, admits to having warned her against pursuing a story. Things get even more complicated when a dead body is found in a brutal state but it turns out it’s not Sarah. Can Cat and Detective Inspector Dawson O’Rourke find her before it’s too late? Is it just a kidnapping or is there something darker laying in the dark alleys of Dublin?

I didn’t get to read the previous novel and the first adventure of Cat and DI O’Rourke, but still, I felt that this novel could be read as a standalone.

The plot is well structured and developed. The author explores the complex world of forensics and police procedures with enough detail to make the story believable. The pace is slow in the beginning and slowly begins to get more suspenseful and picks up a bit of speed. The end was unexpected and the mystery was tightly resolved, no loose ends.

The style of writing is easy to follow and it flows easily. The deep research on forensics and police procedures is definitely a plus, it gives depth to the plot. The descriptions at times were acceptable but in others, I thought there was too much detail. There were some conversations that, for me, didn’t add anything to the story or the characters.

With the characters I found myself having mixed opinions, but may that’s because I jumped the first novel. Cat Connolly is a badass main character. After going through hell in her previous adventure, she has to endure a long road of physical and psychological recovery. I could feel her passion for kickbox, her motivation to get better and to find objectives to help her move on. I think she wanted to feel useful and when her friend goes missing, she found a way escape her nightmares and to keep her mind busy. DI Dawson O’Rourke is a fine male character and his relationship with Cat makes even the reader feel safe in his ‘presence’. For Sarah Hansen, I didn’t see the depth or felt her connection to Cat. I would have liked to read more about her background story and her relationship with the main character. I felt a bit indifferent to her disappearance: If it were a member of Cat’s family or one of the male characters, it would have had a deeper impact for me.

I didn't connect with the book or it's characters, even if I do admire Cat for her strength. Hopefully the third one will be a bit better.​

Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Zaffre Publishing and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.

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I thought this was a good book with an interesting lead character in Cat, I liked the fact she was so physically capable , I also enjoyed the setting and tour of Dublin, having been there on a hen weekend many years ago I have a soft spot for the place.the action was relentless and the story was different to other books I have read recently, and I enjoyed it.No spoilers from me but I think the book is well worth a read.Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for an ARC.

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I thought that the plot of this novel was excellent overall. It was a really thrilling story about the abduction of a close friend of the main character, Cat Connolly, but it was so much more than that. There are so many amazing twists in the plot that by the end you don't know who to trust. I also enjoyed the ending which was fairly ambiguous. It leaves you on the edge of your seat and it definitely leaves you wanting more from the series. One aspect of the plot I could have done without was the romance aspects. I say this with most thrillers but I think romance can really distract from the plot by interrupting the flow of the book. I did love that it was set in the Republic of Ireland though because I've never read a book set in ROI before.

The characters were all well-written and the female characters were particularly great. I did like Cat but she was a tad annoying when thinking about her love life. Sarah Jane was also a great character because you see her from Cat's perspective in this book and Cat really highlights her best qualities while still mentioning her flaws, like good friends do. Blake's writing overall was very descriptive and full of action. I think one of the main strengths of this novel is Blake's characterisation as she's excellent at building strong female characters who aren't too perfect.

Overall, I enjoyed this book but I could have done with Cat's whiny moments and the romantic aspects of the book. It detracted from the plot which was incredibly thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable. I would recommend this book but I think I'd suggest reading the first book before picking this one up even though I didn't.

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When her friend doesn't show up for practice, she knows something is wrong. Sarah is very organized, has her day and life planned out and would have called if she wasn't coming. Where was she?

Zaffre and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you). It will be published February 8th.

Cat knows something has happened to Sarah, but nobody has seen her for a bit. Where did she disappear and why? Her mother said she working on a story and she had a fight with her father, who said it was dangerous. What kind of story?

Despite the fact that they live in a fairly quiet village, it turns out her story is of international significance. It takes Cat and the special team she's part of some time to find out just what was going on and who was involved.

When they tell Cat they've found a body, she's fearful it will be her friend. The killer cut the hands and head off the victim to stop identification. It's not Sarah but it's someone similar to her.

This is an ugly story about human trafficking and how men who have money always want more. It's a difficult case and some of the women don't want to be saved. But even when they've broken that part of the case, they still haven't found Sarah...

This is a tense, stressful read about unpleasant facts of life. I'm glad this sort of stuff doesn't touch my world. I'm impressed by Cat's team and her intelligence. She's tough even after being hurt and then rehabilitating. She'd be good to have as a friend.

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Cat was just a tad preoccupied with her missing friend Sarah Jane . At times it felt too consuming . As a young detective she certainly seemed to possess more knowledge than veterans which I thought is not like the real world where experience usually accounts for something. Cat’s physically seemed strong but mentally her judgement calls as a detective were questionable at times.The topics of human trafficking, autism were interesting as were descriptions of Dublin and surrounding areas. The book just seemed to get bogged down in places.

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Just like the first book in the Cat Connolly trilogy, “In Deep Water” is very slow to begin. But unlike the other book, it’s full of clichés and trite sentiments.

I’ve realised I just don’t like the main character Cat. I find it implausible that she’s the youngest detective in the force, an All-Ireland kickboxing champion, studying criminology and has time for a disastrous love life!

I won’t be reading any of Sam Blake’s books again.

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The second book in the Cat Connolly series, sees Cat return to work after recovering from life threatening injuries from a bomb blast at the end of the first book in the series "Little Bones". I haven't read "Little Bones" but "In Deep Water" reminds us on numerous occasions of Cat's bravery in Book 1.
"In Deep Water" features Cat Connolly, a Dublin-based detective, who is a Champion Kick boxer. She is certainly an unusual character - how many Irish Champion Kick boxers can you name? As the story progressed I found myself drawn to her character. Cat's fitness clearly makes her good to have by your side in any scrap, but for good measure she also packs a gun. A detective not afraid to have a go.
The plot is solid: Cat investigates a Missing Persons Case, that of her best friend Sarah Jane. Is there a happy ending? I'm afraid you'll have to read the book to find out whether or not the investigation is a successful one. The book contains no un-necessary forensic or police procedural details - just a good plot.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all readers who like Crime genre thrillers.

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Unfortunately this is another where it's out of order in the series. I wish descriptions would indicate that these were the cases for series books as I think it affects the reviews when people walk into a book this way. I do think it would benefit any reader to start with book one.

Good story connections, action packed and fast paced. A cute little twist at the end but I still wanted a bit more. I think I needed to know more background.

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Thanks to netgalley for the opportunity to have read this entertaining novel. This is book two in the Cathy Connolly series, and unfortunately I have not read book 1 yet. However this book read nicely as a standalone, and I think if there was references to the first book it really was minor.
In this book Cat feels that her best friend has come to harm, and she literally breaks down doors to try and find her friend. The whole search and investigation keeps you glued to the book and I enjoyed the unraveling at the end.

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