Cover Image: Something in the Water

Something in the Water

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I really enjoyed “Something in the Water” by Catherine Steadman. It is her debut thriller about a newlywed couple that stumbles upon stolen money while on their honeymoon in Bora Bora and the repercussions of finding that money.
It was hard to put down and I look forward to future books from this author. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Erin and Mark are planning  a huge wedding and a lavish honeymoon, but have to curtail their spending when Mark loses his job. They still honeymoon in Bora Bora, but have to cut their time there short. Still, they have an amazing time, hiking diving and swimming. One day, they encounter a locked box in the water and while at first they try to turn it in to hotel management, the box finds its way back to their room. Unable to resist, Erin breaks into the box where she finds a staggering amount of money and a handful of diamonds. The couple know someone must be looking for the box and its contents and they know that this time of loot doesn’t belong to anyone up to any good. But they just can’t resist and decide to keep the money and stones for themselves. It’s not long before someone who was close to them in Bora Bora is murdered and it’s only a matter of time before the bad guys catch up with the couple. Who can they trust? I nice change from the typical woman in jeopardy suspense novels out there right now
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When you start a book with a woman explains the minutiae of burying a body in the woods, while burying the body in the woods, you setting the bar pretty high. Of course you sort of have to nowadays, these female authored female driven thrillers are entirely too prevalent in the market to not require something really attention grabbing to stand out.  So from the get go Steadman does well. Then we travel back in time, surprisingly only a few months, to witness how a happy young couple’s life goes from a dream to a nightmare. Ok, so fair warning, these two are the proverbially tedious well to do liberal millennial yuppies, made only slightly more tolerable (like most things but food can be) by being British. When the man gets fired from his job, he only (only, mind) has 80K in savings, which of course won’t go far with their 1.5 million North London place. The Bora Bora locals look soft, because they haven’t had the city life to toughen them up. Things like that. Specifically, Erin, our intrepid narrator, who is determined to be honest in her marriage, but can’t seem to see her way to it time and time again. Basically these two are tough to care about (secrets and attitudes and all too much money and great looks and irresistible sexual chemistry)  and the entire book hinges on what they do and how they do it and yet…it’s nearly impossible to put down. So I’m actually not sure whether to be frustrated with the author for creating such a frustrating character as Erin or to give kudos for writing such a compelling book about such a ludicrous woman. Oh but the plot…the plot has to do with the couple finding a veritable treasure that definitely doesn’t belong to them and then scheming around trying to hold on to it. Erin does so through extensive google searches and an extremely convenient connection to a real life gangster. That dude is awesome too, like one of those magical old men in the movies who know all the right things, every girl should have one.  So go Erin, go. Mistake after mistake and still manages. Well done. But really well done Catherine Steadman who was apparently in Downtown Abbey (though I can’t remember her without googling) and sure enough the ending of this book is just about as insanely rainbows and neatly tied ribbons happy as that show’s. For a debut this was pretty good, very engaging and notably compelling considering how much Erin needed…well, at least a strong talking to. It’s that present tense narrative, it really draws the reader in. But mainly it’s like a video game or a competition show where you watch a character making these impossible leaps from one precipice to the next somehow managing to stay upright and maintain a semblance of a balance. So a near disaster appeal, if there’s such a thing.  Makes for a very entertaining read, certainly. Thanks Netgalley.
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I couldn't finish this. The writing style simply did not work for me.
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