Cover Image: Something in the Water

Something in the Water

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Member Reviews

A thriller involving scuba diving? Count me in!

Do you ever sit around thinking, what if...? and then let your mind wander to the most unlikely scenario? This book exists in that unlikely scenario. Everything that happens is just outside the frame of normal. As a reader, you have to suspend all disbelief of what is logical- then when you do, this is a really fun and exciting book. 

Alas, now I'm going to be looking for treasure on my next dive. While I do currently live on an atoll that does have sunken WWII wreckage in its lagoon, I think the extent of my treasure will be the quarter I found on the wing of a plane- probably dropped by a snorkeler. Oh, well. At least the Russians won't be after me.
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Thank you Net Galley for providing me this a free ebook for honest review. I'm somewhat torn on this story, I'll list my reasoning below but overall it was a good read and worth reading. 

Awesome cover. 
Very intriguing storyline. I would even ask my friends and spouse what they would do if this happened to them. 
The start of the book was fantastic, really attention-grabbing and hooked me. Once I got to the honeymoon I was totally hooked. It was such a page-turner. 

Took a little too long after the beginning scene to get to the root of the story. I understand why the author decided to give us all that information though. It showed how they needed money as they just spent a fortune on a wedding and Mark lost his job. However, it seemed overdone.
The details of the prison interviews for Erin's documentary were too detailed in my opinion. I didn't care about the prisoners and their back stories in such detail. I do understand why Eddie and his prisoner storyline was important but not the rest of them. 
Lastly, I struggled with the reality of the phone and USB. I do not believe the characters would have done what they did (trying to avoid spoilers). Again, logically I understood that it got us to the end of the story but for some reason, it didn't sit well with me. Why would they keep it? Turn it on, even. 

Overall, it was great. I did really enjoy the story regardless of the cons.
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Chapter One begins with Erin burying her husband Mark.  Go back three months.  Mark, a banker, and Erin, a documentary filmmaker, are set to be married in a couple months.  On their honeymoon they discover something in the water that propels them to the burial in Chapter One.  I had no idea what to expect from the story, but it grabbed me from the first paragraph - "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."  One of the best opening paragraphs ever for grabbing a reader's attention.  Catherine Steadman's writing had me feeling the emotions that Erin felt - fear, confusion, terror, love.... That is a gift.  The only bad thing I can say is I stayed up until 1:30 finishing the book because I could not put it down, which led to a very tortuous day at work trying to stay awake. I hope this is the first of many books to come.
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A slow build to a shocking discovery, this book will have you wondering what you would do!!!

What an incredible debut novel this is for Catherine Steadman! While the book starts with a bang, the next 30% is a slow build as you get to know the characters. Then at about 35% the story takes a turn and readers will find themselves holding on for the ride, unsure of where they’ll end up!!! I was unsure about this book at first, but I have to say I ended up really enjoying it and found it to be a tantalizing premise for a story. 

I don’t even know what I’d compare this book to… Its really quite unique from other psychological thrillers, though I’m sure some comparisons (Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins) are bound to come up. I don’t want to make those though because I don’t think readers should go into this book expecting something similar to what they’ve already read. Enjoy this one on it’s own merit!


Erin is a documentary filmmaker and is engaged to handsome, successful, financial advisor Mark. The two have a nearly perfect relationship—each balances the other out, and is able to cheer the other up when down. Erin is creating a documentary about prisoners reintegrating into society after their release, when she takes a break and she and Mark leave grey-skied England for a dream honeymoon in Bora Bora.

Mark and Erin spend their days hiking, eating exotic meals, basking in the sun, and making love in their room—a perfect honeymoon! Erin is even facing her fear of scuba diving to see the oceans with Mark. But after a big storm makes the waters cloudy, they are forced to change their dive location to a different island about an hour off the shore of Bora Bora.

And then, out in a boat in the middle of the ocean, they hear it. THUNK THUNK THUNK

There’s something in the water, and nothing will ever be the same again…


I cannot believe this is a debut novel! Catherine has a way with vivid characters, settings, and vernacular, probably from her career as an actress. I found Erin and Mark so compelling, both as individuals and in their relationship dynamic. Mark is calculating where Erin is creative. Erin is action-oriented where Mark is strategic. Both are open to understanding when they’ve misunderstood the other.

But I don’t want to forget to mention the other characters! The three prisoners—Holli, Alexa, and Eddie—are fascinating each in their own way. Steadman shows the incredible diversity of those who are convicted. Some may deserve worse than they got, and others you might empathize with, or even see a bit of your own decision-making in. Each has their own story, peppered throughout the book in Erin’s interviews with them.

And the mystery!!! The “something” that is in the water!!! It sets a chain of events in motion that are twisty and heart-pounding in their rapid succession. From the time the boat hits the THUNK THUNK, readers will NOT be able to put this book down! Erin and Mark both handle the situation so differently. Erin surprises even herself with her boldness, which was wonderful to read about. Erin was a great narrator, even if I did want to shake her at times and tell her to stop, JUST STOP!

The series of tiny decisions that could lead them on different paths each step of the way was extremely well-written. I found myself unsure at each stage what I would choose. Would I follow the same path that Erin and Mark did? What would I do, if I were the one to find something in the water?

I want to sincerely thank Netgalley, Catherine Steadman, and Ballantine Books at Random House Publishing for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure!
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I loved this book that made me feel as if nothing else I had to do, like working out or dishes or laundry or paying bills, mattered AT ALL.  This was well written and suspenseful and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a book that will take them away from everything.  NB: It did not make me feel like going to Bora Bora for my next vacation.  Maybe you'll think differently??
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**3 Goodreads Stars**

Have you ever read a book where you feel like yelling at the main character "what are you doing?!," "you are sooo going to get caught!!," or "noooo, don't do that!!!"? Catherine Steadman's Something In The Water felt a bit like watching a disaster unfold before my eyes.

The lead character, Erin, is a newlywed who trusts her husband Mark more than she should. There are seriously SO many red flags about him from day one, yet Erin disregards them. This is because she, too, hides many secrets - big and small - from Mark. Their relationship is certainly not built on trust, but rather built on a growing mountain of lies.

Erin is an aspiring filmmaker who is drawn into the world of crime when she begins a documentary on three people getting out of prison after long sentences. First, the project starts out innocently, but then it takes a darker turn when Erin and Mark find a mysterious bag full of riches while honeymooning in Bora Bora. They also discover something grisly near the bag, but I won't spoil that surprise. What do they do with the bag? Let's just say they make really poor decisions that lead to a terrifying climax and an epic ending.

So why 3 stars? My frustration with the book certainly wasn't the writing. What irked me was the unbelievable series of events that unraveled in the book. Erin, for instance, is already under police and homeland security surveillance due to her association with one of the prisoners who has been involved in terrorism. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to knock on her door and arrest her, but it didn't happen. There were SO many things she and Mark were able to get away with. It just didn't seem realistic given the intensity of modern surveillance in the digital age. The narrator also grated on me at times, but I think that's more of a personality issue on my part. I had a hard time putting this book down, however, due to the growing unease and tension present in the plot, hence the 3 stars.

Thank you to the author, Catherine Steadman, the publisher, Random House - Ballantine, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Something In The Water.
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This is an engrossing thriller that hooks you from the very first page as protagonist, Erin is digging a grave for her dead husband, Mark in an attempt to cover up his untimely death. Then we flash back to the months before and after the wedding as we come to find out the hows and whys. Lots of exciting (albeit not always feasible) that is often visceral and chilling kept me turning pages quickly as I got caught up in the nightmarish storyline easily. Told from Erin's point of view, the novel moves along as we get her backstory as well as the blooming romance between the couple. I often found myself cringing anxiously as I hoped they would get away with their plans, but of course nothing is ever as easy as it seems!
     I liked the character of Erin even though she was often a bit naive and too trusting, and I also liked the interwoven story lines of her marriage and her documentary production. Overall, it was a great, suspenseful mystery that kept me entertained to the end!
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Something in the Water had me guessing from the very first page. Although I was intrigued, the story progressed a little too slowly for me at first. But once it got rolling my heart was in my throat the rest of the way. I really appreciated that Erin was not a woman who waited to have her man take care of her problems.  The world needs more strong women!
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A very solid thriller that kicks off with our heroine burying her new husband. The rest of the book helps explain how she got herself in this predicament.

I thought the premise of this book was novel and the pacing, solid. I loved all of the passages about their honeymoon in Bora Bora (where things begin to go wrong.) Well written descriptive passages help set the mood and the author does a great job of establishing an underlying sense of dread. You quickly surmise that this is a couple who is getting way in over their heads, but you can also somehow see how easy it would be do the same thing if you were in their shoes.

Overall, I found our hero, Erin to be a bit naive. She makes a string of cringe-worthy decisions throughout the book. It's a testament to the writing that she comes off as both annoying and yet still plausible. She's a fully realized character, and as such is prone to mistakes. You may not agree with the choices she makes, but you've probably known someone who would make similarly bad ones.

My beefs with the book were few. First, I felt like it took a long time to get moving. All of the early exposition (about their relationship, her documentary film, his job) are all necessary to set the scene and make the rest of the book believable. I just felt like it dragged on a bit (if I remember correctly from my Kindle, they didn't set off on their honeymoon--the inciting incident that truly sets the story in motion--until 32% of the way through the book.) I also felt like the Eddie storyline was underdeveloped. As written it felt more like a plot device, than a fully realized relationship (with repercussions that are only alluded to in passing)

Overall, this is a pretty outstanding first novel with a catchy title and beautiful cover. I didn't find it addictive to read like some others, but I did enjoy my time with it.

Thanks to the author and NetGalley for granting me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this one! I am so torn between 3 and 4 stars  (because that's really a thing to be torn over), but I am going to go with 4. The book starts out with our main character Erin digging a grave for her husband, so we pretty much know how things will go, but it was so much fun seeing it all unfold and how they got to that point. I will say some parts were a little repetitive/ slightly dragged, but overall it was a hard one to put down and I had to know what happened.
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This is a well plotted mystery with a protagonist who is equal parts intelligent and willfully ignorant. While Erin’s actions seem obviously misguided to the reader, they are not egregious for someone in her circumstances, but it does become a little grating to hear her constantly call attention to how well she thinks she’s covering her tracks. The ending is not particularly surprising but is still solid. One thing the author does really well is make the tension visceral. I caught myself cringing during moments where I knew the protagonists were making mistakes that had inevitable consequences.
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Steadman’s novel opens with Erin burying her husband’s body, and from the first line I was already hooked! It is advertised as a novel for fans of Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware and while that is definitely the target audience, Steadman has brought an entirely new perspective to the thriller genre. Overall “Something in the Water” was captivating, well written and I would be surprised if it doesn’t make it to the top of lists such as ‘Best Books to Read this Summer’.
I did think that the end moved a little too quickly and could have been more developed, but if you are looking for something in this genre to capture your attention, it is a great read!
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I had a hard time with this book. It has a pretty good setup, and the story could have been excellent, but it was so full of unnecessary details. In example, she starts off the first chapter with a long background on the hotel they're staying in, which I had to skim. Then at one point, there's a tutorial on Google Translate. Just too heavy on little, inconsequential things. It really messed up the pacing of the book.

I didn't understand why the documentary storyline was in there at all--most of it could have been cut and it would have been fine. I get that the author needed that for Erin to hook up with the someone who ended up playing a big part in the main plot, but we didn't need a lot of the stories that we got.

Also, the writing wasn't amazing. I know this is the author's first crack at a novel so I gave her some leeway there, but at times the clunky prose was a distraction. There's an awful lot of telling, not showing, and it bothered me.

The one thing that I absolutely LOVED was the opening of the book. It immediately hooked me, and I liked all the double-crossing that ended up happening as well. The bones of a great suspense story are here, it's just that the execution, for me, left a lot to be desired.
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This is a quick read that never gets bogged down in things that don’t matter to the story. Everything ties together wonderfully and the ending is worth the time invested.
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Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman is filled with a lot of "what would you do?" moments. The first Chapter grabs the reader with knowledge of what happens later. The next chapters lead you to that time. Ms Steadman does an excellent job of fitting events together. Looking forward to the next book by this author. I was given an early copy to review.
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Something in the Water heralds the start of summer for me. A quintessential beach read, it also happens to be well-written and intelligently plotted - something that is lacking in quite a few entertaining novels. It's refreshing to know that writers and publishers are considering that their audience deserves quality, even when that audience just wants to be entertained. But I digress. Specifically, what I loved about Something in the Water is that it encapsulates all the elements of a classic romp. It's markedly contemporary, but manages to keep the plot charging ahead while avoiding being overly violent. All the elements are here...beautiful world-building and scenery, classic 'bad guys', and an exciting plot. My only gripe with the book is regarding the protagonist. While I think she was developed well and is a character in whom the reader becomes invested, she can be a bit frustrating. Quite a few short sentences, passages turned me off in that they felt a bit outdated/sexist. I think it was meant to just be honest (we do all care a little too much about our appearance and want to please too many people of course) but the role of overly supportive wife who doesn't really speak up, wore thin. For example, there is a scene where her husband "tells" her to stop working on a part of her project. She doesn't argue, but just agrees. The character herself is obviously intelligent and self-sufficient. I just wish she was a little more assertive. All in all, great book. Entertaining. Very well written.
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I definitely loved how this book just jumped right in with the main character digging a grave. I do kind of wish we hadn’t known who she was burying but it didn’t really take away too much from the story, I just kept remembering and wondering how it would end up coming around to that. Overall a great read that lets you follow a journey that everyone has thought about and wondered what they would do in that situation. While I’m not sure I would have made the same choices I thoroughly enjoyed following this couple and their decisions throughout the story. I’m still not sure how much I liked the ending but I’d still recommend this one.
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There's "Something in the Water" all right, and it's a mystery right on par with books by Ruth Ware and B.A. Paris.

It begins with a body being buried and then a tense thriller begins where nothing is what it seems and the questions of who to trust and who not to are matters of life and death.

Erin Locke should be headed toward marital bliss with her soon-to-be husband Mark but when the two go on a honeymoon they find something in the water when scuba diving.  The results have huge ramifications as the newly married couple find themselves suddenly keeping secrets, dealing with shady people, and someone who might want what they found back.

As Erin navigates her life, and as a documentarian on the brink of a high career, her paranoia runs high and suddenly everyone's a suspect in what she thinks is someone trying to get back what her and Mark have found.  The tense atmosphere along with a "What's going on?!" storyline will keep readers hooked.

A perfect addition to the genre and a thriller that holds what readers of this type of book are looking for.  

Author Catherine Steadman does a terrific job for a debut thriller, capturing the reader's attention from the first chapter and then going on to tell the story of how everything came to be.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for early access to this title due July 24th, 2018.
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WOW!  This was a wonderful surprise.  Have you ever watched the show "What Would You Do"?  That is exactly what this book is all about.  I loved it and I recommend this bad boy to anyone who thinks that they know what they would do.

My thanks to Netgalley and Ballentine Books for this advanced readers copy.
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Good thriller. The lovely young newlyweds are on their honeymoon when they discover a bag of valuables. What they choose to do with the contents puts their lives at risk, but who can you really believe or trust?

He's an out of work trader and she's producing a documentary on prisoners being released, including one who is like the mob. Do these factor into the situations they find themselves in? It's interesting that we know at the start what the end is, but then go back to find out how it all happened. 

It kept me reading! Thank you NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion,
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