Something in the Water

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Ballantine Books and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Something in the Water.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Erin is a documentary filmmaker with a compelling story to tell, while her fiance Mark is an investment banker with a bright future.  Although the road to their marriage is not without its challenges, they face even bigger issues after they find something in the water during their honeymoon.  Will a split second decision end up dooming the couple to failure?

The pacing and the plot were good at times, but I spent much of the book shaking my head over certain aspects of the story.  Wholly unrealistic and implausible, Something in the Water is not unique enough or thrilling enough to be compelling.  With unsympathetic characters who make rash decisions that are just not logical and true to life, the novel was nothing more than an average read.  For these reasons, I would be hesitant to recommend Something in the Water to other readers.
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I had a lot of hopes for this one after seeing that Reese Witherspoon picked it for her book club, but, sadly, I was pretty disappointed.

Erin and Mark find the titular “something in the water” on their honeymoon in Bora Bora. From there, a series of stupid decisions followed by even stupider decisions sends their lives careening out of control.

None of this was a surprise to me. The discovery doesn’t happen until about halfway through the book, and by then Erin had shown herself to be almost completely incapable of even the tiniest bit of common sense. As an example, one of the big points of the first half of the book is that Mark loses his job in finance. It’s been made pretty clear to the reader at this point that Erin’s career as a documentary filmmaker, while emotionally rewarding and important, isn’t very financially rewarding; they mainly depend on Mark’s salary to pay for their 1.5 million pound home, and the rest of their lifestyle. But when he loses his job, she carries on spending money and living their lives the same as before. He tells her that he’s adjusted their honeymoon to save some money and she pouts about it until he ends up yelling at her to try to make her understand that they have no money coming in.

And, to be clear, he “adjusted” their honeymoon by taking their 3-week trip to Bora Bora and making it 2 weeks. They were still flying first class, still staying in a luxury five-star resort, still taking all of the smaller trips and jaunts and scuba outings they had booked. Just 2 weeks instead of 3. Even this, Erin had to rationalize to herself to make it ok. Seriously. She was so upset that Mark would even consider changing their plans for this once in a lifetime trip. She was also upset that he had done it without talking to her, but she was mainly upset about the loss of part of her vacation.

I was also really annoyed by how long it took Erin to figure out what was going on. I realize that I have the advantage of knowing that I’m involved in a mystery and that I shouldn’t trust anyone, and I realize that I had the advantage of that opening chapter which was the end of the story, before the rest of the book was told in retrospect, but still. There were so many things that were so obvious and so clearly telegraphed that she just completely missed or decided to rationalize away that it became frustrating to listen to.

There were also a few other threads that really didn’t connect to the main story. They were wrapped up, but I don’t know what they had to do with anything. The author had a tendency to go on for pages and pages giving the most minute details for tasks and procedures that didn’t matter. I listened for at least 10 minutes to her watching YouTube videos of how to take apart, reassemble, and shoot a Glock, for example. A Glock that she never used or needed. The very first scene is Erin burying a body, and we hear the dimensions of the hole, the square footage of the soil removed and how much that soil weighs. Again – information that might be interesting on the surface, but went on for so long and was ultimately irrelevant.

I was hoping for a good, creepy mystery, but didn’t get it. Every move was clearly set up, there were no surprises, and we never got resolution to some of the bigger questions. I can’t recommend this one.
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From the beginning I was eerily hooked...I wasn't sure though I would like to know how to dig a grave. The first chapter however sounded more promising, the story of an picture perfect honeymoon for Erin and Mark in Bora Bora after a priced down wedding since Mark had recently lost his job as an investment banker. Erin is a documentary film writer and she is the narrator of this story. Her character is hard to like although written brilliantly. Both Mark and Erin have secrets they keep, dark and sinister as they struggle to find out why - something in the water is about to change their whole lives. Who can you trust is a recurring theme that keeps the pages turning even though some of Erin's surmising and digression seemed to slow down the pace at times. The plot was good, although I found some of the events unbelievable feats. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep one wanting to know the end and that- was definitely a shocker. Overall, I will say this book was one I liked, and there are definite 'on the edge of your seat' moments that keep the mystery going.
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Oh my, how do I review this? Well, I’ll keep it short, simple and to the point. This has been on my NetGalley shelf forever and by now I think most of the world has heard of this book, especially once it became one of Reese Witherspoon’s picks. The premise of the novel sounded excited with Erin and Mark on their honeymoon in Bora Bora, discovering “something,” and then dealing with the aftermath. Unfortunately, my excitement ended at the cover and blurb.

First of all, let me say bravo to Catherine Steadman for writing and publishing her first novel! That in itself is to be celebrated. 

Something in the Water started out a bit slow for me, then picked up, then slowed again. I wanted to be engaged and invested in this story but honestly, it was a struggle. I’ve thought it over for a few days before writings this review and I think the main reason I just couldn’t get into this was the protagonist, Erin. I don’t have to love a character to love a book and I am one that always appreciates good writing and characterization whether it makes me love them or hate them. But with Erin, it was a physical, mental, and emotional possibility for me to like her, respect her, or be interested in her. She is a documentary filmmaker in the book, yet I constantly wondered how the woman could even function in the world because she was so incredibly stupid. I hate something negative like that but honestly, her actions and dialogue was some of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. And I have read a lot of books. 

If not for the issue with the protagonist, I would have enjoyed this book much more. I wish the writing itself would have flowed more smoothly and I would have liked more suspense. But, I love the major themes within the novel regarding our choices and decisions and all the ways they impact our lives and those around us. Who hasn’t made a decision at some point and when they didn’t like the outcome, wondered what could have been? Of course, all we can do is learn from those mistakes, but all of the events based on Erin and/or Mark’s choices in the novel are what really kept me reading on.  

This one has a ton of reviews and they are very mixed ranging from 1-5 stars, so I suggest reading this one and deciding for yourself. Although this one wasn’t a big hit with me, I think Catherine Steadman shows promise and I’m curious to see what she brings us next.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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2.5 stars rounded up to 3 because it held my attention and I wanted to see what would happen.  The first chapter intrigues the reader from the start. Both husband and wife are unlikable and I could tell instantly that everything wasn't as it appeared to on the surface. I found it pretty dumb that the wife ends up with an incarcerated old guy hit man as her guardian angel and helper.
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Erin and Mark are a newlywed couple enjoying their honeymoon after a rough patch when Mark loses his job. When they stumble on a bag of money, diamonds, and a crashed plane of potential criminals, they decide to keep the money...despite the risk it poses to their lives. Things start to heat up as strange things start to happen, like the murder of a couple at the honeymoon resort they had been at.. Adding to the momentum is Erin's documentary interviews with convicted criminals, one of which is a mafia boss.

The prose style was polished and good, and the pacing was slow but steady. The twist was somewhat predictable, but as a heavy thriller reader, it's hard to slip one by me. It felt a little contrived near the end, but not in a way that ruined the experience for me. The unique elements included Erin's documentary progress and the how-to for a novice couple running off with stolen money. Watching how Erin and Mark cover their tracks was especially interesting to follow. 

Overall, it was a good book with a fresh plot idea that mingled enough character development and suspense to keep me engaged until the end.
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A newlywed couple on their honeymoon in Bora Bora discover a bag filled with valuable items which could solve all of their financial problems--but could also involve them in a whole new set of problems. Fun premise and an engaging writing voice, but I had a hard time buying into the idiotic actions of the main character--plus there were many holes in the plot.
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A simple island vacation becomes something much more sinister when a mysterious package is discovered. Steadman writes a great suspenseful novel with plenty of twists and turns.
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Erin is dumb.  She is dumb through the whole book and I just can't get over how many risks she took and then there is her husband who just isn't fitting right into the whole book.  Mark and Erin are planning a wedding for months and Mark loses his job.  Erin is a documentary film maker and she is going to be interviewing 3 inmates.  Each one of the inmates goes from bad to worse to worse.   Erin goes along with what ever Mark wants and they do get married and they do go on a 2 week honeymoon to Bora Bora.  During this trip they stumble upon something that they know they shouldn't do/keep but they do anyways.  Erin then becomes paranoid and even more reckless.  Everything for the most part is all wrapped up at the end, nothing of any major importance is left out.  The book was extremely slow and dragged out a lot of the pages.  

Received this book as an ARC for my honest review.
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3.5 stars.  Erin and Mark are successful newlyweds who go on a swanky honeymoon to Bora Bora and find something truly remarkable in the water during a diving expedition.  What they decide to do afterwards affects their actions and their relationship.  I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and the pacing of this book.  The suspense, paranoia, and all of the side plots are interesting and well developed.  The main character, however, is so frustrating and makes the absolute worst decisions that it retracts from the overall good storytelling.  This would make a good movie, though, and although I haven’t researched, I’m sure it has already been optioned.  I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Not many people can get a psychological thriller right, sometimes they mess up in the end and sometimes itshard to simply dive into it. But Cristina did a pretty good job at easing the reader into the story and slayeddd the ending! i would recommend it during a short trip or something
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I didn't take well to this book as much as I wanted to.

I found it lagging and it was really difficult to get through.

Thank you Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the advance ebook.
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This book is about secrets, lies and questionable choices.  It features documentary-maker, Erin, and her London banker husband Mark, and a discovery made on their honeymoon in Bora Bora that changes their lives forever.  It grabs you from the beginning, has some very unexpected twists and, in a way, it's sort of like watching a train wreck -- you can't turn away. from the story.  The ending is fast-paced, and the premise of this book is quite original, making it a worthwhile read.
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Well...that was a wild freaking ride! One of the best first chapters I've ever read--seriously, I would've punched someone if they had tried to take this book away from me after I finished that opening! So good!!

I had no clue how the book would get from point a to point b, and it was intense, to say the least. Perhaps not completely believable, but wholly entertaining! The setup had me hooked, two normal people go on their honeymoon and discover...something in the water...and human nature takes over. All of that felt believable to me (their decision, the greed, the relationship dynamics), but as the story progressed it spiraled a bit. I was still glued to the pages, but it started to feel less like a psychological thriller (which I prefer to remain in the realm of realism) and more like a wild adventure novel. Not a complaint, but more of an observation. I went with it and enjoyed every second.

A perfect summer escape in my opinion! 

**I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
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My attention was  cut with the opening sentence. 

"Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age. However long you think it takes, double that"

The suspense was build; however, there was no pay off. The twist was very much predictable , therefore,  disappointing.
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This book is nonstop action from the moment it begins. The hits come fast and the pace doesn’t let up until the very last page when you’re wrapping up the book and putting the pieces together.

It’s hard to know how to describe this book without giving spoilers, but I’ll try: Mark and Erin are newlyweds who head out on their honeymoon to romantic and exotic Bora Bora when they discover something. And that something will start a chain of events that changes the course of their lives. And two ordinary young people find themselves possibly in over their heads.

Like I said, it’s hard not to spoil things, but suffice it to say that this is the type of book where every decision and every choice leads to the conclusion, which then you look back on and say “Ahhh...” It all fits together pretty well and is satisfying. Although I wish there would have been a little more explanation as to the “why.” We get only a bare bones explanation and it’s a little jarring.

This book is also perfect for the type of person who like to wonder what they would have done in the characters’ place. I know I was questioning myself at every point. I think I could have avoided everything, but I am a scaredy cat who can walk away from things and not really wonder about them if I’m getting a bad feeling. Let’s just say Mark and Erin are not those people.

This book is perfect for action lovers and people who enjoy a good who-dunnit.
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This book was the reason I started awake for 2 days straight. Gripping excitement from the very first page!!!
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I just could not get into this book :( - the premise of this book sounded great, but it was lacking in something - in my opinion.    I might give it another try at some point.
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This should have been a better book. It had a great hook, but it did not deliver on the promise of those opening pages. The plot is ok, but the motivations of both husband and wife are not fully explored. I was mystified by some of their actions. I would read something else from this author as I think she has a clever imagination.
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Erin and Mark are newlyweds, they've started off their marriage in style on their dream honeymoon in Bora Bora. While out on an excursion all alone, they find something in the water, their curiosity gets the best of them and suddenly they're thrown into a potentially dangerous situation. 

I thought this book was alright. I'm not upset that I read it, but I kind of don't understand the point. This couple's main issue was their greed, but Erin's choices went beyond greed into the bizarre. To me, it made her seem irrational, when the whole first part of the book proved that she was pretty level headed. 

The unrealistic qualities of this book didn't sit well with me, I didn't enjoy the relationships, it felt contrived. I wish it had felt more real to me, because I think I would have enjoyed it much more if it had.
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